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Monday, 4 June 2012

Web Page 1048

9th June 2012

Top Picture: J Collis Browne’s cure-all

Second Picture: Coughs and Sneezes poster from 1950

Home Medicine

I think that I must have suffered more than most because my mother was an ex nurse, in fact she was an assistant matron in a children’s hospital before she married. In those days married nurses were not allowed and she had to leave. The upshot of this was that every cough, sneeze, wheeze, scratch and cut was dealt with as though it was a nursing priority. Every spot had to be squeezed, every cut bathed in Detol, and oh! Didn’t that hurt! Head colds were dealt with by plunging my head over a bowl of hot water with Vick in it and with a towel over my head and a course of Owbridges the lung tonic as also required and for that tickly cough it had to be Zubes .

I sometimes wonder looking back just what were the origins and effectiveness of some of the remedies our mothers used on us in the late 1950’. A stomach ach or upset and it was out with the bicarbonate of soda and hot water. It never settled anything just made me violently sick. J Collis Brownes Chlorodyne medicine in ominous blue bottles was supposed to settle stomachs as did the Kaolin and Morphine mixture. Nits in the hair and out with the nit comb and that foul smelling shampoo!

Do you remember that evil thing called a poultice? I remember my mother boiling up one on the kitchen stove and applying it to a group of bee stings on my leg, not a pleasant experience! Normally the single sting was dealt with by placing a Drummer Boy Blue Bag on the sting and being told that it would ease the pain, did it …..! I also remember mother making a warm bread poultice to place on a boil which erupted on the back of my neck.

With us all playing outside for most of the summer sunburn was the biggest problem. There was no factor 15 in those days if you were sunburnt you were liberally plastered with Camomile lotion which dried hard and turned your skin from bright red to brilliant white.

Then there was ‘opening medicine’ when you were constipated and ‘closing medicine’ when diarrhoea was the problem and a spoonful of Syrup of Figs to keep you regular. If all else failed it was down to the Liquid paraffin as it was considered to have a limited usefulness as an occasional laxative. Cod liver Oil was supposed to be good for us as was Malt Extract, terrible stuff!

Come the winter Vaseline would be rubbed on our lips to stop them getting chapped and the luck ones had Vick rubbed into their chests, it smelled terrible but not as bad as the other remedy Goose Grease!

Olive oil in the ear was the popular way to ease earache - this was of course in the days before bottles of the stuff lined the shelves in all supermarkets. You bought a tiny bottle from the chemist shop and it came with a dropper so just enough could be dripped into your ear. I also remember a flannel bag, filled with salt and left to warm in the airing cupboard. You held it to your ear on going to sleep for some gentle warmth - and presumably this allowed ear wax to soften and ease the pain.

For the real invalid it had to be Lucozade and if you were really ill Claves Foot Jelly or Beef Tea. Luckily I never had the last two but I must admit that I was very fond of Lucozade.

In those days a trip to the chemist was a real adventure. The dark wooden shelves containing everything from aspirins to Toni Home Perm Kits. In the pride of place were the three big bottles of coloured liquid, one red, one blue and one green. The chemist was the place to get oneself weighed and have your photographs developed apart from the enormous range of personal and medical products.

Go back through the side bar of this blog and have a look at what real chemists looked like, ie Bakers of Cosham High Street, which looked what like a real chemist should be. They did not sell sandwiches, drinks and crisps, just essentials like ointments, bandages and medicines.

Maybe I am getting old fashioned!!!!!

Stay in touch,


You Write:

Mary Writes:-

All this talk of the Diamond Jubilee gets my brain going  I still remember coming home and asking my mother why our programme wasn’t on the radio and why were they playing sad music .She explained that the King had died. A year later my mother bought my brother and me our Coronation China. I have mine in this house but I don’t know about my brother. We had trays, biscuit tins, tea caddies etc all celebrating the event. When the great day arrived we went to my father’s friends house where we watched the service on a tiny black and white screen in a huge cabinet. Later that day we went into the city of Portsmouth and saw all the decorations on the buildings. Solent Rd School took us to the Odeon cinema and we saw the Coronation in colour. The school gave us a book on her Majesty which featured photos taken in Portsmouth. Then there was the Fleet Review. We went up Gillman Lane to the top of the hill. It was very dark and lots of people were there to see the ships lit up. It was a wonderful sight. My brother who was only 4 slid down a grassy bank and disappeared into a ditch. Dad rescued him. The memories stayed with us and for a long time we played “coronations". I don’t think her Majesty would be amused by our antics or perhaps she would! She’s said to have a good sense of humour. A circle of cardboard was the crown and I would sit on a kitchen chair in the garden holding a piece of copper pipe for my sceptre. The orb was the ballcock from a toilet cistern!!! Weren’t we lucky having a father in the building trade? The years seem to have gone by very quickly and whenever there was anything to celebrate I bought my children items to remember the day. Any royal wedding we would have a special meal and watch the service on TV. In the next week I will be buying some things for my grandchildren hoping that they will enjoy it as much as I did. And on another topic, I think the name of the lady who ran the woolshop in Drayton was Miss Moffatt. 

Anida Writes:

Well we have had the Olympic flame, and very exciting that was too, and now it is almost time for the Jubilee. 
At the National Trust we are asking people for their memories of the day of the Coronation and of how we heard about the Queen's accession to the throne. I suspect that most of the memories are going to be much the same, however, I don't remember, as some of my colleagues do, being told at school that the King had died.

I do remember the Coronation itself, although it is amazing that I should since we did not see it on television, we did not have one or know anyone who did.  I suppose it is the excitement of the preparations and our own celebrations that are most vivid, going to London to see the decorations (in my school uniform!) and meeting my friend who lived in the next road outside Buckingham Palace!  There was a fancy dress parade organised by Court Lane School, I think this was when we were presented with our blue mugs impressed with an image of the Queen and our blue book (both of which I still have).  Some of the costumes did not seem to have much connection to the event; one friend who shall remain nameless went as a tube of Smarties!  However, Patsy and I were resplendent in crowns, blue circular skirts, and little white gloves and sashes proclaiming "God Save the Queen", a special touch was the wine glass filled with red jelly to raise in a perpetual toast to our new Queen.  Of course the sun shone continually - didn't it?

I am pretty sure that we were taken by the school to the Odeon cinema in Cosham to see a film of the Coronation some while afterwards, and I am certain that you will remember if I am correct!  My Grandfather bought me a large book full of coloured pictures of the Coronation, with details of the parade and who took part in it which was very well thumbed as I poured over pictures of the ladies in waiting holding the enormous ermine trimmed cloak and studied the details of her coronation robes and marvelled at how she managed to keep the crown on her head whilst walking with the orb and sceptre, all words that were completely new to me.

How different today’s celebrations, every detail texted, tweeted and twittered around the world in an instant, bombarded with peoples comments and opinions, we simply knew what our Mum and Dad thought about it all.  If I had one wish it would have been to have seen it on one of today's 50" LCD, HD, 3D televisions - how good would that have been?  And here's a thought, we still have enough time to see two more coronations - you never know!

What do you remember about the big day and the celebrations in your house?

Bye for now.


News and Views:

I understand that Frank Ifield's mother, Hannah died May 12 at the age of 96.

On this day 9th June 1960-1965

On 09/06/1960 the number one single was Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Sunday Night at the London Palladium (ATV) 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 09/06/1961 the number one single was Surrender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) 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 09/06/1962 the number one single was Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley 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. The big news story of the week was England lose World Cup Quarter Final 3-1 to Brazil.

On 09/06/1963 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 Coronation Street (Granada) 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. The big news story of the week was Buddhist monk burns himself alive as protest.

On 10/06/1964 the number one single was You're My World - Cilla Black and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. 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 Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was 1st World Book Fair in London

On 10/06/1965 the number one single was Long Live Love - Sandie Shaw 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 Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the week was 750th anniversary of Magna Carta.

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