Lock up your sons;Diary;Opinion

22nd October 1999 at 01:00
MESSAGE to the navvies of North Yorkshire: it's all right, men, you can take your shirts off.

Harrogate ladies' college reckons it's a boarding school for the new millennium ("Internet access for all") and, to prove it has thrown off the fusty image that burdens the sector, it has dug out a set of school rules from 30 years ago to show how things have changed.

Grim reading it makes too: hair washed only on Wednesdays, just three baths a week, lights out at 7.30pm, walking exercises on Sunday but no stopping or talking to anyone.

And according to one old girl, no peeking at those rough types building the library extension. Pupils were told not to look for fear of being distracted, and the men were told to keep their shirts on in hot weather.

The school has dubbed this the "Diet Coke syndrome" after the TV advert where female office staff watch a builder strip off his shirt. The girls of Harrogate should be so lucky.

The college adds: "Anyone interested in sampling the delights of a modern girls' boarding school can attend the taster weekend." It's not clear whether this includes workmen.

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