Outdoor Dunnies and Blowies

My kids are amazed at some of the things I tell them. When I grew up there were no inside dunnies. In fact, like many, ours was in the backyard in a shed made of asbestos cement. It had a wooden seat which rested on a galvanised steel frame and a door in the back of the shed through which a nine gallon drum could be placed in which the crap and pee resided.

It stank! In summer the blow flies congregated and the bottle of phenyl did little to take the edge off the stink. I can’t remember how often the pan was changed, probably weekly, but I remember thinking that it was a job I didn’t want. The truck driver who collected the pans wore a cowl and cape made from an old hessian sack draped over his head and shoulders and he was strong enough to lift that full drum up on his head and stagger back out to his truck.

We did not have electricity connected to the shed so if we had to go at nightime it was either done in the potty under the bed or we had to do it by torchlight. Night or day it still stank.

In around 1963 the sewer came through and we appreciated the luxury of finally having an indoor toilet.

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