This book belonged to my late Nanny Turner, just one of many random finds in the treasure trove of 33 Nelson Road, Edmonton. It is a manual to support the teaching of the St John Ambulance Association’s first aid course and, believe it or not, it is actually quite an entertaining read.
Firstly, there are the pictures:
‘Dave, I know the pavement’s comfy but we’ve got to get in our Uber now and get back to Balham’.
‘Get up. The bouncer ain’t gonna let you back in. You’ve pissed yourself Dave.’
‘Let’s just get him to the bus stop’
‘Lads I’m fine. You’re making me look like a pillock’
‘Shut up Dave. You’ve ruined everything.’
‘I only met you half an hour ago but I love ya bruv’
‘I love you too Dave. Your mates are lame. Let’s go to The Nest and carry on drinking.’
Then there are the advertisements:
Swagger sticks. For all those Edwardian Snoop Dogg wannabees.
Lowmoor jackets. Essential stag night equipment.
Finally, there is the actual medical advice. The stipulation that ‘mixed classes of men and women are on no account permitted’ and the advice that the hysteria patient is ‘usually a young girl’ who should be threatened with a ‘cold water douche’ do remind us that ‘the past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’ However, I welcome anything that (almost) vindicates my life rule to always have whiskey in the house for medicinal purposes (‘the safest rule…is to defer the administration of alcohol until the arrival of a doctor’) and enjoyed the repeated references to corsets.