Edmund and the black soap

Brother Eddie is still lying in a hospital bed unconscious.  They have moved him to a room of his own.

Edmund Daniel Hutton (born 5.1.1925) started a memoir many years ago but never got around to going beyond 1940.  In it he recounts the incident that I wrote about the other day:  I was 14 years 7 months when the time came for the birth and I had to take Mum on the bus to the German Hospital in Dalston.  When I got there the nurses asked if I was the father – living with my family really aged me!!!

Thanks Ed for helping me into the world.

Eddie also wrote about the business of keeping clean in East London in his youth.

Living in High Street Homerton was good.  The first house was No. 162.  Opposite was a fire station on the corner of Wardle Street where there was a public baths.  We had no bathroom in those days.  We either bathed in a tin bath by the fire or went to the public baths.  The baths were numbered so you would sit in the bath shouting to the attendant “more hot water for number 8 please” making sure you weren’t sitting by the taps.

Friday nights was head washing night when Mum used black Derbac soap and a small steel toothed comb in case of any nits.  It smelt foul and the odour lingered for days.

The dreaded Derbac can be seen in the saucer on the floor.


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