Razor sharp and lasts generations

There have been many shortages during the Covid 19 chaos, some you might expect but others very curious.

We all know toilet rolls became scarce – after all if you’re going to be stuck at home for months you want to be sure you can keep your nether regions clean.

Bread flour, in fact all flours for a while, became like hen’s teeth. I suppose people thought they could while away their time creating splendid baked goods to rival those on the Great British Bake off.

Understandable but somewhat annoying for those of us who bake every day.

I was completely amazed when I was unable to track down a single bottle of Robinson’s Lemon Barley Water for two or three months but eventually it began to return to the shop shelves.

Recently, however, I tried to get hold of double edged blades for my safety razor.

Despite the prevalence of disposable razors and electric razors I have never before been unable to track down blades for my somewhat aged safety razor, from the UK to Australia, and Oman to Dubai.

The razor itself is a very old implement, though not always in its present form.

Like most men of my age I began shaving in my teens.

My father still preferred a wet shave and used his wartime issue implement even in the 1960s.

Because he ran his own chemist shop he had old stock he had inherited from Mr Dixon, whose widow had sold Dad the shop and house in the 1950s, and found an old razor I could use.

Before I left home Dad had started to use an electric razor and had given me his old razor which was superior to mine.

Not long after I left home to work down South my grandfather, who had been living with us for a decade, died.

After his funeral my mother was sorting out his belongings which included his safety razor which he had used since the war, except in his case it was the First World War.

She asked me if I wanted the razor, which was American, designed by King Gillette, and was a wartime issue for US troops. I don’t know how Grandad Lloyd came by it but he must have served alongside American troops during that “Great War”.

I now had three razors but tended to use the oldest more often. Unfortunately, as was to be expected, this particular razor finally gave up the ghost when the thread on the handle wore out leaving me with two usable parts of a three-part razor.

I then took the handle from my father’s razor and used it on the WW1 model.

Eventually the screw on the top plate wore out and the matching part on my father’s razor was not in the best of conditions so I used the one from my own 1950s model.

I thus had a razor with parts from two world wars and one part of 1950s origins.

I did eventually track down some Wilkinson Sword Edge blades – on Amazon of all places.

This morning I finally had a fresh blade for my old friend and the speckled stubble (yes there are some dark bits in it) was whisked away in perfect fashion once more.

It may be a little bit of “Trigger’s brush” but a part of it is still linked to a young Liverpool lad who went off with his pals to “beat the Hun”.

It will certainly see me out.

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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