Going to boarding school-1973

Looking through some old papers at the weekend I came across the joining instructions for “Prep” school from 1973. It all seems very unreal now and just reading through the details had me laughing my socks off.  Here we go….


New girls should arrive if possible between 4.00pm and 5.00pm. They should wear school uniform but may be hatless (!). The Board (straw boater) is issued at school.


The trunk, labelled with the girl’s name and addressed to the school, should be sent in advance if travelling by train, or may be brought with her if travelling by car.

The official “Clothes List” should be laid just inside the lid of the trunk. Towels should be sent in advance during the last week of the holidays.

Girls are asked to bring an overnight case containing nightclothes, slippers and washing things to be used on the first and last nights of term. It should also contain: pocket money (about £1.50) trunk key, pencil case, pen and ruler. Stamps should be included in writing cases.

The following are NOT allowed: Watches, torches, biro pens, hot water bottles, jewellery and cosmetics.

Books, Papers and Hobbies

There is a school library. No comic papers are allowed. A Bible and Prayer Book should be brought from home.

Sweets & Chocolate

It is particularly requested that all sweets sent to school should be wrapped. They are kept together and distributed at the rate of three per day, which works out at approximately 4 to 5 ounces per week. In addition, each girl may have a small bar of chocolate (2 ounces) each Sunday, which is kept separately in her own tin. It is helpful if parents will send these sweets in the trunks at the beginning of term, and also not send more than the amount stated.


No other eatables are allowed except a birthday cake for sharing (sharing?). A cake may be ordered through the Housemistress if preferred.

So, there we have just a few of the ground rules and believe me there were many many more! Indoor shoes, outdoor shoes, blue silk dresses for “best”, fountain pens, inkwells and ink monitors, radios and record players “rationed” and all books brought to the school had to be signed by parents or guardians inside the front cover as approved reading!

Fuel crisis 1973-1974

Special instructions were issued as follows;

In case we should be faced with heating difficulties, all girls are recommended to bring back;

A hot water bottle (normally prohibited)
Some warm underwear eg vest/pants
One heavy sweater or cardigan
One pair of warm trousers

With judicious use of school uniform this should be quite adequate. Extra blankets are available at school.

Phew! Keep Calm and Carry on was clearly the mantra of the day……..


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