Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Perry Uniform creating job opportunities

Leeds Chamber of Commerce support the need to strengthen the manufacturing base through entrepreneurship.

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Saturday, 1 January 2011

The Story of Christ Hospital's Bluecoats

1 the distinctive clothing worn by members of the same organization or body or by children attending certain schools:
Oxford Dictionary ©

Being the manufacturer of Christ’s Hospital distinctive school uniform we pose the question - how did it all begin? What is the heritage of school uniform?

School Uniform in England has its origin in the 16th century during the reign of King Henry VIII when the ‘bluecoats’ were introduced. These are long trench coat style jackets, made from a heavy serge cloth and dyed blue, blue being the chosen colour at the time because it was the cheapest available dye and could therefore be reproduced in large quantities at a reasonable cost.

There are numerous Blue Coat Schools throughout the country that started out as charity schools: the earliest and most famous being Christ's Hospital, in the City of London (now removed to Horsham, Surrey), which was founded in 1563. Leigh Hunt who was educated at Christ's Hospital from 1791 to 1799 described the bluecoat uniform:

"Our dress was of the coarsest and quaintest kind, but was respected out of doors, and is so. It consisted of a blue drugget gown, or body, with ample coats to it; a yellow vest underneath in winter-time; small-clothes of Russia duck; worsted yellow stockings; a leathern girdle; and a little black worsted cap, usually carried in the hand.

Samuel Pepys (1633 - 1703) records on several occasions coming across the Blue Coat School, in London and this is the extract found in his diary:

“I went this Evening to see the order of the Boys & children at Christs hospital, there was neere 800 of them, Boys & Girles: so decently clad, cleanely lodged, so wholesomly fed, so admirably taught, some the Mathematics... They sung a Psalme before they sat downe to supper in the greate hall, to an Organ which played all the time, & sung with that cherefull harmony, as seem'd to me a vision of heavenly Angels: & I came from the place with infinite Satisfaction, having never in my life seene a more noble, pious, & admirable Charity. - Diary March 1687.

Most Bluecoat schools have abandoned the uniform and replaced it with more modern styles. There are a few schools however that still retain the uniform, but use it for special occasions only. Christ's Hospital is the only school in the UK that still uses bluecoat uniform as normal day wear.

The Elementary Education Act in the 19th century saw the introduction of free primary school education for all children in England. This resulted in an increased popularity of uniforms until eventually most schools in the country were following the trend. Even with dramatic changes in the schooling systems, school uniform continues to hold a practical, consistent influence.

In society today the Government believes that school uniforms play a vital role in education and in contributing to the ethos of schools. They are seen as instilling pride, supporting positive behaviour and discipline, encouraging identity of the pupils along with the support and school ethos, protect children from unnecessary social pressures to dress in a particular way and because they also nurture cohesion between different groups of people.

As you can see the team in the machine room at Perry’s are proud to continue the manufacturing tradition in making Christ’s Bluecoat - known in the school as the “housey”.