The School Uniform

Susan Dennis

In the 1960s the uniform for girls in the first five years consisted of a navy-blue gymslip with a white blouse, a navy blue cardigan, and a striped tie. The tie had navy blue and light blue broad horizontal stripes with a narrow yellow stripe in between. There was a concession for sixth formers who were allowed to wear navy flared skirts instead of gymslips, a huge treat !

For going out, there was a navy gabardine raincoat, and a beret with the school badge was compulsory. Anyone seen in town not wearing their beret was liable for detention. The beret posed many problems for the fashion-conscious girls who had the popular beehive hairstyles, and they would balance their berets on the top of their heads like pancakes, secured with hairclips! The beret had an oval shaped badge in blue and yellow, with ACGS embroidered on it.

In summer there was a navy blazer (with the same badge on the pocket), and there was an optional school dress which I never bothered about as they were awful — flowery prints in wishy-washy  blue or yellow. All items of clothing had to be named with Cash’s name-tapes bought at Theophilus! Two pairs of shoes were needed, outdoor (lace-up brogues) and indoor (at our time the fashion was velvet ballerinas with rubber soles). These were kept in a shoe bag hanging in the cloak room, with shorts, a tee shirt and plimsolls for gym.

The Co-operative in Cardiff Street and Jacob’s drapery in Merchant Street were the main sellers of school uniform. First year girls had clothes which were far too long, to allow for growing. I never got very much taller and my gabardine was still too long years later!

I have dug out an old photograph in School Uniform from about 1959. You may be able to make out the badge on the Blazer. It had a yellow background with ACGS in blue lettering, and was the same one as we sewed on the beret.

In some photographs dated around 1965 some girls are wearing a tie with a diagonal stripe rather than a horizontal one, and it is likely that it was at this time that the change to the modern tie design, still used at the school, occurred. At about the same time a new blazer style appeared with a pale piping around the edges and on the sleeves.

Susan Dennis