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 Post subject: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2019, 15:25 
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Seeing as we've got Wimbledon finals weekend, the cricket World Cup final, the British Grand Prix and the netball World Cup all coming up :D . As someone who was always worse than useless at PE, I quite like the fact that the CS doesn't do the "jolly hockey sticks" thing, but it is usually a big deal in school stories and I can't think of that many CS girls who are sports stars. Kat Gordon's the obvious one, and to some extent Blossom Willoughby. In the early books, Grizel and Marie are both good at sports, but it isn't a huge part of their characterisation. In the later books, there isn't really anyone. Mary-Lou is good at swimming as a junior, but it's never mentioned later on. Clem, Hilary, Margot and assorted others get to be Games Prefects, but there are no real sports stories about any of them - even though being Games Prefect seems to be considered far more important than being, say, Music Prefect or Library Prefect. Ailie wants to be a Games mistress, but I think the only time we ever see her doing anything sporty is when she wins a race at Sports Day.

Having said all this, I think I'd have liked a school where heroines were good at history, languages and literature and no-one was very into PE :lol: .

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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2019, 15:39 
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Alison H wrote:

Having said all this, I think I'd have liked a school where heroines were good at history, languages and literature and no-one was very into PE :lol: .


Me too Alison!


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2019, 17:18 
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This seems to be something else EBD loses interest in. When the books are set at Plas Howell and on the island games against other schools form a part of life. I am surprised they found so few challenges available in Switzerland. Don't the cricket team play Mr Embury's work team? I would have thought tennis would be played at Swiss schools.
Isn't it quite amusing that Winnie Embury as a schoolgirl was considered good enough to have been 'professional', according to Hilary Burn, but musn't have kept it up on leaving school!


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2019, 17:37 
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Sports don't seem to have been EMBD's favourite thing, either, so I suppose we shouldn't be surprised that the subject is more or less used as a plot driver - and there's a fair amount of that. Things like the hockey match in Lavender, Blossom being shut in so that she misses the tennis match in Wrong CS, the whatever-shall-we-do-when-Elfie-has-to-leave (I always thought there probably had to be something like a Games Committee once the school got to any appreciable size), at least one Regatta while they're on the Island (with various mishaps), the revival of lacrosse in Ruey (below the VIth form “the school literally bubbled” - and it’s only two years since they last played it!), the bruising time had by several during a games lesson in Challenge, and so on.

PS I agree with Polly Winterton - Games is definitely a lesson!
PPS I hadn't thought of this before, but could Jack Lambert have ended up as a racing car driver? Not necessarily Formula One, but perhaps rally driving, or Indy...


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2019, 20:10 
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I think the most boring chapter ever is the revival of lacrosse! Never played it or wanted to, but that chapter certainly reinforces that!

EBD didn't have much ideaabout scoring -there'sacricket match in oneof theisland books where ateam wins by xxx runs and yyy wickets - which isn't a feasible score, either xxx runs or yyy wickets, nnnot both. She also has some odd tennis scores, but I think scoring may have been different then, she has someone winning by 8 games to 5 -which wouldn't be right now, maybe it was OK then?


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2019, 21:00 
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Imagine if the FA hadn't banned women's football, and girls had played it in school. OOAO would be the CS equivalent of David Beckham (or Ellen White if you're into women's football). :D I can totally see Jack getting into motor racing or karting.

EBD wasn't great at writing sports - Antonia Forest does it a lot better in The Cricket Term - but I did like the regattas. I wondered if she ever rowed in real life.


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2019, 21:10 
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No, she gets the tennis scores wrong, as well as the cricket scores :lol: . There are best-of-8 "pro sets" if players want a short one-set match, but they aren't a general thing!

I'm just trying to work out which CS mistresses would have been old enough to play women's football during the First World War :D .

The revival of lacrosse is weird - we're told that lacrosse was abandoned when Mary-Lou was injured, despite the fact that there is never any mention whatsoever of Mary-Lou playing lacrosse. And the CS misses out on a lot of sports-driven plot devices used by Antonia Forest and Enid Blyton - new/unpopular girl becomes a heroine by scoring the winning goal, people desperately competing for places on teams, etc. Anne Digby even has best friends falling out when both want to be captain of the hockey team.

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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2019, 21:52 
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Worse than the lacrosse for me (though mercifully shorter) is that highly unconvincing episode in Prefects where Erica Standish, Althea Glenyon and Jocelyn Marvell, an unlikely trio in the first place, suggest including motor-boat racing at the upcoming Sports Day/ Regatta, using hired boats. The prefects reject the idea as unworkable at such short notice: Jo Maynard suggests that those interested set up a fund with subscriptions to cover the expenses, and Kathy Ferrars that they be made to keep the accounts, with lessons in book-keeping, to see if this is a serious interest or not; Miss Annersley just points out all the snags and turns the idea down flat.

(This reader at least breathes a sigh of relief, given the CS’s H&S record - and Erica’s in particular).


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 12 Jul 2019, 22:45 
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I assume it was one of EBD's attempts to get with the times :roll: : it would have been written at around the time that Donald Campbell was setting records on Coniston Water. It's the same book that mentions beatniks - even if it was only in the context of Joey saying that they all needed a bath! At least it wasn't spaceships this time :lol: .

It would have made a lot more sense if she'd said that Jocelyn & co had read about motorboats in a magazine and thought they sounded exciting, and everyone else had pointed out that the idea of a school having them was mad - as you say, it's highly unconvincing that the prefects and Joey actually take it seriously!

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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 13 Jul 2019, 01:07 
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The motor boat thing (which actually starts in Althea) is probably one of the strongest hints that the last book or two weren't written by EBD.

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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Jul 2019, 05:37 
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KB wrote:
The motor boat thing (which actually starts in Althea) is probably one of the strongest hints that the last book or two weren't written by EBD.


So who wrote the space exploration plot in Joey & Co. and Ruey Richardson? Motor boat races are highly believable in comparison!


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 14 Jul 2019, 07:27 
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bythebrook wrote:
KB wrote:
The motor boat thing (which actually starts in Althea) is probably one of the strongest hints that the last book or two weren't written by EBD.


So who wrote the space exploration plot in Joey & Co. and Ruey Richardson? Motor boat races are highly believable in comparison!


No argument there, although these happen to adults while the motor boat story is all about the girls using them.

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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2019, 21:11 
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Alison H wrote:
No, she gets the tennis scores wrong, as well as the cricket scores :lol: . There are best-of-8 "pro sets" if players want a short one-set match, but they aren't a general thing!


Oh, I don't agree - when I was at school, the various inter-school matches were almost always single-setters, first to six games (obviously adding on if necessary - tie-breaks hadn't been invented back then). And if you played casual tennis at home (we didn't, but my father would have liked us to have done!), you played a set....


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2019, 21:24 
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Presumably first to 6, though? EBD has someone winning a set by 8 games to 5. Not quite as mad as what she does with the cricket scores, but still. Unless it was a typo and she really meant 8 games to 6 or 7 games to 5, but nothing would surprise me!

ETA - at least they actually played that match, though. In Problem, they actually hold trials for the tennis teams, and everyone goes to watch, and there's a big fuss about picking the best three pairs, and then they never actually play a match. It must have been quite demoralising for people like Kat Gordon.

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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 19 Jul 2019, 21:42 
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Alison H wrote:
Unless it was a typo and she really meant 8 games to 6 or 7 games to 5, but nothing would surprise me!


Probably a typo! But then, she has Joey collecting all the - well, they aren't EBDisms, but almost - in Ouida.....


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 20 Jul 2019, 23:00 
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Quote:
So who wrote the space exploration plot in Joey & Co. and Ruey Richardson? Motor boat races are highly believable in comparison!


Joey & Co in Tirol and Ruey Richardson Chaletian were published in 1960. Yuri Gagarin's successful space flight was in 1961, one year later. So this plot-line, unlikely as it may seem to the younger board members amongst us, was quite realistic at the time.

I agree that the whole motor boat plot is one of the most unrealistic. I certainly didn't associated Donald Campbell with ordinary motor boats even though he was in the news but perhaps that's just me.

To get back on topic: Mlle Lachenais: top Alpiniste and she has completed the Cresta run!


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jul 2019, 05:37 
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thefrau46 wrote:
Quote:
So who wrote the space exploration plot in Joey & Co. and Ruey Richardson? Motor boat races are highly believable in comparison!


Joey & Co in Tirol and Ruey Richardson Chaletian were published in 1960. Yuri Gagarin's successful space flight was in 1961, one year later. So this plot-line, unlikely as it may seem to the younger board members amongst us, was quite realistic at the time.


As someone with a keen interest in the history of space exploration, I'm well aware that from Sputnik in 1957 there was increasing interest in space. But the idea that a private group would have the money and equipment to design and build a working spacecraft and that a British professor could somehow get on the crew of said spacecraft is simply unbelievable. The cost of the moon missions, including Mercury, Gemini and Apollo was US$28 billion (US$169 billion today).

The first NASA astronauts (the 'Original Seven' - 1959 and the 'Next Nine' - 1962) were test pilots - not just pilots, but the very small group that had either graduated from a military test pilot school, or had test pilot experience with NASA or the aircraft industry. All of the 'Original Seven' were military, but two of the 'Next Nine' were civilians - but both had been in the military and had flown in the Korean War (Neil Armstrong is the most well known, Elliott See was killed in a plane crash during training for his Gemini 9 mission). Elliott See was also the oldest astronaut selected - at 35! Professor Richardson would have been much older than that, seeing as he has three teenage children.

Those who read Ruey at the time it was published wouldn't have been aware of exactly how difficult, and how expensive, space flight would be. But after Professor Richardson disappears, they may have had a better idea of how dangerous it was. I suppose it makes a change from falling off mountains!


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jul 2019, 07:44 
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I suppose she was thinking of earlier times when people tried to make their own flying machines, but it still seems completely mad. It sounds as if he took off into space in a machine that he knocked up in his garden shed, whilst the Soviets and the Americans were involved in huge state sponsored programmes. I don't suppose EBD knew much about it, though, and was just trying to get some popular culture in there.

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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 21 Jul 2019, 16:28 
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Quote:
Those who read Ruey at the time it was published wouldn't have been aware of exactly how difficult, and how expensive, space flight would be. But after Professor Richardson disappears, they may have had a better idea of how dangerous it was. I suppose it makes a change from falling off mountains!


I agree there.
One of the fathers who were millionaires (Mr Flower, Mr Lannis, Mr Hope) would have been rich enough to form a consortium to help him. Richard Branson would have been a bit too young. :D

And to bring this back on topic: In Feud we are told that "a certain Mary-Lou Trelawney had taken prizes in every class for which she had entered in one of the well-known regattas." ??? :o :D :shock: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Top sports players at the Chalet School
PostPosted: 22 Jul 2019, 06:24 
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I looked on PE / Sports as about the worst school subject.

As far as I can remember as regards tennis, EBD was correct in her scoring on the actual games but maybe went wrong on the number of games/sets that should be won. She could just have scored differently in this respect though because they were only schoolgirls, often only playing in their games classes or limited time in the evening.

The lacrosse was ridiculous and Ruey was unbelievably confident especially for a new girl. Mary-Lou had just left the school proper though and I do wonder if this was EBD's way of keeping her, Vi etc in the main storyline for a term or two longer?

I know very little about the boat incident because I don't know when I last read Althea which must surely be one of the worst books. There was nothing wrong with Althea herself but I don't think any of the girls younger than the triplets particularly stood out apart from Ailie & Co and maybe Jane and Samaris and some of the later girls were plain nasty.

I was interested in the space programme but never thought of comparing Professor Richardson to the real thing. I remember seeing a TV programme years ago where some of the wives were talking at a reunion and they had a song Macho Man or something about the husbands. To be an astronaut was really the most glamorous "job" going.

I managed to buy a book a few years ago which must have been based on the TV programme and it talked about the different "waves" of astronauts as described by bythebrook.


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