We get very little information about Smeltings Academy - the school where Dudley goes:

Dudley had been accepted at Uncle Vernon's old private school, Smeltings.


That evening, Dudley paraded around the living room for the family in his brand-new uniform. Smeltings' boys wore maroon tailcoats, orange knickerbockers, and flat straw hats called boaters. They also carried knobbly sticks, used for hitting each other while the teachers weren't looking. This was supposed to be good training for later life.

Is there a real-life equivalent of this school that JKR used as model? The thing with the stick seems really distinctive.

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1 Answer 1


Smeltings Academy seems to be an amalgam of several famous English public schools; notably Eton College, Harrow School, Hill House School and The King's School.

Eton = Tailcoats
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Harrow = Boater hats
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Hill House = Awful colour-scheme & knickerbocker trousers
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Kings School, Canterbury = Swagger Sticks
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  • 1
    TIL: Sir Cristopher Lee wanted to attend Eton, passed the entrance exam, but could not afford it. Nov 11, 2015 at 14:49
  • I'm hoping no-one asks about the swagger sticks. I'm totally at a loss on that.
    – Valorum
    Nov 11, 2015 at 15:05
  • 9
    what about the swagger sticks?
    – phantom42
    Nov 11, 2015 at 15:08
  • 2
    So she took the worst from several schools :) Nice job JKR!
    – vap78
    Nov 15, 2015 at 16:31
  • 1
    @phantom42 - See edit. The swagger sticks are peculiar to King's School, Canterbury although they're technically only carried by monitors.
    – Valorum
    Mar 20, 2017 at 11:39

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