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Object 36: the school tie

Worn by hundreds of boys and girls since it was first introduced, Object No. 36 will be more familiar to Old Breconians than to current pupils. As such, it reminds us all that something that seems to have been fixed forever can be easily replaced.

The first school tie, a horizontally striped woollen tie, was introduced during the 1920s when there was more consistency in what boys wore as ‘uniform’.

Later in the same era, the design was gradually replaced by the more familiar tie of paired narrow light blue stripes on a dark blue background, showing the school's everyday colours - themselves based on the light blue of Cambridge and the dark blue of Oxford.

The design survived the period of post-war clothes rationing and it also survived the changes to uniform that were introduced between the 1950s and the 1990s. Over the years, the fabric changed from a woollen mix to a more modern mix of synthetic fibre but the design remained essentially the same.

Under the Headship of the first female Head of Christ College, Emma Taylor, a new range of ties was introduced for September 2008. Colours ties and the School Prefects tie were coordinated, with variations in the proportions of green and gold signifying the status of the wearers.  

The House Prefect tie remained the same, but a new school tie was introduced. Bearing the crowned ‘h’, it was seen as a radical move away from the old school tie. However, it was more traditional than most pupils realised at the time. It had previously been the School Prefects tie, itself modelled on a Leavers tie introduced early in the 20th century.   

House ties were introduced in 2015, their stripes in House colours on the school tie adding a colourful dimension to the range of ties proudly worn by pupils today.

In 2023 a variation on Colours was introduced. While the criteria for achieving Full School Colours is unchanged, the awarding of Half Colours - now named as 'Colours' - is more specific. The tie remains the same.

house ties

ties 1957-2008

house society ties 1950s

Spotted a gap in the collection?

If you know of a tie that isn't in the collection, we'd love to hear from you. Contact Huw or Felicity with details.

The 'holy grail' for the collection remains the horizontally striped tie, the first school tie dating from the 1920s. We'd especially love to hear from anyone who has - who knows someone who has - any ties from the inter-war era.



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