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The Rubadub Mystery

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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby Rob Houghton » 11 Nov 2017, 20:28

I know I'm always talking about 'the Mystery of the Island' by Isobel Knight - but I think my liking of this book has dimmed my liking for 'Rat-a-Tat' somewhat. In a way some aspects of the plot are the same - about a 'curse' and some scary going's-on - but Knight does it so much better! Unfair to compare the two, I guess, but I had read 'the Mystery of the Island' quite a few years before Rat-a-Tat and I guess my impression was coloured by the earlier experience. :-D
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby Stephen » 13 Nov 2017, 22:06

Well I've just finished The Rat-A-Tat Mystery, and bearing in mind it was effectively a new book for me, I thought it was pretty good. Not the greatest Enid Blyton out there, but perfectly enjoyable in its own way. Full of unintentionally hilarious lines such as one of the villains saying "What's the meaning of this foolery?" And Roger's utterly sublime "But - Mrs. Tickle - you must know that a snow-man doesn't walk!"

However, I was reading a first edition hardback (minus dust jacket), and I was intrigued by some of the illustrations by Anyon Cook. You have Roger and Snubby standing outside in the snow wearing shorts! Surely boys didn't dress like that even back then?
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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby Rob Houghton » 14 Nov 2017, 12:17

I think the shorts thing has been mentioned before, with older members affirming that indeed boys would have worn shorts even in winter, up until at least the mid 1950's. The Secret Seven are also depicted in shorts as late as 1961 in 'Shock For the Secret Seven' -

Image
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby Daisy » 14 Nov 2017, 12:21

Quite correct Rob. Boys wore short trousers until their early teens. Knee length socks were also the norm for boys and girls who wore skirts. I remember the younger brother of one of my friends being thrilled to get his first pair of 'longs' on his 14th birthday.
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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby Eddie Muir » 14 Nov 2017, 14:09

How well I remember getting my first pair of long trousers (grey flannel with turn ups) at the age of 13. I was overjoyed as it marked the transition from childhood to adulthood - or so it was considered by my grammar school contemporaries. :D
'Go down to the side-shows by the river this afternoon. I'll meet you somewhere in disguise. Bet you won't know me!' wrote Fatty.

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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby Rob Houghton » 14 Nov 2017, 14:16

Even my generation, at Primary School from 1975, can remember a time when grey shorts were part of the 'uniform' for boys (though by this time only in better weather). In the infants, most boys wore shorts for school, and it wasn't until later on (aged about 7 or 8 maybe) that shorts suddenly dropped off the radar completely except for sports and PE.

After the age of 8 I never worse shorts again, even in hot weather and on holiday, until I was maybe 18 or 20. Boys just wouldn't be seen dead in shorts during the late 1970's and early 1980's, even for leisure!
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby John Pickup » 14 Nov 2017, 19:32

I wore short trousers for school until I went to Grammar School. I can remember all of us boys wearing short trousers during the big freeze of 62/63 with socks to just below our knees. We were tough in those days.
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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby Stephen » 14 Nov 2017, 20:02

I've never been a shorts person. At First School, they were an optional extra for summer and my mum did sometimes make me wear them, but even back then I was never keen.

Several years ago, I went on a 'safari' tour around Cyprus. The tour guides filmed the event, and out of a group of about 20 - 30 people walking along this dusty, arid trail, I was the ONLY one in long trousers. I looked like I was ill or something! :D
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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby timv » 15 Nov 2017, 09:25

Confirming what Rob, John and others have said, shorts were part of my normal school uniform at primary school in the late 1960s. The change to long trousers came when you went to secondary school. I normally wore shorts in the summer holidays too until that point, but it was not seen as normal for boys over eleven or so (except at the seaside) by that date and was liable to arouse comment from your contemporaries.

Another thing that is noticeable in the illustrations for the early editions of the main Blyton series from the 1940s and 1950s is the wearing of 'school' blazers and raincoats in the school holidays, in place of what we would now consider normal leisurewear. This is the case for (mostly) boys over the age of eleven the series books set in non-summer holidays, eg some of the Find Outers series, as well as for juniors like the Secret Seven; the text illustrations of such books as the Burnt Cottage show Larry and Pip in either blazers or 'grown up' long-sleeved jackets. (This can also be seen in contemporary comics, story books, and annuals illustrations). The Famous Five also wear (school?) blazers in some Eileen Soper pictures. At the time I read second-hand annuals dating from the 1950s in the late 1960s-early 1970s I thought this a bit odd as it was after clothes rationing had ended, but was told it had been normal practice at a time when there were fewer and comparitively more expensive non-school overcoats available and a lot of parents' budgets went on compulsory school items. Another bit of evidence of how social norms have changed - and for using early Blyton book illustrations as valuable social history?
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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby Rob Houghton » 15 Nov 2017, 12:07

It's sometimes hard to understand just how expensive clothes were in the past - even until fairly recently. I remember as a child/teenager that generally clothes were much more money than they are today - at least, relative to what people earn. I'm a terrible one for 'Primark' - I buy almost all my clothes from there - jeans for £10 and shirts for 32.50 - £5.00 etc...even coats only £35 or £40. This is how much I would pay for a coat even back in the 1990's - so generally the costs of things have come down, if we don't want to buy top quality items.
'Oh voice of Spring of Youth
hearts mad delight,
Sing on, sing on, and when the sun is gone
I'll warm me with your echoes
through the night.'

(E. Blyton, Sunday Times, 1951)



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Re: The Rubadub Mystery

Postby IceMaiden » 15 Nov 2017, 21:09

I remember our school uniform was really expensive, even more so if you were a boy as you then had to have an £18 sports kit as well. The uniform itself was a shirt and jumper that was around £25, which on top of shoes, trousers, skirts and gym kit, was a lot of money (especially if you had more than one child) and many parents found it expensive, including my own. To make it worse, the cuffs of the jumpers were terrible for unravelling, this left you with a messy uniform which you got pulled up for and meant an otherwise perfect jumper, brand new that term, had to be binned because the cuffs were too noticeable to leave and you weren't allowed to wear anything else.
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