The School Cap

I have seen the School cap in the strangest places. One evening I was in a bus going from Wealdstone to Harrow. Sitting quite close to me was an urchin obviously wearing his father's cast-off clothing (trousers re-shaped to measure, at length) and a coat several sizes too big. Upon the boy's head was the Salvatorian School cap! We got off the bus together - I challenged the boy.
"Eh, where did you get that cap?"
"Please, mister, I fahnd it."
"But that's the Salvatorian School cap!"
"The wot?"
"The Salvatorian School cap."
"Never 'eard of it."
"Anyway you can't ... "

Here Fagin's boy took to his heels and the conversation ended.

Once when watching my favourite football team - Crystal Palace, about twenty five miles from Harrow, I saw the School cap on the head of a small boy. I. was flattered to think that 'my' team could have drawn a supporter all that way, until I learnt that the said small boy was spending the Easter at the house of friends quite close to the ground and that he. had come to the match because - "I had nothing better to do!"

Have you ever seen the School cap on the head of a cow? .I did once in Stafford market. At least that was my first impression. The animal was waiting restlessly to be driven into the compound to be auctioned and through the crowd the familiar green and black seemed to be moving this way and that with the movement of 'Daisy's' head. A closer inspection revealed the presence of a Middle School boy standing close to the cow,. enjoying a front rank view of the parade and the auction. As I did not want to spoil his holiday I did not make my presence known.

Yes, I have seen the School cap in the strangest places. Conversely, I have not found it where I would expect to find it.

Some boys are loath to wear it; some older boys do not want to wear it; some I know need not wear it. Junior boys with unruly, uncombed and. unmanageable hair NEED it; their seniors have learned to use some controlling device of some kind. They lavish upon their hair all the care that a mother lavishes upon a new-born babe. Like Raphael and Leonardo da Vinci, with brushes in hand they endeavour to create a work of art by making the care of their hair a labour of love.

It may be that our seniors are already thinking ahead to the near future when they will be "something in the City", dressed in black bowler, with black coat, striped trousers and newly-ironed and furled umbrellas. Perhaps they might take kindly to the compromise of a black bowler with a .red and green band to replace the cap so recently lost. Black bowler, old School tie charcoal trousers, swinging scarf - so attired Seniors and Prefects would be gazed. upon with awe by the minors, with amazement by the middles, with respect by bus conductors who would call them - "Guv" -and the tone of the School would be improved no end.

Difficult - but bowlers go with shorn locks, it is the Ascot designers who will have to legislate for the cascading heads of the seniors.


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