Sunday, 27 June 2010


Hello Jean

Greetings from sunny Suffolk!

I enjoyed Janice's piece about her Mum's home-made sunblock. A mixture of olive oil and vinegar shaken around in an old Heinz salad cream bottle sounds ghastly! However, I don't recall our mother ever using this stuff. In fact, I don't think she ever applied anything to us to prevent sunburn. But she did smear us with calamine lotion after we had had too much sun. This was usually done on those rare occasions when we went to the beach at Weymouth or Lyme Regis. No, I think we just went out and played, and applying any sort of suncream never entered our minds.

One home-made concoction I do remember was that produced for us by our great-grandmother (Alice Tilley). Most summers she would come down from London for a holiday with our grandparents, Ethel and Reg Durham, at no.26. The 1950s were the heyday of the Brycream Boys, and one of our great heroes was the Brylcream Boy himself, Denis Compton the famous England cricketer and footballer. He appeared in lots of adverts at the time. We couldn't often afford a jar of Brylcream - we did get one occasionally - so our great-grandmother would make some for us.

She would collect rose petals from the garden, let them soak in water for a while, them mix them up with lard of all things! Then she would rub the "cream" into our hair. It did the job and it smelt alright. But our mother wasn't too pleased with what it did to our pillowcases!

Does anyone else remember using lard and rose petals for "Brylcream"? Or was our great-grandmother unique?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I can just imagine seeing your mother's face when she saw the pillowcases!


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