Web Page No 2438
8th January 2018
First Picture: Fish Ready for Steaming
Second Picture: Wrights Coal Tar Vaporiser
Third Picture: Wind in the Willows
Forth Picture: Camomile Lotion
I feel ill Mum!!!
Sickness as a child of the 1950s was fraught with worrying parents and fears of Polio, Scarlet Fever, Whooping Cough and Diphtheria, but these serious illnesses aside the usual childhood diseases were enough to cope with.
Having a mother who, before she was married (nurses were not allowed to be married), was an Assistant Matron in a Children’s Hospital she was permanently on the look out for Chicken Pox, Measles and Mumps. I remember she called Dr Cheyne in when I had Mumps, he put his head around my bedroom door took one look at my swollen glands and said “Eh lass he’s got Mumps” end of consultation. She was also always on the look out for spots and pimples, no spot in our house went unsqueezed!
The worst bit about being ill was the food. My mother insisted on feeding me with steamed fish. I could think of nothing worse than being faced with a piece of sloppy white fish which had been steamed, on a plate over a pan of boiling water, and then served up for my lunch! As I got better I was allowed a little mash potato with the fish and I really knew that I was getting better when this was followed by a small portion of rice pudding.
If I ever had a stomach upset off she would go into the village and come back with a bottle of Lucozade, only one flavour then and it left a sticky residue around the side of the bottle and on the lips.
Head colds were the bane of my life because this would mean that she would get out the Wrights Coal Tar Vaporiser which would be set up in my room to ‘clear my tubes’. A smallish tin piece of apparatus with a night light in the bottom and a pumice saucer on the top into which drops of Coal Tar liquid were dropped and in so doing pervading the air with the smell of the gas works.
There were also other tortures for the head cold and stuffed up noses. The first being Vick liberally rubbed into the chest so that we could breathe in the clearing vapours but there was an even worse Vick torture and that was the Vick steam inhaler. This consisted of a Pyrex dish with hot water in it into which a liberal amount of Vick had been dropped. The cold sufferer was then made to sit over the bowl with a towel over their head to take in the clearing vapours. Not only did it have an effect on the nose it made the eyes run as well and anyone coming out of the inhaler looked as though they had been crying for a week. I was certainly glad when my mother went over to the individual nasal inhalers.
It is amazing what people associate with illness. When I had a particularly bad bout of something and I felt really ill our next-door neighbour bought me a copy of Wind in the Willows. I could not concentrate to read it and to this day whenever I pick it up memories of my sick room come flooding back. I still have not read the book.
One other thing I do remember and it still fills me with terror is the bread poultice. For some reason, I cannot remember what, my mother decided to apply a bread poultice to my arm. I cannot remember why all I know is that it terrified me!
The, of course, came the day of the inoculations where we all lined up, with our mothers, outside the nurses’ office so that the duty Medical Officer could give us our injections. This was in Junior school and I can still remember the lines of children threading their way through the coat racks through to the row of seats outside the office, all the children with their left sleeves rolled up ready for the doctor. Then the joy when it was over and we had been given a sweet for being good. During the summer months sunburn was always a problem but quickly solved by the application of Camomile Lotion making us all look white faced clowns and plastering us with a surface that was stiff and cracked.
We all remember cod liver oil and other such preparations which were supposed to keep us healthy. I suppose that they all must of worked because we are all still here to tell the tale.
Keep in touch
I keep meaning to tell you that whenever I see that that photo of "Pop Wing" I smile because he was a lovely teacher. He was of the old school. I also liked Mr King and he was good. Mr White was strict but a good teacher too. Mrs Magee, and her dog weren`t rated too highly by me and I`m an animal lover. Needlework lessons with her, I seem to recall, weren`t exactly a pleasure. There was another needlework teacher but I can`t recall her name but she wasn`t much an improvement on Mrs Magee. Both Mr Hawkins and "Pop Wing" asked my father to do work for them. Dad said that Mr Hawkins wife was a very nice lady.
I had no idea that Paul Jones went to Solent Rd School but knew he attended Portsmouth Grammer School. I loved Mannfred Mann. Many years later a cousin by marriage, met Ray Feast, an early member of Simon Depree and the Big Sound. They married and were very happy together. Sadly, Ray died a few years back of a brain tumour. He was a great person with his good looks and sweet, kind nature. I think that was the result of his mother, Carmen , from Malta. Ray`s father, a naval man, didn`t exactly approve of Ray`s pop career! I think most parents were a bit shocked by pop music in those days. I often heard my mother say to my father "Put them in the army, Bob, that`s what they should do. That would sort them out". Strangely enough, much later on , my mother played a few Beatles songs on her beloved piano. We`re never too old to learn!
I remember going to a dance at Portsmouth Grammar school where Paul Jones and a group of others (I'm afraid I can't remember who) were playing.
News and Views:
ON THIS DAY 8th JANUARY 1960-1965
On 08/01/1960 the number one single was Starry Eyed - Michael Holliday and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed but the box office smash was North by Northwest. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was New French franc introduced.
On 08/01/1961 the number one single was I Love You - Cliff Richard & the Shadows and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was The Russ Conway Show (ATV) 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.The big news story of the day was Decimal coinage introduced in Pakistan.
On 08/01/1962 the number one single was Moon River - Danny Williams and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrell Show - 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 Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 08/01/1963 the number one single was Return to Sender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Black & White Minstrel Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. 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.
On 08/01/1964 the number one single was I Want to Hold Your hand - 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 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 08/01/1965 the number one single was I Feel Fine - The Beatles 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.