Tide Marks, 1958

‘Tide marks’ were where the water either ran up your arms or down your neck, so you just let it dry or gave a quick rub with your sleeve.

There were no hot water taps or central heating around in these good old times so when it came to getting washed in the winter it was a quick splash – and I mean quick.

There was always plenty of snow and ice around in winter so in my case it was just a case of ‘wash what can be seen’ of your face and hands.  Now ‘tide marks’ were where the water either ran up your arms or down your neck, so you just let it dry or gave a quick rub with your sleeve.  By doing this you ended up with streaks or ‘tide marks’ as we called them.

Now and again a teacher would pull you over and roll your sleeves up, where there would be some great tide marks on show, which I would just laugh at.  The other place was your ears and neck which just got washed now and again if they were lucky.  No one I knew was too bothered, a few in our street and around the doors were exactly the same as me.

It would not surprise me in the least if the saying ‘do behind your ears and that is your neck’ came to light around this time as hygiene was never top of my list at this time.  As far as I can remember there was only two types of soap around this time, which were a carbolic Lifebuoy 1 (a red colour) and Lifebuoy 2 (a green colour).  These two soaps were used for everything from getting washed to doing the dishes and cleaning steps.  A bar of soap was around 12 inches long and 2 inches square, and your parents just cut them up to suit the job they were doing at the time.

In today’s era, you have that many soaps, shampoos and deodorants, that muck and minging is just a big taboo and not allowed!

If you've enjoyed this memory and would like to share a story of your own why not go to our Contact Page to find out more.