Norman Swindlehurst, Audio Clip
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Norman Swindlehurst (NS) was interviewed many times by W.R. Mitchell (WRM). In this segment Norman describes what life was like with toothache before the National Health Service.
WRM: What was the blacksmith like, Capstick?
NS: Well, he was Capstick. ’e was a tremendous, big fella and stout an’ he was eighteen stones weight, an’ he used to draw teeth for yer as well.
WRM: Have you had teeth drawn by him?
NS: No, I haven’t, but I’ve seen fellas go there but I wouldn’t. He ’ad an’ old couch an’ you sat on this couch an’ he got his knee on yer; an’ when he got ’is knee on yer, you didn’t get away ’til the tooth came out.
WRM: What did he pull them out with?
NS: Ee, just some pliers ’e ’ad, an’ ’e give yer nothin’.
WRM: Good heavens. You didn’t have a drink of whisky to start with did you?
NS: No, nothing.
WRM: What did you do about toothache in those days, apart from going to Capstick?
NS: You put up with it, I’ve seen it nearly drive me mad but still I didn’t like going to Capstick.
WRM: Did people used to put stuff on their teeth?
NS: Yes, they did. They put whisky on their teeth to stop ‘em aching, and there’s something else they used to put on.