Thursday, 6 October 2016

Days of old...

First of all, welcome to Chris West.

A couple of weeks ago after our walk, we were having a cup of tea with T., and the subject came up about dentists. It led to all manner of discussions.

She is almost two generations younger than her fellow walkers and was astounded at some of the things she heard!

For example, cleaning our teeth with Gibbs standard dentifrice - see link here.

I used that until I was 16 when I could finally spend my first salary on 'proper toothpaste'. From what I remember, you had to wet your brush, scrub it hard onto the tablet to pick up sludge, then scrub your teeth - it was not pleasant:(

Izal medicated toilet paper, a hard paper, similar to tracing paper, impregnated with Izal disinfectant, shiny on one side, less so on the other. Same paper at school and in public toilets. Much discussion per toilet visit on whch side gave you the best dry, usually neither, see here. I believe you can still buy this today in some places, although apparently, it is no longer manufactured?

She was further astounded by the fact not many people had indoor toilets! At my sisters house the toilet was outdoors. It did have soft paper but this was often damp. When we ran out, squares of newspaper were an absolute emergency use:( I still remember cutting up the squares and putting them onto a sharp hook.

There was no electricity in the toilet so we used a torch. If the batteries had gone on it, there was a candle and box of matches in the kitchen. The toilet was about 15 feet from the back door. In winter it was freezing cold, full of spiders and other creatures.

Trying to keep a candle alight in the wind, whilst walking over the concrete path from the back door to the wooden toilet door, was nigh on impossible so it was always advisable to take the matches with you. Woe betide though, if you forgot to bring them back in for the next person, when you had finished. In the depths of winter, the water froze and you couldn't flush.

Eventually they bought a little mini paraffin heater. This helped enormously to stop you and the water freezing, but didn't smell very nice. It also encouraged more creatures to come in!

They eventually moved into a bigger house, slightly more upmarket, which had a full indoor bathroom. Yeh!


More tomorrow!

 


13 comments:

  1. Oh well that bought back some memories of going across the back yard in the dark. We didn't have a candle though we just had to be guided by the light showing around the door from the paraffin lamp that hung in there.
    The back of our short row of houses was accessed by an entry and many was the night I nearly dropped dead with shock as Mr Thomas from next door returned from work just as I was going across the yard.
    I also remember many clips around the ear for using the Izal paper for tracing pictures....lol-x-

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  2. Oh, three cheers for the good old days! lol. Blessings

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  3. That brought back lots of memories. We used the toilet paper over a comb to make a musical instrument.

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    1. So did we for many happy Christmas's.

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  4. That is exactly how I remember my childhood home I lived there until 1958

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  5. Great blog. I'm 59, and I can remember going outside to the loo at our first house, such joy to get your first inside loo. Woo xx

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  6. Gibbs dentrifice, it was vile stuff, very soapy in flavour so no wonder we hated cleaning our teeth. We had a bath in our kitchen/scullery, a proper plumbed-in one. Then when I was seven we moved abroad and suddenly found ourselves with two proper bathrooms and pots under the bed (for nighttime use) became a thing of the past, thank goodness! Thanks for the trip down memory lane, it was fun.

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  7. I remember Gibbs dentifrice, but we stopped using that in the early 1950s and then it was Gibbs SR (didn't that have "the ring of confidence"?)
    And Izal had a companion called Bronco! I think that was a cheaper version.
    My parents ran the village newsagent's shop and so I can remember all kinds of trade items 'back in the day' as they say now ... Brylcreme (now sure of spelling), Amami setting lotion, Ponds Vanishing cream (I thought that was odd, it didn't make me vanish!) Oh, happy days ...
    Margaret P

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    1. Not heard of Bronco. Remember Ponds cream.

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  8. Hi new to your blog. You story about outside toilet reminded me of my nan's outside dunny. It was a drop dunny, so just a big hole in ground with a wooden box like structure over it with a seat with lid. with no electricity so torch light was all we had. It was overgrown with some sort of vine and the spiders yuck don't mention them

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    1. My grandparents had a twin wooden seat over buckets which emptied into a pit in the garden. Left covered for a year it was then used as compost in the garden.

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  9. Goodness me, that stirred up a few memories! My Dad knocked a hole through from the scullery into the outside loo in the back yard, and turned it into an inside loo. Our neighbours in Liverpool thought we were dead posh, and asked my dad if he could help them do the same to theirs. My grandmother lived in a wooden chalet on a bleak hill in Lancashire, and had no electricity or running water. The loo was outside, and we had to 'go' in a revolting bucket of chemicals! I absolutely hated it and it was made worse by the dead chickens hanging upside down from the roof, ready for plucking the next day. Sometimes I was so scared, I used to not go to the loo for a day or two then have to dash behind a bush in the woods. I honestly thought gran was a Pendle witch, she was very strict and made strange potions and cider, grew her own veg and fruit, and wore little furry ankle boots summer and winter alike! She died when I was 10 - how I wish I could have known her a year or two later when I could have appreciated her more!

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    1. I wish I had been more interested in family history before they all died.

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