Sunday, 12 January 2014


(A Study of a rare old Conservative)

Behold an old relic of old-fashioned days
Recalling the coaches, the hoy and post chaise!
It has not advanced in a timber or wheel
Since first it was fashioned by Benjamin Beale.
It is not aesthetic, nor yet picturesque,
'Tis heavy and cumbrous, expensive, grotesque-
      And I feel very certain there never was seen
      Such an old-fashioned thing as a Bathing Machine.

The windows won't open, the doors never fit.
The floor is strewn over with pebbles and grit.
A looking-glass too with a silverless back,
A pinless pin cushion, a broken boot jack;
It smells of old seaweed, 'tis mouldy and grim -
'Tis sloppy and stuffy, 'tis dismal and dim.
     'Tis a deer-cart, a fish-van, or something between.
     Oh a hideous hutch is the Bathing Machine.

The driver says "Right!" and he raps at the door;
He starts with a jerk and you sit on the floor;
It creaks and it rattles,  you rise and you fall
and bound to and fro like a mad tennis ball!
Again there's a lurch and you nearly fall flat
And first sprain your ancle, then tread on you hat-
     While you're bumped and you're battered, bruised blue, black and green
     In that horrid contraption,  the Bathing Machine.

( The Western Times, September 4th 1883)

1 comment:

  1. Hi. Just discovered this poem on your site. I run a blog about "Teignmouth in Verse" and thought you might be interested in an older poem about bathing machines at Teignmouth. Here's the link: