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Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.


Post by Stanley » 02 Mar 2018, 06:49


When I left you last week I was soldiering on complete with my carbuncle and Mother Hanson's 'Diathrum' dressing, left strictly alone as she had instructed. The following week I was with her again, tea laced with whisky in hand and once more I was instructed to rag off. She took the dressing off, it was stuck to my skin and that was an interesting experience but then she went to the drawer and I knew what was coming! Another clean pad made from the old cotton slip smeared with melted 'Diathrum' and the same agony as she clapped it under my arm and bandaged it in place with the old bandages. I was experiencing Medieval healing practices!
Later that week I had the benefit of the attentions of another healer, my dad, who had been following the saga of the carbuncle with interest. I happened to mention to him that it felt a lot better and he pestered me until I gave in and let him have a look at it. He told me it was 'ready to come out' and against my better judgement I let him go in there with a pair of pliers (!). He was right, the whole thing came out leaving a hole under my arm. I have never seen one before and it was about three inches in diameter and had roots on it two inches long. It and the dressing and bandages went straight into the fire, father washed the site with disinfectant and put a fresh dry dressing on. That was the end of the carbuncle and I have only had one small one since.
When I went back to see Mother Hanson the week after she was a bit miffed at being left out of the final act but she had a look, pronounced it a good job, applied some Driffield Oil out of the drawer and bandaged me up again.
I'm sure a modern doctor will read this with horror, what Mother Hanson had used was actually Diatherm, made by Day and Sons at Crewe it was a well known treatment for lesions on horses legs. Driffield Oils was an old remedy made by Charles Marginson Ltd. I don't argue with doctors but all I can say is that Mrs Hanson prevailed when all the antibiotics and modern treatments had failed. Do you see now why I can identify a link between her and the medieval healers who were the victims of the Witch Craze of the 17th century?
That's enough story telling, lets get back to a different sort of history. During my conversations with Mrs Hanson I learned that for many years she had run the Moorcock pub helped by local labour and her three sons, I knew John of course at the farm and had also come across George in my travels, he seemed to work as a jack of all trades round the local farms. My main memory of him is that he used to blow his nose on his flat cap!


The Mobile shop outside HQ at Sough in the 1950s.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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