The locker room was also the scene of other activities, two of which spring immediately to mind.
In my fourth form the craze of Crown and Anchor took hold. This gambling board game used dice to determine winners and losers. The more senior boarders were experts at getting their gambling operation packed up and back in the locker when a lookout reported the footfall of a master approaching. Gambling in any form was strictly against the rules but that did not deter the 'croupiers'.
Games were played for pocket money. We got two shillings and sixpence per week and for the gambling addicts this soon disapeared. 'Borrowing' was rife.
The other activity in the locker room was the storing of our fruit orders. For those boys whose parents were happy to provide it, the weekly fruit order went some way to balancing the diet of starchy stodge served up in the school dining room.
Culinary delights on the dining room menu included "Jerk", a thick custard with a skin the consitsency of rubber and roast potatoes which were so hard, their exterior had been known to crack teenage teeth.
In the winter term juniors looked forward to 'toast duty' which meant getting up early and spending time in the warmth of the dining room kitchen. Sliced loaves of bread were separated and fed into a large conveyor belt toaster.
As most of my fellow boarders came from farms they were well versed in the coloured markings on the roasts of meat we were served in the dining room. Matters came to a head in my third form year when one of the seniors spotted 'reject meat' markings on the Sunday roast. This resulted in the then famous Strike For Better Food. The menu improved noticeably after this action led by the prefects and seniors.
The aforementioned fruit orders served another purpose. It was not unknown for those with the chemistry skills to produce a potent homebrew in beer flagons, which they stored on the school farm during the fermenting process. It is reliably reported that one flagon, left in the upper boughs of a cabbage tree on the farm, exploded under the pressure of the sun and the fermenting process.
Before and after rugby practice the locker room was the place where we stored our boots. The laces were taken out and it was expected that all mud and stain was removed from these before the next game. Such washing activity took place in the school laundry. We used polish and dubbin to weather proof our leather boots and cleanimng the studs was another laborious post-match ritual. All of our clothes had name tags so that when they were sent for laundry we could be assured of getting back the correct items.
The boarding school system worked on a system of demerit points called "ups". You were "gated" if found to be up to mischief and each week the tally was publically announced at the house assembly. Minor tallies of "ups' resulted in servitude for the week; usually doing tasks for senior boys such as shoe and boot cleaning.
Larger tallies of 5 or six ups resulted in a caning from the house master. It was a matter of some pride to carve a notch in one's leather belt for every caning endured. By the end of the fourth form my belt resembled a Mayan zigguart but still managed to hold up my shorts.