Bolton School Former Pupils

John Denham (1949-1958)

John remembers the following ditty sung to the tune of Frère Jacques:

'It is raining, it is raining,

No PT, no PT.

Twenty minutes German, twenty minutes German,

Woe is me, woe is me.'

Old boys remembering the 1950s will instantly recognise the work of Jeff Banks, Head of Modern Languages, who composed many such songs relating to School life.  This one, of course, refers to the practice of preparing for the great Speech Day Gym Display where the entire School would change into gym kit, assemble on the second level and, at a signal from Mr Sayer, Head of PT, would run on to the top level, take up pre-determined places and perform a mass gym display.  This was a great coup de théatre (coup gymnastique).  Mr Sayer would have climbed to the roof of the lavatory block with the aid of a stepladder and, microphone in hand, would control the proceedings.

John has also pondered the question of why, when swimming at School, were swimming costumes not worn?  At the time, the boys thought nothing of it.  John and fellow Old Boy Mike Cannon postulate the theory that this was common among public schools and among Oxbridge undergraduates who would plunge naked into the Cam or the Thames, but can give no satisfactory answer.  Perhaps somebody knows?