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The Masked Tulip

The Man Who Lowers The Death Rate In Bermondsey?

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1931 footage of Tower Bridge market. Everyone looks so old. They had no idea what was coming. I wonder how many of those boys later died fighting in the war. How many of the ladies got rogered by a Yank, Czech or Pole?

The bit at the end leaves a question hanging.

http://m.liveleak.com/view?i=cae_1463006099

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Good footage TMT....suspect most of those would have escaped death in world war, didn't flu claim more victims between the wars? it wasn't exactly carnage, my grandfather lived through it as a navigator in bomber command and other relatives got through Arnhem and Dunkirk.

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Possible my dad and grandad were around that market, dad about 9, home guard in the war, grandad reserved occupation.

both survived...Grandad died in the 70s.

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Amazing read isn't it. As you get older, you start to realise how recent many of those improvements started to be made.

We forget the transformation that WW2 made to the world in terms of, well, just about everything from technology, jobs, health, etc.

TB was the big scurge of the mid 1800s through to 1930s. It completely baffled many of the world's leading scientists for decade after decade. The likes of Marie Curie and Albert Einstein even did research into TB such a blight it was on humanity. Just as scientists were getting a grip on understanding it along came WW2 and, by the end of WW2, it became almost forgotten in research terms.

In the above history of Bermondsey though you can see how the importance of clean drinking water and plumbing made a huge affect on the health of people. Bazelgette's sewers leading the way.

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Possible my dad and grandad were around that market, dad about 9, home guard in the war, grandad reserved occupation.

both survived...Grandad died in the 70s.

You never know - he could be one of the kids running along.

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It looks like it was a great time for the hat industry. :huh:

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And jackets, coats and ties - Cockneys were better dressed then.

Lots of hands in pockets, looks like winter.

Also ubiquitous advertising; no modern phenomenon then.

I knew you would be attracted to a video from the 30s. Fascinating times, eh? Although I am probably lucky to have missed them. A lot of my older relatives would have been children in London back then.

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Possible my dad and grandad were around that market, dad about 9, home guard in the war, grandad reserved occupation.

both survived...Grandad died in the 70s.

My paternal Grandfather lived in Bermondsey around this time, could even be in one of the wider shots. He joined the East Kent Buffs in 1935/36 and served for the duration of WW2 in Burma/India.

He died in the early 1980's when I was in my early 20's so I don't recall that much about him. My father passed me some of his old army stuff before he passed on which contained written references for when granddad left the army saying he was a good clarinet player.... Think he was in the band!! But they all had medical responsibilities around forward aid posts ect in time of war a tradition which exists to this day.

I do recall he had a bad case of emphysema and smoked roll ups (as many did back then) to the day he died. It was breathing issues which killed him. Used to sit in an upright chair close enough to the tv so he could lean over and change the channel.

My father was born in 1932 a year after this movie was made somewhere over that way..... His mother died of TB in 1936 when he was 4 so he was sent to live with an uncle/auntie in Acton W3 as was the tradition back then. Thinking of the date connection writing this for the first time, this may have been the catalyst which drove the old boy into the army.

I can recall my old man saying he saw him in 1938 when he visited on embarkation leave for India. He never saw him again until winter 1945 as the far east army was the last to be demobbed.

After a year or two he and his deceased wife's younger sister hooked up and married and had another child (alongside my father and his sister) we used to joke that he liked to keep it in the family. She outlived him by quite a few years and was last heard of living in Canvey Island.

He used to live in council accommodation just up the hill from Acton town underground, it is still there today and I often have a drive round that way when I am in London.

Edit to Add.

Caught a bit of bargain hunt this afternoon on BBC. Had a gold pocket watch on. The one family heirloom we have passed to me by my father is a sterling silver pocket watch. It was presented to the father of the uncle who brought my father up (after his mother died) they were a childless couple so it was a natural and sensible fit. I have the pocket watch to this day, it has the heavy thick silver hallmarked chain typical of the pieces of the time. Inscription reads it was presented to him by the railwaymen's union for assistance during the great strike of 1919......

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Caught a bit of bargain hunt this afternoon on BBC. Had a gold pocket watch on. The one family heirloom we have passed to me by my father is a sterling silver pocket watch. It was presented to the father of the uncle who brought my father up (after his mother died) they were a childless couple so it was a natural and sensible fit. I have the pocket watch to this day, it has the heavy thick silver hallmarked chain typical of the pieces of the time. Inscription reads it was presented to him by the railwaymen's union for assistance during the great strike of 1919......

Fascinating Mr Geezer. :blink: We are always fascinated by the times just before us. My father watched the Crystal Palace burn down, but was not implicated in any way! :mellow:

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I would guess. The very start of the Labour Party and the NHS that we all take for granted now. When they really were on the side of ordinary people and were idealists, many arising from Methodism and other Christian denominations.

He has a Wiki:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Salter

It is actually 'The man who lowers the death rate in Bermondsey'.

Looking at the video the chap appears to be selling bottles of something. He can be seen waving a bottle in the air and he has a small table in front of him on what appears to be items for sale. There appears to be a small sign on the floor in front of the table and he has what looks like suitcases nearby.

Think he realises he is being filmed and decides to go.

Wonder who he is? The Del Trotter of 1931? Or some well intentioned guy selling some kind of tonic? What was fashionable back then - fortified tonic wine?

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I grew up in Cardiff about 12 years after this film was made, but because of the war, things had not really changed.

Notice the steam lorry and the tram.

The women carrying babies because they could not afford prams. The women are carrying the babies in the English way, Welsh women used to tie a knot in a blanket and sling the babies to their chests.

Yes, everyone wore a hat, to keep warm.

See the hand carts and barrows, this is where the term 'Barrow Boys' comes from.

The tricycle with a box on the front.

Horse drawn vehicles.

Traffic travelling slower than a pedal bike.

As for the medicine man, it was almost certainly a tonic. My Mother used to set great store by 'Parrishes Food', an iron tonic.

Virol was regularly dumped down children's throats, it was a sort of sticky brown malt concoction.

In school, we got cod liver oil morning and afternoon, milk twice a day and Ministry of Food orange juice once a day.

(not to be confused with the sort of orange squash you buy these days)

Together with the added delights of dried egg, dried potato and National dried milk, we did alright.

But Woolton Pie was awful (no meat)

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You can almost smell the coal smoke in that film.

At one time it was ubiquitous across all urban areas of the UK but is something that anyone under a certain age in modern Britain will not have experienced. Cities like London and Cardiff are unrecognizable from my youth for many reasons but one of the biggest is that buildings are no longer caked in layers of soot.

One thing that has not changed is that the UK still has one of the highest rates of respiratory illness in Europe.

https://www.brit-thoracic.org.uk/delivery-of-respiratory-care/burden-of-lung-disease/

Despite the fact it now kills more people than ischemic heart disease you won't be hearing about it on the BBC because many of the cause factors are environmental and therefore beyond individuals control a fact recognised in the 1930s but suppressed in modern Britain because the government would actually have to do something about it themselves rather than nag individual citizens about their life choices. In fact the number of people smoking which is the usual official cop out on this subject is in decline. The UK only ranks halfway up the European smoking league but has twice the lung disease death rate of France which has a higher percentage of smokers in its population.

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You can almost smell the coal smoke in that film.

At one time it was ubiquitous across all urban areas of the UK but is something that anyone under a certain age in modern Britain will not have experienced. Cities like London and Cardiff are unrecognizable from my youth for many reasons but one of the biggest is that buildings are no longer caked in layers of soot.

One thing that has not changed is that the UK still has one of the highest rates of respiratory illness in Europe.

https://www.brit-thoracic.org.uk/delivery-of-respiratory-care/burden-of-lung-disease/

Despite the fact it now kills more people than ischemic heart disease you won't be hearing about it on the BBC because many of the cause factors are environmental and therefore beyond individuals control a fact recognised in the 1930s but suppressed in modern Britain because the government would actually have to do something about it themselves rather than nag individual citizens about their life choices. In fact the number of people smoking which is the usual official cop out on this subject is in decline. The UK only ranks halfway up the European smoking league but has twice the lung disease death rate of France which has a higher percentage of smokers in its population.

Another smell was that of Town Gas. (Coal gas).

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Another smell was that of Town Gas. (Coal gas).

We had two of these things in the centre of Swansea right up until the 1980s IIRC. Photo is of one of them being dismantled. Prime site - now a Tesco. There were others dotted throughout the town. The smell was unique.

3304990_073c6575.jpg

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We had two of these things in the centre of Swansea right up until the 1980s IIRC. Photo is of one of them being dismantled. Prime site - now a Tesco. There were others dotted throughout the town. The smell was unique.

3304990_073c6575.jpg

Coal & coal gas production (and coal burning) releases a lot of heavy metals, and radioactive gases like radon into the atmosphere. The sites of old gasworks require extensive decontamination before they can be re-used.

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We had two of these things in the centre of Swansea right up until the 1980s IIRC. Photo is of one of them being dismantled. Prime site - now a Tesco. There were others dotted throughout the town. The smell was unique.

3304990_073c6575.jpg

Town gas was deadly. It contained Carbon Monoxide in its raw state not as a result of combustion so any leak in a confined space could be fatal. The gas had two smells as I recall. One was the smell added to the gas to warn people that there were leaks just as with natural gas. The other when it burnt due to the cocktail of chemicals left in the gas when it was produced from coal.

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