BATH NIGHT

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Stanley
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BATH NIGHT

Post by Stanley » 08 Sep 2017, 08:58

BATH NIGHT

There were two fixed points in my week when I was a lad, Monday was washing day and Friday was bath night. It may come as a shock to the youngsters to realise that we didn't have at least one bath or shower a day but this doesn't mean that we were all going round smelling like ferrets! I get quite annoyed when I read accounts of the shelters in the Blitz and see comments about the way people en mass smelt. All I can say is that I never noticed it.
This has always interested me and I have had some good conversations with a friend of mine, Ken Sansome, who is a GP in Minnesota. I remember him telling me once about a sudden increase in cases of irritated skin in the male college students coming to his surgery. He realised that this was due to the fact they were all using a very strong germicidal soap and showering at least twice a day because the advertising campaign for the soap had guaranteed this was a sure-fire way to attract attention from the girls. He soon convinced them that a milder soap and less bathing would cure them.
One of the interesting things I have learned while pursuing this subject is that when we are born, our mothers give us a coating of protective bacteria, fungi and wee beasties that inhabit our skin and are our first line of defence against hostile organisms constantly on the attack. Too much washing reduces this population and makes us more vulnerable. This is what was happening to the young lads.
Many of you will remember my mate Ted Waite who lived in a caravan in the orchard at Hey Farm which was the Wendy House for my three daughters. To the best of my knowledge Ted never had a bath in his adult life and I can assure you that he didn't smell. I've checked with my daughters and they agree with me. Indeed, over the years, I have come to the conclusion that one of the most likely ways to ensure that you do have the dreaded 'body odour' is to bathe frequently and use deodorants. Florence Nightingale was once questioned about the washing facilities available to her nurses in the Crimea and she said that given a quart of water and adequate privacy any woman could maintain personal hygiene. I have a suspicion that 'BO' and halitosis are cunning wheezes to sell deodorants and mouth wash. If you take care of your nooks and crannies, eat a good diet and wear clean clothes you are not going to frighten the horses!
So, in the interest of economy you might consider lessening the energy bill by cutting down on the effort you put into removing Mother Nature's defences from your skin. There is also the proven scientific fact that our natural odours contain pheromones which is one way we signal attraction to each other. Mind you, it may be simply that I have no sense of smell....

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Ted with his ladies at Hey Farm in 1975.
Stanley Challenger Graham
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Bodger
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Re: BATH NIGHT

Post by Bodger » 08 Sep 2017, 18:29

I recall B O during cloak room changes for P E c. 1949 /50 no bathing facilities at the Nab school Holmfirth but it was'nt an unpleasant odour !

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Stanley
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Re: BATH NIGHT

Post by Stanley » 09 Sep 2017, 03:30

Exactly Bodge, I reckon it's the deodorants that cause the bad smell! A cunning marketing wheeze.
I noted a letter in the BET yesterday on the same subject. A nice coincidence!
Stanley Challenger Graham
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"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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