Uniform of St Augustine's Grammar School

The Crest Uniform The Headmaster On Uniform:

The Crest

Heraldic Description

"Sable, a cross, argent, in the dexter canton a pastoral staff, erect, or, ensigned with a cross paty of the second, surmounted by a pall of the last; in the sinister canton a lily slipped, argent"

ST.AUGUSTINE’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL is dedicated to St. Augustine of Canterbury, the great missionary who came to England in the reign of Pope Gregory the Great. Augustine was not the first missionary to come to this island: he may be said to have revived Christianity, after the coming of the pagan Angles and Saxons. Formerly the Prior of the monastery of St. Andrew on the Coelian Hill in Rome, he arrived in England in 597 and established his see at Canterbury, at the invitation of Ethelbert, King of Kent.

The school’s coat of arms commemorates Augustine and the see of Canterbury which he founded. The heraldic description is as follows:-

Sable, a cross, argent, in the dexter canton a pastoral staff, erect, or, ensigned with a cross paty of the second, surmounted by a pall of the last; in the sinister canton a lily slipped, argent.

The cross stands for the Christian faith brought by the missionaries, the pastoral staff for a bishop, the pallium for an archbishop and the lily for a monk. The school’s motto, Angelorum coheredes, is taken from the Ecclesiastical History of the English Nation, written by St. Bede, a monk of jarrow Monastery, early in the eighth century. The words are attributed to Gregory by St. Bede. Gregory evidently began to think of the reconversion of the English before he became Pope. It would seem that he saw in the slave-market at Rome some boys from northern Europe put up for sale. He enquired from where they had come and what religion they professed. Bede continues

"Rursus ergo interrogavit, quod esset vocabulum gentis illius. Responsum est, quod Angli vocarentur. At ille, "Bene", inquit; "nam et angelicam habent faciein, et tales angelorum in caelis decet esse coheredes." Book. II, Chapter I)."

‘‘Again therefore he enquired what was the name of that people. Answer was given that they here called Angles. Whereon he said: ‘‘Well are they so called, for they have too an angel’s face, and it is meet such men were inheritors with the angels in heaven."

When he had become Bishop of Rome, Gregory achieved his ambitions for the English people by sending Augustine to them.



Was supplied by D Neville, ecclesiastical outfitters, John Dalton Street, Manchester
latterly Henry Barrie, Schools Outfitters, Manchester

Magenta was the (tie) colour at Rt Rev Msg McGuiness's former College at Cambridge - Downing,
hence its inclusion in this uniform

Caps Navy striped in magenta

Optional (very! but useful for goalposts!)

Pullover V neck


neckline and cuffs outlined in magenta

Blazer Navy striped in magenta

Earned us the nickname
"pyjama boys"

The stripy blazer was discontinued in 1978

6th form blazer: plain navy

Scarf Navy with diagonal magenta stripes, one broad between two narrow

6th form scarf: longitudinal stripes of navy magenta and white (narrow)

Tie Navy with diagonal magenta and white stripes
Gaberdine Raincoat "Robert Hirst"

Compulsory between the declaration of winter and the declaration of summer (then only necessary on days of inclement weather)

About 1994, the Crombie overcoat became an officially recognised alternative despite being the uniform of another 'organisation' at that time. This was as a result of advice by the "School Council"

Trousers Grey, long or short
First years soon realised the former was desirable.

Uniform was compulsory. Arrival without a tie would result in the pupil being sent home immediately to fetch it regardless of distance (unless first saved by the school office with the loan of a spare one).

The headmaster organised a catwalk of two pupils for the parents of prospective first years, the first wearing an immaculately pressed school uniform, the second wearing an old dirty anorak. The parents were then asked which boy's appearance they preferred!

Haircut was short. any pupil arriving with hair longer than that which the headmaster regarded appropriate would be dispatched forthwith to the local barber with a loan from the school to pay the bill! This memory is unsubstantiated by sixth form photos - maybe tolerance had increased by then.

On Uniform:

"Allow me now to mention another matter- which I rarely need to mention, so unanimous is the co—operation and understanding of our parents. Unless I am greatly mistaken, we are all agreed that this is a uniform—wearing school, and I think it would lose some at least of its attraction for most of you if it ceased to be such a school. Indeed, I have never met any parent or student who would object in general to the school uniform: the only difficulty we ever have is with certain individuals who, no doubt, thoughtlessly, and with many other problems to solve, demand some concessions, some change in the uniform, for their own immediate convenience, which they would not demand for everyone else. I am thinking particularly — and in this cold weather you may think it a topical thought — of outdoor clothing. One observes with concern the appearance of a variety of garments which are clearly non—uniform, and I must put it to you that it would take not a majority, but only a minority of thoughtless parents to turn this school into one with virtually no uniform.

Rather than be accused of opposition to road safety, I normally refrain from comment at the outdoor garments worn by cyclists. (Luminous clothing seems defensible enough, but how a khaki anorak is more visible than a blue one is hard to understand.) It must at least be understood that all cyclists if they wish to go with their schoolfellows on any excursion for which uniform is worn, e.g. to see a Play, or a Concert, during school hours, must wear the same outdoor clothing as the others.

One observes also with surprise a perceptible increase in anoraks and parkas, particularly amongst our younger pupils. Some of us find it difficult to understand why our boys should be attracted to clothes which make them look like primary schoolchildren, at a primary school which has no uniform.

All parents who have purchased the recommended "Robert Hirst" raincoat agree that it is hard—wearing as well as attractive. Those who think it too expensive are, of course, at liberty to obtain any raincoat which will ensure that their son looks as though he attends the same school as the others, Let me remind you also that Henry Barrie supply a Navy—blue Crombie overcoat which is perfectly acceptable for school wear and which many may prefer during the winter. We omitted to mention it in the last list of school uniform, probably because the previous winter had been rather mild." (letter to parents 1977).