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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Laughing gas?

Wednesday, February 14th., Yacht Club, London.

I met Dr. Shufflebotham (Stoke) and went with him to the Palladium (where the entertainment was awful). He told me one of the principal poison-gas factories was in Burslem. He said they had gradually learnt the effects of the gases on the Germans by the effect of the gases on their own work people, over half of whom had been on compensation during the past year. He told a funny tale of how in the early days there was a massed band Sunday fete (semi-religious) in Burslem Park to which all the children in white came after Sunday School. Children began to cry. People said it was symptom of whooping cough. then to cough. Further symptoms. Then adults began to cry and cough. Word went round at once, gas escaping from a factory. Everyone fled from the park. Bandsmen dropped their instruments. two of them met at gates. "Bill, where's thy bloody drum?" "It's where thy bloody cornet is lad."

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