Gypsy Creams

PROPER toilet roll…

Woman's Weekly / 2nd August 1957

THIS IS IMPORTANT! We’ve passed right over emotional blackmail here and gone to all-out panic, it seems. Although Izal is still on sale, it’s never beaten soft toilet paper in British affections, despite shrill adverts like this. On the contrary, there’s few people who remember it fondly from the days when it was used in public and school toilets, as this set of reviews proves. According to some posters, there’s a special knack to getting the best out of Izal, but it does rather seem like a lot of work, and folding it into three would negate the less ‘wasteful’ claim of the advert. Frankly, a proper hand wash sounds like a better idea to me.

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Martin Fenton on 19 December 2009 @ 6pm

Radio 4 broadcast a documentary about Izal a few weeks back. The reason for its ubiquity in public lavatories was due to the Izal company being in cahoots with various local authorities. If said authorities bought Izal disinfectant, a large quantity of Izal paper was thrown in for free. So now we know.

Tanya Jones on 19 December 2009 @ 6pm

We certainly do! Thanks! I should really listen to Radio 4 as much as you do, I’d learn all sorts of things…

Estelle on 21 December 2009 @ 10pm

I vividly remember this in the school toilets and seriously thinking it was a kind of torture for children. Trying to roll it into a ball to con it into some degree of absorbency, which was like wiping your bum with a thistle.

Estelle on 21 December 2009 @ 10pm

Also – in school, the girls were screwed over with this stuff. The boys only needed to go near it if they happened to need a poo. The girls had to use it EVERY TIME!

Tanya Jones on 22 December 2009 @ 9pm

I remember it too: its absorbency was pitiful!

TheLeen on 23 December 2009 @ 11am

I remember it from my fist visits to the UK (mid-nineties). I remember asking myself why anyone bothered paying money for it if they could use yesterday’s newspapers instead for the same effect.

Every time I visit a public toilet anywhere in the UK today, I’m scared of what kind of tp I may find. I haven’t come across these in years though. Thank God.

Tanya Jones on 23 December 2009 @ 11am

Yes, I think local councils came to their senses sometime in the late ’90s!

Beelzebub on 23 December 2009 @ 11pm

Dreadful stuff – couldn’t absorb piss to save its life.

Dave on 24 December 2009 @ 8am

In what way is it medicated?

Tanya Jones on 24 December 2009 @ 3pm

It’s treated with Izal germicide, according to the advert. I’m not sure how this is better for you, though: does it make your poo germ-free, or something?

Andy on 16 June 2010 @ 3pm

Public lavs used it because nobody in their right mind would steal it.

Gill S. on 16 December 2011 @ 9am

When I was at university in the early-mid 90s, the halls of residence I lived in had this stuff in the loos. When I asked my subwarden friend why they didn’t get in something that was less torturous, he said that it had been considered. The management had come to the conclusion, however, that if they provided soft toilet paper the students would abuse it.

He never did clarify exactly HOW the Powers That Be felt we would abuse real, soft, actually absorbent loo rolls in a way that Izal couldn’t also be abused….despite my frequent begging. I still wonder, sometimes.

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