MGS Archive: What Christmas was like at MGS in the past

Posted by System Administrator on 15 Dec 2017

Modified by System Administrator on 17 Nov 2021

What Christmas was like at MGS in the past

As our boys finish this week for the Christmas holidays and await the seasonal festivities, we took a look in the Archives to see what Christmas was like at MGS in the past.

In days gone by, all boys took examinations just before breaking up. Many modern MGS boys have just taken mocks and will be relieved to finish for Christmas. In the run up to Christmas 1916 – 1918, MGS boys volunteered to help at the Post Office with parcel sorting; soldiers receiving parcels at the front had increased pressure on the service. Today, a number of boys help with the distribution of presents to children in Salford as part of the School’s community service programme. Both in the past and now, the last couple of weeks of term are filled with Christmas plays and concerts.

In the early nineteenth century, the boys enjoyed six weeks of holiday at Christmas. They probably needed the rest, as the School day ran from 7am to 5pm, except on Tuesdays, when they were granted an afternoon off.

By the late nineteenth century, the Christmas holidays had been shortened to a month,as had the school day. By the 1940s, the holiday had shortened again to three weeks, and now the boys have two weeks off.In 1873, boys were delighted to learn that they were breaking up two days early. This was, as Ulula reported, ‘in honour of our late successes at Balliol ‘, a reference to the coveted Balliol Scholarship which had been awarded to an old boy of the School. This is the only reference to a shortening of the term in the Archive!

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