Long Hair and the Sixties
This was the time of long hair and flares. We were the rebels in the school. The establishment was finding it hard to deal with us.
In the early part of the sixties I was sent home for having trousers that were too tight or too low. As the sixties progressed I began to get sent home for having trousers that were too wide and too low. I had a liking for hipster flares. The girls had to kneel down in assembly to have their skirts measured to see if they were too short. There was much pulling down and adjusting prior to assemblies and pulling up and readjusting afterwards too.
Clothing was one thing but the major bugbear with the boys was hair. The school rules for boys were that your hair should not touch your ears or your collar. Clearly this was ridiculous. My hair covered my ears and was down to my shoulders. I certainly wasn’t giving in with regard to what I considered to be petty rules. Consequently I spent a lot of time at home. My parents eventually negotiated a truce. The school grudgingly turned a blind eye to my hair as long as it wasn’t too ridiculous. We made a compromise.
Then there was the business of beards and sideburns. You were not allowed to have a beard and your sideburns were not meant to be below your earlobes. Well I grew my first beard at the age of fourteen. After that it was growing time every holiday. I would return with my new beard each term and we would play a little game. The Deputy Head, one Miss Mclouchlan, would hunt me down and I’d hide until caught. It was a game. I’d see how long I could get away with it. On one occasion I was peering round a corner in the corridor when there was a tap on my shoulder.
‘Looking for someone?’ Miss McLouchlan enquired.
I was send home and told not to come back until I’d shaved off my beard. After three weeks the twagman came round to find out why I had been off school.
‘I was told not to go back until I had shaved my beard off,’ I explained to him pointing to my chin. ‘I haven’t shaved it off yet.’
On another occasion I was sent home to shave it off. I shaved an inch strip down my chin and went back.
‘I thought I told you to shave that beard off!’ Miss McLouchlan boomed.
‘I have,’ I explained, indicating my sideburns and moustache. ‘These are my siddies and this is a moustache. For some reason she was not amused.
I wonder what she would have made of me becoming a Headteacher?