Leafing through the July issue, the picture of Alberto Ascari washing his hands at a standpipe took me back to the early ’50s. That standpipe stood in the Silverstone paddock and was the scene of an amusing confrontation between a Duckhams employee and some race mechanics. Duckhams had left a large drum of strange green grease by the tap — and we soon learned this was Swarfega. Prior to the appearance of this miracle cleaner we used a pink, gritty substance that cleaned one’s hands at the expense of one’s skin.
The word spread like wildfire and almost everybody headed, tin in hand, to the Swarfega. This was very soon emptied and, for the rest of the meeting, a very disgruntled Duckhams representative guarded the replacement drum.
It was a far cry from today’s clinically clean workplace and latex gloves, as indeed were our ‘white’ overalls and flat caps.
Nick Manley, Stratford on Avon, Works