Leather satchels. There were cool ways to carry them. If you had the shoulder strap kind - wear the strap short, with the satchel hanging at just about arm's length. Any longer and it would bounce off your bum and make your pants go shiny. If you had the rucksack kind with the two straps - never use both straps and wear it like a rucksack. Nyaff! Just wear the left hand strap and stick your left thumb under it, remembering to hold your shoulders as if the coat hanger had been left in your blazer. Even cooler, find a way of losing your leather satchel altogether and persuade parents to get you an airline carry-on bag (BEA, BOAC,SAS, Sabena)or better, a tartan duffel bag -both items walkable-out-of-the-doorable from Peter Black's.(Kly) Ltd. in Lawkholme Lane. Now, why I should have put so much effort into looking cool when the rest of me looked like a turnip, I've no idea. But, as I keep telling my son, always try and be a cool vegetable....
Yes I too had a leather satchel (twin strap like a rucksack), but I agree only first years wore it as such, though it had the advantage of leaving both hands free. I had a tubular leather type of pencil case (pens, pencils, rubber ,and sharpener), but of course you must all remember those metal tins containing a GEOMETRY SET!!. Two set squares, one with 90/45/45 degrees and another with 90/60/30 degrees, a protractor, a pair of compasses (a useful weapon) and a divider, which I never recall using, but an even better weapon as it had two points. The sets had a brand name which I cant recall, maybe something like 'The Eclipse Geometry Set'. I think we also had a set of coloured pencils used mainly for Geography.
The intellectual, macho thing to carry as a sixth former- before the advent of the brief case - was your old original school satchel - sans straps, sans buckles, sans all - under your arm, stretched to its limits and stuffed full with swotty 6th form texts that impressed the 5th formers. The more decrepit and down-market it looked the more school-cred you got. What a shame for the nation as a whole that this has been replaced by a dubious, unproductive street-cred!
Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) email@example.com
On my first day at KBGS I can remember walking to school with the lads from Ingrow. (Arnold Lambert, Robert Gaines, David Baldwin, Stuart Lund) One of them asked me if I'd got a geometry set. "Yes of course I have" I replied, with confidence. The truth was I didn't know what geometry was let alone have a "set" to do it with.
Years at KBGS e.g. 1958-1964 (optional) firstname.lastname@example.org