The Toffs And The Toughs
This pic taken July 1937 by Jimmy Sime called the ‘Toffs and Toughs’ came to symbolize the difference in the class divide in pre-war Britain.
It serves as a fascinating insight to our predecessors in the last century. It was taken outside Lord’s cricket ground during an Eton V Harrow match.
(For our international readers, Eton and Harrow are two of the poshest and most expensive private schools in the UK. Our current London mayor and prime minster and quite a few of his cabinet went to Eton.) The two ‘toffs’ Peter Wagner and Thomas Dyson were from Harrow and were waiting after the match to be picked up by Wagner’s father for a weekend in Surrey.
The other three boys were George Salmon, Jack Catlin, and George Young, 13-year-old pupils at the local Church of England primary school. They had been to the dentist that morning and then decided to skip school and hang around instead outside Lord’s, where the Eton v Harrow match offered money-making opportunities to any boy willing to open taxi doors and carry bags, or to return seat cushions to their hirers and claim the threepenny deposit.
What Happened To The Boys:
Thomas Dyson the ‘toff’ looking toward the camera had a sad end. He was traveling to meet his parents in India for the summer holidays and developed diptheria. He died in India aged 16 in 1938.
Peter Wagner joined the family stockbroking firm, got married, had three daughters and was declared mentally unstable in the 1970’s and died in hospital aged 60 in the 1980’s.
George Young and George Salmon were interviewed in 1988. By this time they were married. Young had four sons in the window cleaning business like their father. Salmon died in 2000.
Jack Catlin, the third ‘tough’ refused to be interviewed for the catch-up article but had been widowed and remarried and was living in Weymouth by 2010.
Clearly the appetite for ‘reality shows’ giving us a glimpse of the daily goings on of the non-famous is not a new thing.
Do you think their lives from this era might be more entertaining to watch than the reality show stars today?