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It must have been a few weeks ago that, chatting through the site's messaging system, I threatened a reader of my reviews, that I would review toilet paper. This was because she regularly reads my reviews and, I thought a review on toilet tissue might be just too boring for her. She told me to go ahead, promising she would read it. So I thought I would attempt to review this important item, although I have been a bit too prim so far to attempt this. So here goes...
In the 1960s many homes still had outside toilets. My family were fortunate as we did actually have an inside toilet. Years before this would have been outside but, at some time, the external wall had been blocked in and an internal door made. Some houses in the street had outdoor toilets, and 'proper' bathrooms were unusual. Most families relied on tin baths, until the 1970s when we all went upmarket, even having some form of heating in our bathrooms and toilets. At these times it was quite common for men to retire to the toilet with a newspaper to read. I will state that this is a habit that I would not allow! I suppose this habit among the working class was due to not having much space or privacy to read in peace and, more importantly, to read form (picking winners for the horse racing).
The house I spent my first years in was a Victorian terrace. It had single glazed, wooden framed, sash windows, and certainly no central heating. Most of the floors were linoleum covered;there wasn't much warmth. I can remember the loo. It was small and was on a landing between the basement of the house and the first floor. A long way down from the top floor bedroom when one needed the toilet on a cold night.There wasn't any heating in it and it must have been freezing in there at times. However, I don't remember it being cold and I must have sat there dreaming for ages. I can still remember as a child, looking at the walls which had been roughly plastered and painted over, seeing animals in the walls. There was a dog and cat, a mouse (well that's what they looked like to me!) and even a lady in along dress and old fashioned bonnet-like the Quality Street lady.
Hanging on the wall of this loo was a black and chrome toilet roll holder. On this would always be a roll of toilet paper. But this wasn't lavatory paper as most of you will know it today. No, nothing so luxurious then! We used either Izal or Bronco. I preferred Bronco as it wasn't as hard as Izal. But I preferred the Izal to use as tracing paper. Yes, that's what loo paper used to be like- thick tracing paper. We must have had to use so much due to its poor absorbency that it's a wonder that out toilets then weren't forever blocked!
I accepted this toilet paper as the norm. Almost, wherever one went it was the standard. Although, if I had ever seen the washrooms at Buckingham Palace, I don't suppose I would have noticed Izal or Bronco there.
At school the toilet paper was also hard and came in single sheets, in a cardboard box fitted into a dispenser, like a tissue box (these can still be found and most of you will know what I mean).
But in my street there lived a family who must have been posher than us. The daughter, my friend, would play in my house and I in hers. There, I discovered soft toilet paper, and,not only was it soft but it was pale blue! My friend's dad was a baker and her mum a secretary. That was quite posh then! I thought that when I had my own home I would have soft and nicely coloured loo paper. We moved from that house when I was eight or nine. The whole street was being demolished and everyone had to be rehoused. Such a pity as these were lovely character houses and much nicer than the soulless boxes they were replaced with.
We moved to a council maisonette (briefly as this made mum and dad want their own house without all the rules with this type of housing, at the time) which had a downstairs loo and an indoor bathroom. Mum must have thought it was time to get modern as now we had two toilet papers in use, for a while, both soft and hard. Hard, I think was because men then believed that the rough paper was the one to use. Gradually opinions changed.
Now we had pink lavatory paper. The trouble was this didn't last long as I would sneak sheets from the roll to use as bedding for my doll's house. I was a creative child-always making something so would use toilet paper to cover dolls' furniture, made from match boxes and Oxo boxes and even as clothes for bigger dolls. We weren't so poor that I didn't have clothes for my dolls but I loved paper and glue!
We were also, as children, asked to save the empty cardboard tubes for craft in school. I'm sure the television programme, 'Blue Peter' used empty tubes in their craft sessions! This is now considered unhealthy and so definitely not the 'done thing'. When some years ago, I worked in a playgroup, children were asked to bring in the longer kitchen towel holders. More hygienic, I agree.
And time passes. Since having my own home for more than thirty years, I have sampled many different makes of toilet paper. Fashions change. In the 1960s it would have seemed very strange and pretentious to choose the colour lavatory paper to match ones bathroom suite. Of course, this happened in the late 70s and more so in the 1980s and 1990s. Bathroom suites came in many strange colours-even purple! Now I don't remember purple toilet paper but I do know it was easy to buy yellow, pink, green and beige, to name a few. Of course, patterned became available too.
Now, specifically to Andrex and a few facts taken from the website (www.andrexpuppy.co.uk):
Kimberly-Clark and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 150 countries.
Did you know...
Andrex® toilet roll was first launched in 1942
Andrex® is the nation's favourite brand of toilet tissue - a position it has held for over 40 years
Since the first puppy advert in 1972, there have been over 130 ads starring the Andrex® Puppy
1 in 10 households own an Andrex® cuddly toy
Andrex® is ranked 8th in the Grocer's 100 Biggest British Brands
Andrex® is ranked 25th in the Superbrands top 500 Superbrands
Andrex became a household brand for toilet paper. I have tried many brands and amongst them those using recycled paper. I have tried Charmin, which I felt was the cause of my toilet blocking. I have tried stores own brands but will only use them rarely if I cannot purchase Andrex Or Klenex (my second favourite) as I don't find it worth stinting on something like toilet paper.
In my first house the bathroom suite was pale yellow. I colour coordinated at first but then decided that white was best as it is less likely to cause irritation. Now my suite is white. Along with most of the country's, I would think and white toilet paper now seems to be the most popular.
I probably first regularly used Andrex in my home when one of my daughters fell in love with the Andrex puppy. There was a promotion when she was younger, where by if one collected enough vouchers from a pack you could send off for a toy Andrex puppy in a kennel. There was a set so Andrex, for my family, was the best!
Seriously though, I do think it a very good brand and will pay more for this if necessary. There are some things in which quality counts over saving. In fact I don't think the cheaper brands usually do prove a good economy, although there may be some that measure up.
I don't in fact pay that much for toilet paper as I look for a bargain and then buy in bulk. This makes it difficult to say exactly how much I pay. I am always buying different size packs, though always at least a pack of four. I often manage to get a good price on a pack of nine or even twelve. As I have two toilets in my house I like to keep both well supplied, so prefer to purchase larger packs and it often works out worthwhile, price wise.
I don't often buy toilet paper from supermarkets and when, rarely, I do, then this will be because it's on offer. Recently I bought two four roll packs from a supermarket owing to an offer when buying two. I often purchase from Poundstretcher, or anywhere that sells Andrex working out at less than fifty pence a roll.
I find Andrex toilet tissue to be soft and gentle and it is non-scratchy. It is absorbent but doesn't block the toilet as I have found some toilet tissues have a tendency to do. I believe it to be even better than Bronco. That is if you buy it for the intended purpose. It's useless as tracing paper!