Column: Stepping out in those crazy fashions of the seventies

Carol Forster recalls the pitfalls of wearing sandals
Carol Forster recalls the pitfalls of wearing sandals

It began with the humble red leather sandal this liking for all things footwear.

Each summer, the new perfect scarlet pair looked fab and two tiny feet would slip neatly into them.

Then, in the early 1970s, came a craze so popular that girls would swoon on seeing them in the local shoe shop – the Jesus sandal.

As its name suggests, this simple sandal was a brown, strappy thing to don before setting off on your day.

And for some strange reason it became the most alluring thing in town, for a while, a fact which hardly flatters the place!

I soon acquired a pair and proudly sported them up and down the stone steps of the school. They were indeed a treasured thing, a now perplexing thought.

Stone steps are, of course, a little delicate on the toes and thus the sad day came to pass when it was decreed by our headteacher that these were to be banned.

Any girl caught wearing them would face the firing squad! Although said punishment was not as bad as smoking in the gardens...

We couldn’t have girls wandering the joint with sore toes and perhaps this would prevent said miscreants from participating in those games lessons.

A good idea perhaps...

After the sad demise of said sandal, came platform shoes. Every girl wanted them and so it was that parents were approached in the speedy hope that these might be allowed.

Of course the platform shoe would never be permitted in a school where heels and skirt lengths were measured with great precision.

However, there was hope because you could always wear them before and after.

A speedy change would see this transformation from school to leisurewear.

And so it was that I, and other females of my acquaintance, would don the uncomfortable things on the way to school.

Admittedly this teetering about did nothing to prepare you for the intellectual rigour of the day, but it felt pretty smart nonetheless.

And after this, came stiletto initiation, as they would come back into fashion.

So we began a dual existence of practical lace ups followed by sharp-heeled stilettos trip, trip tropping into town. These were often twinned with Airforce Blue tights; the like of which I’d rather forget.

Ah, our poor feet!