The Boston Grammar School ws founded by Queen Mary I, the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII who at the time was married to Philip of Spain. The school was founded to replace Catholic institutions that had been closed by Mary's father and brother Edward VI. Mary's younger brother Edward founded many schools. The school in the 20th century has had a uniform consisting of a blazer, but enforcement of the uniform standard has varied.
The Boston Grammar School ws founded by Queen Mary I, the Catholic daughter of Henry VIII who at the time was mairred to Philip of Spain. Mary I was England's last Catholic monarch. The school ws founded to replace Catholic institutions that had been closed by Mary's father and brother (Edward VI). This would make it one of the few schools founded by Catholics. The character of the school would have been quickly changed with Elizabeth's accession. Edward had founded many schools. In founding the school, Queen Mary expressed concern over the distress caused to her Catholic subjects, but did not directly criticize her deceased brother.
Unfotynately we have no information about the uniform or clothes worn at the school in the long history before the 20th cebntury. This would be very interested to know, but we have no insuight into these historic uniforms at this time. The school in the 20th century has had a uniform consisting of a blazer, but enforcement of the uniform standard has varied. We notice considerable variaion in the 1930s and 40s. Many boys did not wear a blazer and short trousers were optional. The school in the 1950s made the blazer mandatory and appears to have required the first year boys to wear short trousers. In the 1960s few boys wore short trousers and the styling of the blazer was changed. Less information is available on caps, but we do notice boys wearing them in the 1950s.
The basic form of the uniform is modern times was a black blazer with a badge (black with
three gold crowns). There is also a tie. If you look at www.bostonian.org.uk
you will see the badge design in the form of an icon at the top left of the
page, between icons showing a group of people and a mortar board (academic
hat). You will also see a picture showing three ties. I think the left hand
tie is fairly constant as the school tie. The middle tie is the prefects'
tie, warn by prefects, students in the sixth form who keep order in the
school - I believe this tie was introduced in the 60's or 70's. The right
hand tie is the tie of the Old Bostonian Association. As far as I am aware,
shoes were always black. [Meeds]
No information yet.
Boys at the school are formally dressed up for the school portrait. The school has a blzer, but did not insist on the boys wearig it. Mny did, but many did not. We wonder if this was a reflection that many boys came from middle-class homes that could not easily afford a blazer. Perhaps there was another reason. Perhaps our British readers can provide ome information here. We do not know if the school even incouraged the boys to wear the blazers. The boys without the blazers all wear suit coats. Most are single brested, but many are double brested. Notably both new boy and senior boys do not wear the blazer. HBC notes that almost all the boys at the school in 1939 were wearing ties. I'm not sure about the color of the blazer, but it had piping and the school badge. Most of the younger boys wore short trousers, but they were not required, even for junior boys. There appears to have been school kneesocks with two dark bands, but they do not seem to be required.
Boys at the school dressed up, but uniform standards appear rather relaxed. We are not sure if this reflected the school's attitude toward the uniform or a reflection of the still difficult economic conditions in post-World War II Britain. Given that photographs in the 1930s show many boys wihout the school blazer, it appears to reflect th school policy. HBC notes that boys at the school in 1947 were wearing open collars without ties. Only a few daperly dressed boys wear ties. We have noted this at many British schools in the 1940s. Some boys wore a blazer, but most boys wore suit jackets. I'm not sure about the color of the blazer, but it had piping. Some boys wore short trousers, but they were not required, even for junior boys. There did not seem to be a required type of kneesock.
The school blazer was unchanged in the 1950s, but they were no longer optionl. The entire school in 1958 was wearing blazers, both the younger and older boys. Unlike earlier years when many boys wore suit coats rather than blazers, all the boys in the 1950s wore them. Short trousers were no longer optional for the younger boys. All the first year boys wore them. We do not have details on the school rules, but as all the first year nboys wear shorts, we can assume that shorts were required by the school. Almost all of the boys wore the school kneesocks with two dark color bands. Earlier boys had worn all sorts of different kneesocks, but the school appears to be strict about the kneesocks in the 1950s. A few boys in the second year year continued wering shorts, but most boys switched to long trousers. We notice some junior boys wearing caps, but again we do not know what the actual school rule was.
The school in the 1960s continued to have very strict regulation concerning the uniform. Most school portraits show all the boys turned out in the full uniform. The school blazer was changed in the 1960s. The piping was discontinued and the badge made more prominent. By the late 1960s, however, short trousers were made optional again for the first form boys as was the case before the 1950s. As a result few of the boys wore them. A 1969 school ortrait shows only two boys in the school wearing short trusers with thir uniform.
The school uniorm from the 1970s lookslittle changed from the 1960s. We have no infomation on the first form, but all the boys in the second form wear long trousers. The most notable differences from the 190s are th hair tylkes vthat theboys wear. They are much longer than the hair styles worn in the 1960s. None of the boys, however, have shoulder-length hair. Presumably there was a school regulatiuon about hair styles.
Shirts were grey, except for sixth formers who could wear a white shirt.
This latter was relaxed before I left the school in 1984, when most pupils
wore white shirts regardless of age. [Meeds]
Some school photographs show
You will note in the photograph at a few boys wearing military uniform. This is because the photograph was taken on the day when the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) met after school. They were always allowed to wear their military (RAF, Army or Royal Navy) uniform on that day. The uniform was a relatively simple one, made up of jumper (sweater), shirt, and trousers.
The Boston Grammar School has a Schuplattlergruppe, a German dance troop. It may be the only English school to have one. The group was started by Richard Anderson who is head of Modern Languages at the school. I'm not sure when the group was founded. The group has travelled widely in their Lederhosen, performing in the UK and internationally. They were featured on the BBC programme, Blue Peter on January 22, 2001
The Old Bostonian Association has a fascinating internet site for the Boston Grammar School. Readers who are interested in more informaion about the school may want to have a look at the site. The Old Bostonian Association, which is the alumni association of the school. As far as I am aware the school does not yet have a web site of its own.
Simon Meeds, E-mail message, Februay 12, 2004. Simon is the Webmadster of the Old Bostonian Association internet site.
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