Days when newspaper was used as toilet roll

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MEMBERS of HUCKNALL MEN’S PROBUS CLUB have had a trip down memory lane — with the town’s local history bursar, Maureen Newton, as the guide.

Maureen, who was the speaker at the club’s June meeting, recalled the days when no-one spoke about recycling.

Instead, expressions used at that time included ‘Make do and mend’ and ‘Save it because it might come in’.

Children who did not eat their dinner were told: “You’ll have it for your tea. Think of starving people in Africa.”

Maureen said an amazing number of things were put away for later use, including buttons and buckles, and yarn was not bought in big balls but in hanks or skeins.

Old newspapers were used as toilet paper or to help make a fire, while the rag-and-bone man — an itinerant dealer in old clothes and furniture — played a prominent part in many people’s lives. Upside-down bags were put on top of chrysanthemums in the garden to keep earwigs out.

Maureen, who used to live on Hucknall’s Beauvale Estate, recalled a man riding round there on a bike and offering to mend saucepans, frying pans or kettles which had holes in them.

Before the days of fridges and freezers, people kept food cool in pantries. Potato peel and apple cores were put in a bucket near the back door for when the ‘pig man’ called.

Among other nostalgic memories recalled by Maureen’s talk were buying a platform ticket for a penny at a railway station, going to the tuppenny rush — a children’s programme — at the cinema, having a taste of chewing wood, reading ‘Dandy’ and ‘Beano’ comics and buying packets of gramophone needles.

With his ‘Have A Go, Joe’ quiz programme on the radio, Wilfred Pickles was believed to be the first broadcaster to use a regional accent, Maureen told the members.