Top Picture: The Hair Tonic Vitalis
Second Picture: David Frost in his ‘That was the Week That was’ days.
Now lads do you remember those far off days when you first started to shave and you pinched some of dads After Shave and foolishly thought no one noticed? Well chaps we were in at the start of the men’s toiletries revolution. Back in those far off post war days the most exotic fragrances we came across was Cussons Imperial Leather, a brand that goes all the way back to 1768 when a Russian nobleman Count Orlof commissioned a brand of perfume from Bayleys of Bond Street in London. The perfume was called 'Eau de Cologne Imperiale Russe'. In 1921 Bayleys was acquired by Cussons Sons & Co, but it was not until some years later in 1938 that Alex Cussons used the original perfume and created Cussons Imperial Leather soap and other toiletries. The soap was initially called 'Imperiale Russian Leather', but was soon renamed to Imperial Leather.
Then there was the famous Yardley Men’s Y Range and the origins of this particular company went back just as far as Cussons but somehow managed to get Royal Patronage much earlier.
But if you were feeling rich or maybe just old fashioned Old Spice was certainly the product for you. The Shulton Company, original producer of Old Spice, was founded in 1934 by William Lightfoot Schultz. The first Old Spice product was actually for women and was introduced in 1937. Old Spice for men followed a year later in 1938. The men's products were dominated by shaving soap and After Shave lotion, all marketed with a nautical theme. The original ships used on the packaging were the Grand Turk and the Friendship. Other ships used on Old Spice packaging include the John Wesley, Salem, Birmingham, Maria Teresa, Propontis, Recovery, Sooloo, Star of the West, Constitution, Java, United States, and the Hamilton. Proctor & Gamble purchased Old Spice from the Shulton Company in June 1990. The clipper ship was replaced by the present yacht logo in February 1992. In the late 2000s, Procter & Gamble introduced many forms of deodorant sticks in several scents all under the Old Spice brand.
But these were all old hat to us teenagers because Our ‘enry had persuaded us all to ‘Splash it all Over’ with a new masculine product Brut. Brut was the brand name for a line of men's fragrances first launched in 1964 by Faberge, packaged in a green glass bottle with a silver-coloured medallion, it is still, believe it or not, sold today. However Hi Karate is a very different matter. Pfizer (famous today for producing Viagra) developed Hai Karate after shave lotion which came with its own 'self-defence' instructions to help you fight off the hordes of women attracted by the scent. "Don't dare use Hai Karate without memorising them: these instructions will help you to defend yourself from women in case you apply an over dose of Hai Karate. It then gave three simple steps to 'remove' the offending women. This never seemed to work for me though, I was never chased by hordes of women!!!
Hair preparations were another area which changed whilst we were teenagers. Gone was the thick glutinous whit gloop called Brylcreme, or its Boots equivalent Ship Shape and in came Trugel; the first of the hair gels and it was supposed to give your hair a controlled but non greasy look. Out went the old fashioned Bay Rum and in came Vitalis Hair Tonic, gone was the sticky, lavender scented, Pomade so beloved by some hairdressers and for the really vain we saw the first ever hair spray just for men, Cossack. By using Cossack we could get our hair to curl up and stay there, just like David Frost.
Now hands up if any of you used any of these products from Mr Hember’s (Sylvia’s dad) barbers shop in Drayton which many of us seemed to frequent!
But the definitely you knew that you had really grown up when after having your hair cut in those days the barber quietly asked you ‘anything for the weekend Sir’. I just wish!!!!! But they were innocent days then and despite all our bravado it was mostly just wishful thinking!
Stay in touch,
Back in 1967, I joined the Army Cadet Force (ACF) at the ACF Hut inside the grounds of the TA Centre on Tudor Crescent.
In 1973 I joined the Territorial Army (TA) as a Private Soldier in the Royal Army Medical Corp (RAMC) at the TA Centre on the other side of Ports Creek on Perrone Road.
Now after 39 years to the TA and the RAMC I am to be officially retired from the TA at a TA Centre in Nottingham in the rank of Sergeant.
Its been a long and rewarding journey from my days as a 17 year old young man from Highbury to a 57 old man now living in Chesterfield.
I would be interested to know of the other young men from the Cosham area who also joined the TA and where they are now and especially those who were at Manor Court.
from Editor: If you would like to get in touch with John please email me. Peter
News and Views:
Bobby Vee announced that he was diagnosed a year ago as being in the mild stages of Alzheimer's Disease. His wife of 48 years, Karen, continues to wait for a lung transplant. He has recorded a CD of favorite tunes that are due out soon.
On this day 19th May 1960-1965
On 19/05/1960 the number one single was Cathys Clown by the Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth 13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/05/1961 the number one single was Blue Moon - The Marcels and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth 13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/05/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. 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 Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/05/1963 the number one single was From Me To You - The Beatles and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Liberal Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth 12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/05/1964 the number one single was Don't Throw Your Love Away - Searchers and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Conservative Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth 12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 19/05/1965 the number one single was King of the Road - Roger Miller and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. 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 Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.