Soon after I started secondary school I found that boys from Stationers' Company School were jeering at us. They held their noses when we appeared and asked us why we could not afford soap. To eleven year olds this was an invitation to fight and there were several confrontations between young boys from the two schools. Older ones probably realised that, when you are trying to attract attention to your cause, all publicity is good publicity.
TOLLY WANTS A BATH was a clever slogan. For weeks posters in shop windows had heralded the three-day Fair to raise money for a new swimming bath to be built behind the Preparatory School in Tetherdown. Everything in Muswell Hill was to stop while we junketed to raise money. I found myself helping to wheel the Scout's track-cart from house to house, collecting articles to be sold. The White Elephant Stall had a mountain of unearthed treasures, one piece so old that I had to be told what it was. An old lady gave me a strange wooden article like a three-legged stool on the end of a broomstick. She held the stick upright with the stool downwards and turned it vigorously, showing us how to wash clothes in a tub. She so enjoyed the exercise, swirling the clothes backwards and forwards in her imaginary water with her washerwoman's dolly, that I stepped back to avoid being splashed.
The hairdresser's shop is still there.