First Picture: Mrs Shufflewick (Rex Jameson)
Second Picture: A Hilsea Gas Works locomotive in 1961
Make it better
I don’t know about you but my family seemed to have a plethora of home remedies and potions for all sorts of sickness and ailments, some worked, some seemed to be very odd indeed and having a mother who was at one time an Assistant Matron in a children’s hospital was also a problem; no swelling, cut , graze, spot or pimple went ignored or unsqueezed. I would point out here that these were the days when if a nurse married she had to leave the profession, as married nurses were not allowed, well it was the 1940’s.
Bicarbonate of Soda was the all-embracing panacea for any form of stomach upset. ‘Drink it down it will make you feel better’ was the cry as I was forced to drink it. Did it hell I always made me throw up and so for a time I lived in fear and dread of that cup of bicarb!
Coughs and colds were always treated with Vick Vapour rub. I can remember going to bed with a heavy cold and my mother not only rubbing Vick onto my chest but onto the soles of my feet also, a case of treating both ends at the same time! If things got really bad it was out with the bowl of hot water with Vick dissolved in it, a towel over my head lean over the bowl and inhale and as if this were not bad enough I had to endure the Wrights Coal Tar Vaporiser. Now who remembers them? A round tin contraption the size of a baked bean tin with a night light burning in the bottom and a stone dish at the top into which was dripped a coal tar concentrate and the thing was left burning all night so that the fumes could ‘clear your chest’. Then if things were not as bad as this there was always Owbridges, Zubes, Victory V’s and Fishermans Friends to suck until you got better.
For spots and pimples it was Germoline or Zambuck, for upset stomachs it was Lucozade by the gallon or a glass of warm sweetened milk. Yuk!!!
Some of the stranger and more unusual remedies are still a mystery to me today. How did a hot poultice work especially a bread poultice and why were they used? A friend who lived in Africa as a child tells me that one-day he managed to squirt the juice of a poisonous plant into his eye. He was rushed to the nurse who told his mother that if the poison was not washed out he could go blind. She was told to make a cup of Bovril, let it cool and then bathe his eye in it. She did this and his sight was saved. But how did that work? What was the magic ingredient of Bovril?
For a while my mother always seemed to have a toilet fixation, ‘Have you been?’ she would ask at regular intervals and I soon learnt to always say ‘yes’ otherwise it was out with the bottle of opening medicine, whatever that was.
As children I expect we can all remember being given National Orange Juice to make us grow big and strong however Pam also remember being given desert spoonfuls of Cod Liver Oil and Malt Extract once a week, she was living in Newcastle at the time so maybe it was a northern thing.
There were several remedies for removing warts, my mothers favourite was to rub the wart with a raw potato, then bury the potato in the garden and as the potato rotted so the wart would drop off. I have to tell here and now it did not work! Nor did onion in the ears to cure earache but a clove in the mouth did help to relieve toothache and Colgate toothpaste eases the pain of a burn. One thing that did always work was blue bag on wasp or bee stings, today we have to rely on commercial preparations for relief I’ve not seen a blue bag in years.
Then of course if all else failed there was always ‘Come here and I will kiss it better’ and somehow that always seemed to work!
Peter Writes:- Dear Peter You like to take a look at http://www.pompeypop.co.uk/ and http://pompeypop.wordpress.com/
These are run by Dave Allen, former lead singer in Harlem Speakeasy (and other bands), now a Lecturer at Portsmouth University. Dave has complied a comprehensive history of pop in Portsmouth in the sixties - there is an overlap with you interests
Keep up the good work. Best Wishes
News and Views:
Liverpool has included original Beatles drummer Pete Best on a list of names to be considered in naming new streets. Peter-- who was drummed out of the group in favour of Ringo Starr shortly before the group became a success-- was chosen for his "'special contribution' to the city's musical heritage
On this day 9th December 1960-1965.
On 09/12/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Armchair Theatre (ABC) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/12/1961 the number one single was Tower of Strength - Frankie Vaughan. The top rated TV show was "Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV)".
On 09/12/1962 the number one single was Lovesick Blues - Frank Ifield and the number one album was On Stage with the Black & White Minstrels - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/12/1963 the number one single was She Loves You - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 09/12/1964 the number one single was Little Red Rooster - Rolling Stones and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Poet Edith Sitwell dies
On 09/12/1965 the number one single was The Carnival is Over - Seekers and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.