28 May 2006

The School of Beer Drinking

Four hundred years ago, brewer Richard Platt founded a public school. Like most Europeans at the time, the boys at Aldenham School in Elstree were encouraged to drink beer by their teachers because water was too dangerous to drink. While we might scratch our heads at a brewery starting a school, in the 15th century it was a common practice. When Platt died, he requested that his company continue to support the students by giving them beer money. This year, girls were given money for the first time.

Each year, the 13 and 14-year-olds in Year 9 are taken to a ceremony at Brewers' Hall in the City of London to receive commemorative £5 coins. This year they have been minted to celebrate the queen's 80th birthday.

I love Europe!

posted by hiikeeba at 09:13


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a pupil at Aldenham School 1987-1992 and I can confirm that indeed we were taken to London and given beer money. In addition we spent most of our time sneaking in and out of the numerous local pubs traversing the teaching staff in the process. It was normal for everyone to be half drunk / stoned in class. The school chaplain used to invite us round his flat and give us port. Believe it or not there was even a bar for the pupils (selling beer only) but we used to sneak in spirits and sell them under the counter. I also remember a school outing to Bass Brewery in Burton on Trent. Cans of lager were auctioned by the older kids to the younger kids. In Biology we were shown how to ferment moonshine from yeast. The whole place is obsessed with beer, I would not be at all suprised if they have started making their own. After we left my pals and I duly became beer monsters in the fine tradition of the school.

9:06 PM  

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