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Rain Rubbers


Attending boy's boarding school in the late fifties and early sixties from the age of seven to thirteen years, there was much rubber involvement. Apart from every bed having a red rubber undersheet, the Head Matron and her staff wore similar red rubber aprons. (More about the Head Matron's 'methods' at a later date...)

In the boot room were our rubber wellington boots and the regulation hooded rubber rainsuits. These suits were of the same red/brown rubber as the bedsheets, double proofed smooth rubber inside and out. They had tight elastic in the collar and cuffs and buttoned at the rear. This meant having to have assistance to put them on and remove them. The call of 'rain rubbers' would cause me a strange feeling of excitement. Particularly in the hot summer months, when only thin cotton vests and pants would be worn underneath. Once suitably 'rubbered' with the hood up, there was a feeling of full and helpless rubber enclosure. Venturing out, the effect of the rubber aroma became increasingly intense as one began to sweat.

A popular form of bullying by the older boys was well known and feared by the younger ones. On wishing to urinate, one would need assistance to remove the rubber suit. The increasing plight of the victim would cause much amusement to the bullies. I well recall being made to wet the rubber suit on several occasions, then being marched up to Matron's office on our return. A cold shower and six of the the cane from her would always follow.

Happy days,
James.

Thanks Jim. Do you think everyone found those rubber suits exciting, or was it just you?   And - another question, sorry! but what you write is very interesting - do you think if you had not had this school experience you would have had a different reaction to rubber later on?

What's your take now - that Matron knew what she was doing, making young boys wear those rubber suits?  Or was this extraordinary uniform hit on purely as a way of keeping them dry in the rain?

Thanks so much for sharing!

Lorraine

 

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