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EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

Shopping

during and after

 World War II

1.

Valerie Turner
Esk, Queensland, Australia

-  Toothpaste

2.

Bob Henderson
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

-  Toothpaste

3.

Brian Gourlay
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

-  Toothpaste

-  Sharing

-  Germoline

4.

Valerie Turner
Esk, Queensland, Australia

-  Medicine

-  Shampoo

-  Daily Shopping

5.

Joyce Messer
North Island, New Zealand

-  Toothpaste

-  Germoline and Mercurichrome

-  Protection against TB

-  Antiphlogistine

6.

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

-  Food

-  Cleansing

-  Own Products

-  Cigarettes

7.

Gus Coutts
Duddingston, Edinburgh

with replies from

Frank Ferri
Newhaven, Edinburgh

and

Bob Henderson
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

and

Gus Coutts
Duddingston, Edinburgh

and again

Bob Henderson
Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

-  Rolls of Tinfoil - Question

 World War II Shopping  -  Recollections

1.

Val Turner

Esk, Queensland, Australia

Thank you to Val for sending me her recollections below.

Also, many of Val's memories of living in Edinburgh are recorded on the Colinton Recollections page on the EdinPhoto web site.

Val wrote:

Toothpaste

"The other day, when seeing the latest toothpaste ad,  I remembered the small round tin of Gibbs toothpaste, with the castle with turrets.   Our teeth being our 'ivory castles'!

The tins came in 3 colours.  The whole family brushed our teeth from the same tin - and we're all still here to tell the story!!

Everything was so simple in those days."

Val Turner, Esk, Queensland, Australia:  February 20, 2008.

 World War II Shopping  -  Recollections

2.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Bob Henderson replied:

Toothpaste

"Probably everyone of my generation remembers  Gibb's Dentifrice. It was a cake of very hard soap with added flavour and as in Val's case everyone in our household, at that time, six of us, used the same tin"

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  February 26, 2008

 

 World War II Shopping  -  Recollections

3.

Bryan Gourlay

Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Bryan Gourlay added:

Toothpaste

"Val Turner’s recollections of Gibbs’ tin of toothpaste have almost brought back the unmistakeable taste to my mouth.

The toothpaste in the tin tended to last for ages, depending on how many of the family used it, and how much time they spent scrubbing their toothbrush on the hard block of ‘cleaning material’. After use, the lid would normally be put back on while the round block of ‘paste’ was still softish and foaming – ready for the next person.

After a good while, a small hole would appear in the centre of the paste to reveal the bottom of the tin. Over a period of time, the hole would get bigger and bigger until only a small amount of paste was left clinging around joint around the base. Even then, the paste would still be used until chunks broke free and were chased around the bottom of the tin in an attempt to get some paste on the brush – often attracting unwanted little hard bits you had to spit out. It was always an admission of defeat when the family had to resort to a new tin – leading to a fight over who would be first to use it.

We sometimes had a tin foil tube of McLeans (pronounced McLanes, not McLeens) toothpaste which we would squeeze the last drop out of – knowing full well that, when it was finished, it meant a return to a well-worn tin of Gibbs that had been staring at us menacingly in the face for weeks.

Today’s hygiene storm troopers would probably feint at the very thought of Gibbs and the many other so-called unhygienic traits of kids 50 years or more ago."

Sharing

"It was not unusual for one of your school friends to ask for the runt (core) of your apple so they could get their teeth round the soggy remains of your Granny Smith. Sharing drinks out of lemonade bottles, without wiping the top, was standard practice as was begging a ‘sook’ of someone’s lollipop or, wait for it, OXO cube – which was a particular delicacy of mine. It was not unknown to share chewed chewing gum, half-eaten yellow liquorice root, or a cinnamon stick we got from the chemist."

Germoline

"Another tin in most houses at the time was the famous, cure-all Germoline. It had a fawn-coloured lid containing an instantly recognisable, smelly, concoction with its own unique taste if ever some got in your mouth.

Any type of scrape, cut, spot, boil or infection was attacked again and again with an liberal covering of the creamy, almost indescribable substance. Like Gibbs toothpaste, no matter how many times dirty fingers scraped around the tin, the lid was put firmly back on and the tin put back on the shelf until the next time.

Also like Gibbs, a new tin of Germoline was not brought into play until the old one was fully exhausted. Unlike Gibbs’ toothpaste, Germoline is still around in various guises – but not tins!"

Bryan Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland:  February 26, 2008

 World War II Shopping  -  Recollections

4.

Val Turner

Esk, Queensland, Australia

Val Turner added:

Medicine

"I remember the medicine bottles we used to get from the chemist, with the very 'square shoulders' and a cork for the lid, and the little pill boxes."

Shampoo

"I also remember the lovely big jars which looked like good idea for sweets but contained coloured liquids (I think). They were in the chemists' windows and in the hairdresser.

I think the name was 'Louise'   We could buy shampoo in little 'soft plastic cushions' and we didn't need hair conditioner then."

Daily Shopping

"Shopping was done daily, back then.  We had no freezers to store a week's supply, just a daily walk to the shops, with mothers pushing prams, stopping to chat with neighbours.

I was told when Mum met up with a friend to "run on ahead and put the kettle on".  We were never allowed to listen to 'grown ups' talk,  and Mum always liked the tea made as soon as she came home.  We'd have a 'digestive' biscuit from McVities, with 'the original' stamped on it. I can buy them here in Australia now and they are delicious."

Val Turner, Esk, Queensland, Australia:  January 26, 2008.

 

 World War II Shopping  -  Recollections

5.

Joyce Messer

North Island, New Zealand

Joyce Messer wrote:

Toothpaste

"I  laughed at Brian Gourlay's recollections of Gibbs toothpaste which I had completely forgotten about .  I could taste the stuff as I read  about it.  I think it was pink.

Germoline and Mercurichrome

"I'd also  forgotten about Germoline.   It  brought back memories. I could even remember where it was kept in the bathroom cupboard, along with Mercurichrome which was another cure-all and would surely be banned now as I think it contained mercury and was probably highly toxic."

Protection against TB

 "We had Scot's Emulsion and cod liver oil.  My mother, like many of her generation, was haunted by the spectre of TB and believed a daily dose of these products would protect us. 

Antiphlogistine

"We had  Antiphlogistine.  It had a very comforting smell and was heated and put in cloth as a poultice for earache, from which I seemed to suffer constantly, or on your chest as a remedy for coughs and colds"

Joyce Messer, North  Island, New Zealand:  April 15, 2008

 

 World War II Shopping  -  Recollections

6.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Food

"Mother would ask you to get 3 pence worth of turnip, onion and carrot from the greengrocers, and a marrow bone from the butcher to make soup."

Cleansing

"We used long bars of Sunlight soap, for bathing, washing our hair and clothes. 

We purchased soap and various other cleaning things from Nisbet’s on the corner of Bowling Green Street and Junction Street."

Own Products

"Nisbet's made most of their own products:

- soot from the chimney to brush your teeth

cut up squares of newspaper for the toilet."

Cigarettes

"Cigarettes were scarce.

Unscrupulous shopkeepers would only sell five Woodbine or any other major brand if you also bought five inferior oval shaped brands, named Pasha or Abdul.  They had a horrible toasted Turkish smell when lit."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  June 12, 2008

 World War II Shopping  -  Recollections

7.

Gus Coutts

Duddingston, Edinburgh

Thank you to Gus Coutts who wrote:

Question

Rolls of Tinfoil

"I was four years old at the end of WW2 and can remember rolls of tinfoil about 1/2" across with a small white parachute attached being on sale, I think in Woolworth's.

This tape was quite thick and sharp edged.  I remember cutting my finger on it.

I've always wondered what it was for, latterly believing it was 'window', which I later heard was strips of foil cut to the length of the wavelength of German Radar.

All I can think of is that it was possibly part of the D-Day Fortitude South Deception Plan**  whereby formations of aircraft flew in precise formations back and forward over The Channel to create the radar impression of an invasion fleet heading for the coast around Calais. Is it possible that the rolls of foil I mentioned formed part of that operation?

I look forward to discovering what the rolls of foil were used for."

Gus Coutts, Duddingston, Edinburgh:  November 17, 2011

Reply

Gus Coutts tells me that he asked the question above to the Imperial War Museum, but they were unable to comment, adding:

"They could be any number of things if they were sold in Woolworths" !

So it would be good if some of the EdinPhoto contributors were able to come up with some suggestions.  If you have any ideas, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to Gus

              Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 18, 2011

**  There appears to be quite a lot of information on the internet concerning the  wider aspects of the deception plan that Gus mentions above, including this page from The Other Side web site.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 18, 2011

 

Recollections

7.

Reply

1.

Frank Ferri

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Thank you to Frank Ferri who replied:

Rolls of Tinfoil

"Yes tinfoil was dropped during the war to confuse the German radar defences which were quite primitive then.

This technique is still used by aircraft and Royal Navy ships to this day.  When an enemy missile is detected, they send up a shower of aluminium to confuse it into redirecting its course."

Frank Ferri, Newhaven, Edinburgh:  November 20, 2011

Hi Frank:

Just one thing puzzles me.   It makes sense to me that the tinfoil would have been used during World War II as you describe above.  But why was it also being sold by Woolworths?

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  November 20, 2011

Recollections

7.

Reply

2.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Thank you to Bob Henderson who replied:

Rolls of Tinfoil

"I can't remember Woolworths selling MoD surplus.  A more likely store to have seen the the rolls of tinfoil in was J&R Allan on the bridges. They sold lots of surplus after the war."

War Surplus

"I still have a gasmask carrier that I used as a school bag, then as a piece bag when I started work.

I also bought a couple of small parachutes, about 3 feet in diameter.  These were used for parachute flares or small cargo drops."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  November 21, 2011

Recollections

7.

Reply

3.

Gus Coutts

Duddingston, Edinburgh

Gus Coutts replied at about the same time as Bob Henderson above, with similar recollections of war surplus purchases.

Gus wrote:

Rolls of Tinfoil

"After WW2, lots of War Surplus stuff made its way into the shops and the rolls of tinfoil were obviously seen as being attractive to kids.  That's probably why the tinfoil was bought up by Woolworth's 

It was quite a popular thing with myself and my friends and, if my memory serves me right, it was also used to decorate Christmas Trees."

Haversacks

"One of the most common things sold was webbing haversacks and canvas gasmask haversacks which more or less replaced the old leather schoolbags

Millets in particular sold a lot of War Surplus but there were several other shops in the city selling such goods."

Toys

"There were also several toys  obviously made from melted- down aircraft aluminium. I had a toy pistol which was a rough replica of a Webley Service Pistol. (The brand was Fairylite).

A very popular toy was a little Field Gun which could fire matches - they had one weakness in that the spokes in the wheels were easily broken."

Service Rations

"Service rations also appeared on the market - I can remember a cupboard at home with a shelf full of large olive drab tins of creamed sweetcorn (presumably ex-GI Issue)."

Military Vehicles

"On the subject of War Surplus I can remember a field full old military vehicles  on the right hand side of Duddingston Road West going towards Craigmillar, just before the point where The Innocent Railway crossed the road via a Level Crossing."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  November 21, 2011

Recollections

7.

Reply

4.

Bob Henderson

Burdiehouse, Edinburgh

Bob Henderson replied:

Toys

"Gus Coutts really stirred up some memories.   I too had a Fairylite pistol. If you want to see one visit the Museum of Childhood in the Royal Mile.

Vehicles

"I also remember the surplus vehicle sales at Duddingston, in the field which is now part of the nature reserve. The main car that I remember there was the old long-nosed Humber which was used as a staff car.  There were also lots of two ton lorries."

Bob Henderson, Burdiehouse, Edinburgh:  November 21, 2011

 

Recollections  -  More Pages

Recollections  -   Contributors

 

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks