Either Hare was peculiarly fastidious for a boy of our generation or he had a cushier home life than I did or he's imposing his present attitudes onto his younger self. I suppose Lancing was grimy, but I can't say I noticed and the food wasn't so very much worse than I got at home. I didn't think about germs and I don't remember being sick very often or the school being swept by epidemics. Yes, it was cold in winter but I'd grown up without central heating and the bedroom in which I spent my childhood was much colder than the school dorm. I accepted the living conditions as normal and was unaware that one day I would be cleaner, better fed, healthier and warmer.
Lancing was austere- but so was Britain as a whole. You can see it in the movies and the newsreels. Hare writes as though he'd been subjected to a peculiarly savage, Spartan regime and that's really not the case. The house he and I were members of was run by a benign eccentric with a taste for the arts and a distaste for competitive sports. Odd-bods and aesthetes were not merely tolerated but encouraged. When the 60s got really underway- which I'll admit was after Hare's time- the corridors resounded to trippy music and the smell of joss.
Yes, we had a tough upbringing by today's standards- but not by the standards of the time.