Dishing dirt on bathtime secret under the sink

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From: Phil Lazenby, Park Way, Pool in Wharfedale, Otley.

RECENT correspondents have recounted bathroom rituals from the past. In our house the zinc bath was banished when a state-of-the-art “under the sink” bath was installed.

This was accessed via a hinged sink top. Lifting this revealed a plastic bath which, although a bit short, did allow a decent all over wash even if the knees were more or less under the chin. Hot water came from a gas heater which had replaced the ubiquitous Yorkshire range .

All was well until there was a knock on the back door when the bath was in use – only once a week of course.

As the front door was only opened on special occasions, funerals usually, there was a hurried rush to put the sink top down before the visitor was let in.

Not too bad if it was only the insurance man but bad news if it was aunty Elsie come in for a chat. By the time she left, the family member imprisoned under the sink was getting decidedly wrinkly, the water was uncomfortably cool and he/she was not happy having to keep very quiet in the dark.

The other downside was having to get dried and dressed in a cold kitchen, far better in front of a roaring fire from the range.

Brian Sheridan asks the purpose of the dreaded singe after a haircut (Yorkshire Post, December 8). I endured this as a lad and into my early teens so it was not only a ritual for old men. I was told that this practice sealed the ends and avoided catching colds and flu.

Not only did I catch more colds than most, but the awful stink hung around for days – probably explaining my lack of success with early girlfriends.

They might have been the good old days but some things have changed for the better.

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