I have just finished reading a delightful fun little book entitled
‘Kent Privies’, not a subject one would expect to find in print.
The book has reminded me of a wartime story I heard adults speak
of, perhaps during hop or fruit picking, perhaps in our, at times, much
occupied home and certainly repeated post war.
The story is reputedly a Whitstable story but whether it took
place in the town or outlying areas I know not.
Apparently, grandpa was in his ‘cludgey’, the outside privy,
when an air raid warning sounded. His
family pleaded with him to join them in the Anderson shelter ‘down the
garden’ but, with an “I’m not letting those buggers interfere with
my bowels”, he refused to come out.
That was a worry for the family as his bowels were somewhat
reluctant at the time. Despite
the noise of many aircraft overhead, grandpa was left in peace to
encourage his uncooperative bowels into action. Suddenly, there was a loud crashing, clattering bang on the
corrugated iron roof of the privy.
Some debris had hit grandpa’s ‘cludgey’.
Reputedly in one seemingly simultaneous action, grandpa’s bowels
activated. He crashed out of the privy and, in a marvelous ‘sack race’
style, made it to the shelter before attempting to raise his ‘Long
Johns’ and trousers.