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Mansel
The gymnasium is on the lower yard. It is lined with wall bars and thick climbing ropes hang from the ceiling. There is a vaulting horse and other simple equipment. The atmosphere here is very different from the rest of the school. There are boys who may be slow in class who can here shin up a rope like a Commando, or leap like a leopard. There are others in whom the feeling is of dread. There is a small changing anteroom, just large enough to hold a quota of boys. There is a bench around it and pegs on which clothes are hung after changing. There is no nudity - and probably none of the boys knows that the Greek word gymnasium originally meant a place to be naked - and no showers. Though there are showers elsewhere for after rugby. For some reason the architect has thought fit to provide this small building with a portico. It is much sought after in playtimes when the weather is wet.
Then comes the bell for dinner. There are too many boys for one sitting, even when a new dining and assembly hall is built around 1960. So some play while others eat. The food is ample and to hungry boys satisfying. Youth adds sauce to the food that would make a man a millionaire if it could be preserved and served up to the jaded appetites of adults. If these boys were able to live life backwards as T. H. White has Merlin do, they might well count among their greatest blessings the way in which food improved as their limbs grew lither and all things brighter the less they knew.