Tuesday 8 October 2019

Health and Saftely

The past is a foreign country - they do things differently there. If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't believe this used to happen: As a child in the late 70s and early 80s you might be sent to the local petrol station (for there was such a thing then) to use the paraffin dispenser. It was completely unattended, worked by clockwork and was available after the forecourt and kiosk was closed. You put in (I think) a couple of ten pence pieces and half a gallon of paraffin would issue from a tattered flexible hose. Paraffin is highly flammable and rank poison, yet there were no safety measures. It was your responsibility to make sure that your container was big enough, and that the hose was placed correctly, and that you didn't get covered in the stuff.

It strikes me now, that you'd have needed only a rag, a box of matches and two weeks' pocket money and you could have destroyed an entire petrol station, but what I really remember is just how heavy half a gallon of paraffin in an old oil can was.

Richard "Esso sherry glasses, National Fuels Smurfs" B

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