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British Lung Foundation
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Nits And Cotton-wool In Your Ears...Among Other Nasty's...

Flaky skin made me think of dandruff...do you think it's died out...dandruff I mean. I remember a girl at school who had awful trouble with dandruff...her shoulders were always covered in tiny white bits...perhaps modern shampoos like Head and Shoulders have eliminated it...

And little children wearing those pink or blue National Health glasses with one lens covered by sticking plaster...that was to make a 'lazy' eye do more work apparently...it's rare to meet a person or a child with a squint nowadays either...something else which is probably surgically treated as a matter of course.

Then there were the poor kids who wore a calliper on a withered leg...horrible heavy looking metal bars fastened to a special boot...perhaps they were victims of the polio outbreaks which were still happening...

A wodge of cottonwool stuffed into your ear for earache...having to go to school with it there for everyone to see was a nightmare...until mid-winter, when half the class turned up with their ears bunged up and the normally stuffy classrooms reeked of Vick rubbed onto chests. The lucky ones brought a couple of their Dad's handkerchiefs...those less fortunate used their sleeves.

One sore throat and you were whipped into hospital to have your tonsils and adenoids out...none of this parent staying with you malarkey either. The only pleasant event was the red jelly and ice-cream you were given to eat afterwards...

And school medicals...I'd forgotten about them until just this minute...the pure horror of having to get undressed down to your vest and knickers in front of an elderly bloke called out of his retirement...goodness knows what the purpose of those medicals was.

There was the nit nurse...the one who came to our junior school wore a thick tweed skirt which she buried your head into so she could search the back of your hair...none too gently either. If you were found guilty of harbouring the pesky little creatures you were given a bottle of foul smelling stuff with instructions to tell your mother to apply it for three nights...my mother's attitude was that her children didn't catch nits so she'd just throw the bottle and its contents away.

There was the general description of 'sore eyes' to contend with, as though you hadn't already suffered enough...that was treated with an evil potion called Golden Eye Ointment which I seem to remember contained mercury...it came in a tiny tube which lived at the back of the medicine cabinet along with the tin of Germolene and a crusty jar of Vaseline.

Is it any wonder we are so tough now!

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Navy blue school knickers with a pocket for your hanky, weighed and measured at start of every term so they knew who was putting on too much weight! Remember the jelly and ice cream, couldn't believe it when my sons were given crisps instead when they had theirs out, apparently removes scabs!


Not quite old enough for the knickers with a pocket :-) janx

Hi Vashti, your post brought back many memories for me.

I started school in the late fifties & I remember those medicals & the nit nurse.

I seem to remember going for a vaccination in the village hall for polio, tetanus & Diptheria. There was no MMR jabs in those days.

What sticks in my mind is the size of the needle! I'm not sure if it was my imagination but the needle was huge! Well, certainly compared to the super slim needles of today. πŸ’‰

I have the mark on my arm to prove I had it done!!! 😨


Me too, went through it all, and those 'plimsolls' with the piece of elastic, black and if you were lucky you could get them in white and clean them with a white cream cleaner and when they got wet your legs were covered with it ?? xx

Vashti the memories! Mum used golden eye ointment on the styes l used to frequently get, we had Syrup of Figs to keep you regular or Andrews Liver salts. Venos for coughs and Vosene for dandruff.

Bless you. Xxx


Forgot to mention my grandson having tonsils out on 23rd and it's nothing like as horrible as years ago. Crisps to eat now not jelly. Xxx

Did anyone have to take the vilest cough medicine the dreaded 'Liquafruita'. When we saw the bottle and spoon come out we tried to scarper !!

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I remember it well!!!!!

That's brought back memories...I 'd forgotten all about that tube of Golden Eye with its little nozzle that was used by all the family, and the pink Germolene. And iodine that turned your skin purple.

Cuts and grazes that had coal dust in them and stayed like a blue tattoo for the rest of ones life.

I remember the polio outbreak too...it was spread by water..so all public drinking fountains were shut down and paddling pools in the parks.

I caught nits many times as an adult...I used to stand in the queue in Tesco trying not to scratch and having to buy a dreaded nit comb and lotion.

Only one childhood friend had asthma though, and carried a mechanical puffer ....now those little blue inhalers are a common sight.


Oh my goodness I remember all of your post,but I also remember the school Dentist,😱. Really hated his visit,he was so rough,


Remember all these & those in the comments so far. Plus verrucas & the painful digging about in my feet by school nurse. Also Parishes food & malt to build me up... I think they succeeded ! X


I remember our corner shop selling Indian brandy in ounce measures . You took your own container and the shopkeeper would pour it into a glass cone shaped measure . And kaolin poultices for chest infections? A small tin of kaolin heated in its tin in a pan of hot water and spread onto a big piece of cloth and plastered onto the chest steaming hot and bandage tied round it to keep it on . When it came off days later the kaolin would have dried out and it would look like a mosaic . X

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Oh gosh going to have nightmares now of nitty nurses :-) janx


Hi again! I'm still thinking back to my childhood!

I can remember wearing a liberty bodice in the winter over my vest. It was a fleece lined vest designed to keep us warm!

I recall being taken to Lewis's department store & being kitted out in a new suit & bonnet before Easter Sunday.

I would make sure, being the eldest, that my 2 sisters & 4 cousins all got to church with their hats sitting straight & their white gloves on! Very smart we all looked too! πŸ˜‚

Then in the winter we all had new wool coats & hats to match. We all thought we were ever so stylish!

A nice time spent down memory lane tonight! πŸ’


I had the plaster every evening for a few hours but didn't improve the sight in that eye if I cover the good eye up the big letters right at top on a eye test is just a blur , if you look at my eye it doesn't show up unless im really tired but on photos in looks a bit closed compared to good eye , dad reckon when I was a baby I use to have one eye shut and one eye closed , he called me nelson , aren't parents lovely .


I remember all of those things, I had my tonsils out in 1963, I was eighteen, but I do remember the jelly and ice cream. The doctor told me mine were well worth taking out. Chris x

I remember bringing home from school a letter. When my mother read it she went into action. A bar of Derbac soap, I think it was black, and a nit comb were purchased. I had nits. My hair was washed with this awful soap, then sheets of newspaper were spread over the table and my hair was painfully combed through with the nit comb, very close teeth to removed the eggs stuck to the hair!

Horrible memory of school dentist, gas mask put over face, woke up with head over a washbasin full of blood, I had had five baby teeth out.

Had a round scar on my upper arm from a vaccination, lasted many years, not sure what that was for. IRis x

and the joys of malt extract :)

Loathed it

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The school where my grandkids go are in the middle of the latest round of nits and although neither have them at the moment. Bert's hair is so short the poor beasties don't stand a chance hanging on but Skkye has long curly hair perfect breeding ground. We arrived the other day to take them to school and our daughter said Skkye was fine but could I have a look at her hair as she was itchy all over her head. Haven't had to do that for 35 years and I had to tell her to stop fidgeting and keep still. Mummy's head all ok. Some things never change by the looks of it.

I loved my liberty bodice, it was so warm and cuddly I suppose the modern version is the thermal vest. Hated thick navy knickers.

Still use Vick and germolene.



Remember all those things vividly plus goose-greese on chests, flowers of sulphur and treacle every Spring to clear our blood, senna tea on Friday nights, Saturday penny pocket money - 1d would buy so many everlasting strips - softish toffee wound like a catherine wheel; one of the things that outraged me even then was the bitch whose favourite punishment was to make you sit next to the little lad who was always dirty and smelly, some of those sour faced spinsters were sadists - you couldn't be a teacher unless you were single or widowed. Grammar School and the ghastly velour hat, which you soon put a big crease in to show you weren't a noob, long black wool stockings hitched onto the libby bodice. Childrens' hour with Uncle Mac, Out with Romany, Larry the lamb and Mr Grouser; Sunday School trips where we all knew better than to sit in a carriage next to the gropey deacon (who looked saintly) - how did we know? The past may be another country but it's well worth a visit - thank you all.

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What about Zambuk ? You can still buy that. Sheila x

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Where can I buy Zambuk - have failed to find it anywhere and am on my last hoarded precious tin - please help!!

Just found a supplier on e-bay - hope it's the same and original - please ignore the above plea.

I loved cod liver oil, Virol and welfare orange juice.

I have three round scars on my upper arm, they were to prevent smallpox. Mother was furious, she said as the other kids only got one.

I remember Drene shampoo and Vosene. Borax was a favourite remedy of my Mother's, used for eye infections like pink eye and conjunctivitis.

When I had measles, I was in hospital for a while. Father Christmas came in a helicopter, I received a lovely wooden bed, painted blue, with a doll and knitted blankets. Sadly I wasn't allowed to keep it.

When I went to the shoe shop there was an x-ray machine to work out what size you needed. I was lucky to have new shoes regularly, being an only child.

At school, I can remember we had to wear knickers in the house colours. Mine were bright yellow. Not exactly flattering. My school house was Elgar.

Love all the memories but no one has mentioned solid toothpaste in a tin - Gibbs I think &, the worst thing ever in my opinion - Scott's Emulsion. Can't even remember what it was for, some sort of tonic I think, but I remember it tasted vile & was horribly slimy.

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