Tom Dodson - 'Nitty Nora'

'Nitty Nora'

Approx. Image Size: 12" x 16"

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The arrival of ‘Nitty Nora’, the ‘nit nurse’, to inspect our hair at school, was dreaded by every one of us kids.  We were made to line up in the corridor and went in to see her one by one.  The door of the room where Nitty Nora did her inspecting was always left wide open.  The rest of us in the queue outside strained our ears to see what was being said to the unfortunate boy or girl who went in before us.  It was plain to see who was in disgrace as they came out clutching a card to take home to their parents, telling them that they had signs of nits.  If you came out with a card you hung your head in shame and couldn’t wait until the next time Nitty Nora was due to come so that you could prove to your pals that you were now CLEAN!

There was always a head teacher on guard to make sure that no-one slipped away to avoid the nit nurse.  But, that did not stop the child nearest the door from passing on the word what the nurse had said to the boy or girl inside.  If you got a white card you had to have your hair fine-tooth combed by your Mam when you got home and your head had to be washed in Durbac soap every day for a week.  The soap used to smell nice and clean, but of course, it gave the game away to anyone who stood near you for the next week or so. Then they would avoid you if at all possible!

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