Author Topic: 'Sewn in' for winter ??  (Read 22714 times)

Offline alveleyhistorian

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'Sewn in' for winter ??
« on: Thursday 15 January 15 14:33 GMT (UK) »
I am presently re-reading a favorite book of mine 'Good Night Mr Tom'..which is all a London lad named William Beech who is evacuated to the Country in WW2, and had the good fortune to be billetted with a kind old gent Tom Oakley.
In William's belonging's is a letter from his mother ' hoping that he is being a good boy etc..and that she has 'sewn him in for winter'...(  sewn his vest to his under pants for winter warmth)...but my question is, was this common practise, and how did kids cope when they needed the loo or suddenly got an upset tummy ?...and did kids really wear the warm winter vest and sewn up pair of pants for weeks on end ...they must have started to whiff after a while ???

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Online stanmapstone

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Re: 'Sewn in' for winter ??
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 15 January 15 14:46 GMT (UK) »
Some had been sewn into their clothes for the winter or encased in a layer of brown paper near the skin as a substitute for warm underclothes. http://www.johndclare.net/wwii4_evacuees_longmate.htm
However, in some North country villages, washing the children in the winter months was unheard of because they were sewn into their clothes from autumn until spring: http://www.aohg.org.uk/twww/health4.html

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Offline Lilym

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Re: 'Sewn in' for winter ??
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 15 January 15 19:16 GMT (UK) »
On a teaching practice in 1958 in a poor area of Gateshead I had a boy in a remedial class who had been 'sewn in'. I believe he was not the only one in the school - juniors.
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Offline JGDavies

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Re: 'Sewn in' for winter ??
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 15 January 15 21:04 GMT (UK) »
A relative wrote of a teacher at a school on the border near Oswestry in the 1930s "... where she found that some of the children were sewn into their clothes for the winter.".
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Offline Wendi

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Re: 'Sewn in' for winter ??
« Reply #4 on: Friday 16 January 15 17:51 GMT (UK) »
My father joined a Scottish  Division of the Army in 1943 and many of the chaps had been "sewn in" the Sergeant had his work cut out to explain to these lads that it was not going to be acceptable in the British Army,  and they were to be "cut out" :-)
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Offline LFS

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Re: 'Sewn in' for winter ??
« Reply #5 on: Friday 16 January 15 23:11 GMT (UK) »
I seem to remember reading that a good smearing of goose grease (or something similar) was also an ingredient in sewing children into their clothes in winter.  Must have added to the general fug in the classrooms of the time.
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Offline sallyyorks

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Re: 'Sewn in' for winter ??
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 17 January 15 16:54 GMT (UK) »
One of the first schools to introduce (from charitable funds) health checks and free school meals (c 1907) was Green Lane School in Bradford, West Yorkshire. It was quite a deprived area and children had been fainting in class from hunger. They also started bathing the children and noted that children had been "sewn up" by parents for the winter.
I found this history info a while ago, when i was researching some of a branch of mine

The Story of School Meals in Bradford
http://greenlane.talmos.net/historyhub/schoolmeals/SitePages/Home.aspx
"...Dirt was a problem. Right up to the early part of this century some children were ‘sewn up’ for the winter – wrapped in flannel which was then sewn into place and not removed until the warm weather came. Some parents thought that this was necessary because there was not enough food to keep a child warm otherwise".


Online IgorStrav

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Re: 'Sewn in' for winter ??
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 17 January 15 21:11 GMT (UK) »
Since starting family history research and thinking more and more about my ancestors and the way they lived (and the miracle it is that I'm here at all), I am always struck by how awful life must have been in cold weather.

Not just earlier in the 20th century without central heating but for the relies who lived in very poor circumstances in town and country with hardly any heat at all, and very little extra clothing, warm socks, scarves or coats.

Going to school with holes in your shoes, no wonder you'd be sewn into your underwear so that your body heat would add to the little you had to keep you warm.......

How lucky we are.
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Offline 1l2e

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Re: 'Sewn in' for winter ??
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 09 September 17 20:51 BST (UK) »
As a 70s child, every year until I was 18 years old, I was sewn in for the Winter. The process was as follows: On 1st October (the most dreaded day in the year for me and my siblings) my mother would dress me in a pyjama top and some large underwear (boxers) and then she made me stand for hours on end while she sewed round (twice for extra protection) the pyjama top and underwear where they met so they were both securely fastened and it was absolutely impossible for me to take the clothing off. Every night there were checks by my mother to make sure the clothing was still sewed on me. Up until I was 13 years old she sewed on a diaper instead of underwear, so this would be where all my 'waste' pile up. From 14-18, there was a small hole cut out of my underwear so that I could go the bathroom when needs be. This lasted until 1st May when the clothing would finally come off ready for the Summer months (the best day of the year for us).