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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 June, 2005, 12:00 GMT 13:00 UK
R.I.P. Civil Service Ties
CIVIL SERVICE TIES have gone to the wardrobe in the sky, joining old friends Bowler Hat and Neatly Rolled Umbrella who went before them.

The unmistakeable badge of buttoned-down respectability came unknotted as society's values shifted around it. It is survived by its estranged neighbour, Open Necked Shirt.

The sad announcement came as the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Andrew Turnbull, himself a long-time Tie Man, told civil servants that "as long as they looked smart, they needn't wear a tie".
Sir Humphrey Appleby and Bernard Woolley, Yes Prime Minister
Happier times

He made it plain, though, that there was still no room for "Blue Jeans" or "Trainers", still considered barbarians by many.

Friends of the Tie will have foreseen its demise during an industrial tribunal last year in which a male civil servant claimed sexual discrimination for having to wear a shirt and tie even though his female colleagues did not.

Some mourned its passing, saying the demise was a symbol of declining standards in the modern world.

But its departure was welcomed by others, including a civil servants' union. "Oscar Wilde once said that a well-tied tie is the first serious step in life," said a spokesman, adding that times had "changed, thank goodness, and it's only right that civil servants be allowed to leave their wool jackets and ties at home".

Others may feel that not being able to send a discreet signal about one's school or club will become the Tie's true epitaph.

No flowers.


Your tributes

Knot any more
Mike, Gloucester

Tie die
Mark, Brighton, UK

The tied of fashion moves on
Richard, Faversham

Haiku:
So, civil servants need not wear ties any more.
Most didn't.
Women, you see.
Ruth Saunders, London

Not fit to be tied
Candace, New Jersey, US

Cravats your lot
Phil, Nīmes, France

Taking a final bow?
Kip, Norwich UK

Tied and gone to heaven.
David, Gloucester

Customs and Ex-ties
Caroline, Southend, Essex, UK

Tie Breaker
Luke, Oxford, UK

Some you windsor some you loosen
dennis, uk

What necks?
Adam , Gateshead

It's old noose.
Rob, Oxford

The Windsor change.
Joe, London

Windsorely missed.
Jonathan Marriott, Jacksonville, FL, US

(That's enough tributes, thank you.)


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