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SPORT AND SHOWERS

There were four houses at our school. These were Roscoe, Graham, Garbutt and Stowell. The badges were respectively dark blue, dark green, light blue and light green. To find out how the Houses got their names, click on The Centenary 1854-1954.

There are two types of people in the world - those who love sport and those who hate it. Love it or loathe it, you had to do it no matter how embarrassing or humiliating it might have been.

In summer we played tennis and rounders: in winter, hockey and netball. Throughout the year there was gym and swimming. Occasionally, if the weather was too bad to go out on the field, we did country dancing in the gym. ‘Roger de Covelly’, ‘The Gay Gordons’ and ‘Strip The Willow’. (Put together, those titles sound, um, dubious!)

“I remember Miss Goodall who taught us ‘The Lancers’ when it was too Arctic to play hockey (ie deep snow drifts).” Ann Cole ’49-’56

“We used to learn country dancing in the gym at Christmas and we had a wind up gramophone.” Janet Ball ’56-’61

For the team games, two girls were chosen as team captains. They then chose whom they wanted for their teams. We were each issued with a webbing 'sash' in our team colours. And so it began; the hearty, sporty girls tearing around the field (or tennis courts); the rest of us praying it would end soon!


“How on earth did we have time to change / play games /swim and then shower and change again in 40 minutes?” Janet Ball ’56-’61

“… As for houses, the allocation was random for most of us when we joined the school.” Margaret Collie ’59-’66

“I won my house colours for Stowell for sport. I was so pleased because I was usually in trouble and not being praised.” Jocelyn Laws ’59-’65

“I was in Stowell, which never won a thing.” Janet Ball ’56-’61

“Susan [Braham] was the house captain of Graham House, which was my house, and our colour was dark green. On one occasion when it was inter-house sports day I was allowed to wave the house flag! Oh happy days.” Christine Pickup ’59-’66

“Swimming was a regular weekly timetabled class, and not everyone enjoyed it. So Miss Boyd kept a register and noted down how often the usual excuse for not doing it was trotted out. If it was occurring too often she wanted to know why and had they seen the doctor!” Unascribed 1930s

“Yes - tried to get out of swimming lessons with periods or veruccas - happy memories? I must have swallowed gallons of water because I could feel it slopping around in my stomach during the Agnes Clayton singing lessons which followed making it particularly difficult to get the breathing right let alone the notes!” Jackie Rowe ’59-’64

“Miss Goodall. Came into the classroom to say they had done some tests and found urine in the swimming baths and it must stop. Innocent that I was, I had to ask someone what urine was.” Barbara Catton ’57-’62

“I was a non-swimmer when I joined the school and, as if the baggy swimming costume were not horrific enough, had to be hauled around the pool supported only by a scratchy rope under my armpits. I suppose the method worked in its way though, because I swam eventually to escape from the rope burns.” Margaret Collie ’59-’66

“The Lawnswood swimming classes were a dread - I never learnt to dive - even now I cannot even attempt it. Do you remember we had to try and do summersaults under water - still can't do that.” Jackie Rowe ’59-’64

“I did the Royal Life Saving Classes with her [Miss Goodall] and still have my bronze cross hidden away somewhere.” Jane Illingworth ’58-’62

“Miss Skellern was my Games teacher - she taught me to swim on the end of a soggy and prickly rope.” Lesley Hooper ’56-’59

“I must have not taken in Miss Goodall's hygiene lessons, as I could not figure out why so many each week had a ’P’ in Mrs. Johnson’s register, (‘Poorly?’) and did not have to go in the swimming baths. As a late developer I got my first P at 14; by then I had it figured out!” Angela Thompson ’59-’66

“When I started swimming lessons, I didn’t get too much hassle from Mrs. J because I could already swim. That surprised her! She still shouted at me for not being able to swim fast enough, haul myself out of the pool, get dressed quick enough, and anything else she could think of. She was a bully and absolutely terrified me.” Sandra Baker ’59-’64

“Swimming lessons - I hated them. . Mrs. J. had much to be desired when teaching someone to swim! Still don't like it.” Margaret Anderson ’59-’64

“I also remember Mrs. J very well and they are not fond memories. She was a bully and a poor teacher.” Rachel Hoare ’59-’65

“I thought Miss Skellern the most spiffing splendid of games mistresses - she inspired me AND taught me to swim. I still swim once a week - twice a week in summer.” Janet Ball ’56-’61

“I also remember always being very cold and shivery because we spent a lot of time sitting on the side of the pool waiting for our turn.” Margaret Collie ’59-’66

“Miss Boyd - P.E., Swimming and Games. Swimming, where we stood shivering on the side and those girls who decided they couldn't swim were ushered to the deep end and exhorted to “jump in, Gels! If you can't swim now, you'll be able to do so by the time you reach the other end of the pool!”” Hilary Steeple ’44-’51

“The changing rooms were freezing and we never had enough time to dress properly before we were off, still with soaking wet hair, to our next lesson.” Margaret Collie ’59-’66

“As a totally non-sporty person (and a bit of a loner) I was always among the last to be chosen [for team games] in a process that I always found humiliating.” Elisabeth Stephenson ’59-’66

“Oh, those icy days out on the hockey pitch where the ball ran up your stick and hit you in the eye!” Hilary Steeple ’44-’51

“I loved tennis, didn't mind netball and gym but hated hockey, my main complaint being that I was always cold.” Beryl Midgley ’55-’60

“The gym we were taught at Lawnswood amazed my new teachers in Wensleydale. On the first day there in January 1968 there was deep snow and a horse and spring board were pulled out in the hall for indoor games - the children had never used it before but I flew over legs astride! I took over as Netball Captain and arranged the games lessons. I was ahead of them on Biology too and taught their lessons when the teacher was unwell. She just said "Jennifer, take over.” Jennifer Pearson née Peace ’63-’68

“What a relief to discover, even after all these years, that there were other likeminded souls who hated hockey.” Sheila Galbraith ’60-’67

“Rounders in the summer where we raced round on the extensive sports field and the gardener drove his mowing machine/tractor around us, cutting off the daisy heads which we threaded together and afterwards draped round the blackboard.” Hilary Steeple ’44-’51

“If you were little and slight - you played wing for hockey. If you were without fear and hopefully not slight you played centre.” Sue Kellett ’55-’62

“Miss Sissons would supervise us, whatever the weather, as we shivered in our aertex shirts and navy knickers and she strode the pitch in coat (I think it was fur), warm headscarf, boots and gloves.” Ann Cole ’49-’56

“I never ran so fast after Latin to get the Goal Keeper's pads; it was better than running up and down the full length of the hockey field. I still am very lazy!” Angela Thompson ’59-’66

“Do you all remember shivering in aertex vests whilst Miss Goodall and sometimes a house games captain paraded up and down in tracksuits, scarves and gloves, telling us that it was not really cold and we should stop whining?” Margaret Collie ’59-’66

“You MUST participate - you could only be unwell once and then Miss Goodall caught on.” Sue Kellett ’55-’62

“Miss Brown who taught PE - we were very proud of her because she was a local champion - I think in the discus - she always saw through our pathetic excuses to get out of hockey on wet winter days!!!” Sarah Sharp ’64-’71

“Miss Brown was my hero. She was great at throwing the javelin (I think she represented Great Britain) she never asked you to do anything that she didn't do herself first. Then she got married and left to be head of PE at Allerton High..........” Lynne Pearson nee Tasker ’63-’70

“I remember turning out on freezing Saturdays to play hockey. Olwen Challengor, who played in goal, and I who played centre forward, swapped footwear. She had lacrosse boots and I hockey shoes which I could not run in and Olwen’s foot wear was no use for defending the goal. I remember Elizabeth Taylor urging us on to greater things we needed to keep moving — some match days were freezing. She also taught history and is responsible for my continuing interest in the past. She made the past come alive for us.” June Lesley Bond ’47-’53

“I also went to Temple Newsam to compete in some Athletic events, mainly hurdles. We got there under our own steam.” Susan Moon ’65-’71

“My most vivid memory of Lawnswood is hockey lessons with Ms. Goodall. Sport has never been, isn't, and will never be my strong point! I'm sure it was deliberate that she used to put me on the left wing and then systematically bellow, "RUN, Hudson - you lazy pig!” Some things are never forgotten... My mother thought this was hilarious (knowing how much I loved sport) and we still laugh about it today, although I didn't laugh at the time. The HUMILIATION!” Sue Hudson ’68-’71

“My sole contribution to Roscoe's achievements was the number of stars I contributed, as I was desperately unsporty but rather a swot, especially during the first couple of years before I discovered boys.” Margaret Collie ’59-’66


After field games and gym - THE SHOWERS. How we tried to avoid them! It wasn't that we were unhygienic; it was simply that we were just too embarrassed to parade around naked. Miss Goodall was dead keen on them though ...


“At the beginning of term, we had to lie on our backs with feet in the air, before P.E., so that Miss Edwards our games mistress could inspect our feet for varucca's (not sure if this is spelt right). I had never heard of them and when one was found I had to go for treatment to the L.G.I. for a few weeks until it was removed. That meant no swimming, but best of all no showers!!” Pamela Hitchen ’49-’53

“Being very shy & modest, having to prance around naked was an ordeal I dreaded. I was glad when I got veruccas, & was excused for a while!” Avril Escolme ’46-’51

“... the showers - how I used to hate them - had a period at least every 3rd week if I could get away with it - I seem to remember Miss Goodall was pretty good at knowing when you were lying - did she keep a book” Joyce Latto ’59-’64

“I remember how COLD the showers were! We waited until Miss Goodall passed by to switch to warm, but she always knew and returned with a vengeance to make us put it on icy cold! She may have been small, but her command of her class was huge!” Linda Crookes ’54-’60

“And as for Miss G., she was obsessed with the showers, as we all remember. There was no escaping them, and as you said, we had to go round twice with our hands in the air. The funniest thing was that in the first year she gave us hygiene lessons, and it was weeks before I understood what on earth the 'shah' was that she kept on about.” Unascribed...

“I still shudder at the thought of those showers. One of my friends, who shall remain nameless, is still haunted by the memory of running around them trying to preserve some modesty with Miss G. hard on her heels trying to rip away her towel.” Margaret Collie ’59-’66

“And as for the showers - I remember distinctly one of the PE teachers watching me going through the showers one day (I was late in) - always thought that was weird. I can't remember the teacher's name, which is just as well.” Margaret Anderson ’59-’64

“I remember Miss Boyd standing watching as we lined up for a shower after games or P.E. We sometimes tried to miss a shower by saying we'd forgotten our towels. She kept a box of old worn towels for such occasions, and we'd have to use one of those. She stood and watched us as we ran through hoping not to get too wet, but she always noticed and sent us back through the icy water again!” Mavis Gray ’45-’50

“... the awfulness of the showers. I remember her making me have a shower even though I had forgotten my towel ('use your gym shirt to dry yourself!!!!!!!!!!') - inhuman wasn't it???” Jeanette Goodman ’61-’64

“... the terrible runaround in the showers, and Miss Goodall's instructions. You have nudged my memory of another of her sayings, which was that we shouldn't wear sling backs because we would get a bony growth. Well I'm still waiting for mine.” Janet China ’65-’70

“I agree with everyone's comments about the showers - the only thing I would add is that if one took the school bus home, one could cut through the school grounds to the bus stop instead of walking around the outside as we were meant to do, and catch a glimpse of the boys as they went in/came out of their shower session.” Sue Hudson ’68-’71

“I didn't mind having a shower after sport.” Jocelyn Laws ’59-’65

You probably have memories of your own concerning games and showers. Please share them with us at lhs.alumnae@gmail.com