14th September 1967
Guernsey holidaymakers head home itching
Guernsey holidaymakers were arriving home in mid-September 1967 to discover they were carrying a few souvenirs that they would rather have left behind.
“Among all its undoubted attractions, the island has an irritating menace… FLEAS,” reported the Daily Mirror on 20 September. In fact, the problem was getting so serious that it was at risk of putting people off visiting, and island authorities were building a delousing unit in an effort to rescue the tourist industry. It was at least the third year in a row that holidaymakers had been afflicted by the itch, with the paper reporting that there had been 67 complaints in 1965, 118 in 1966 and, in the first half of the 1967 holiday season, a further 60.
The Daily Mirror’s report quoted ‘a health officer’ who said that “the trouble is… the Guernseyman accepts fleas as normal. It’s not to say that he doesn’t wash – it’s more that he hasn’t always got the proper facilities.”
More than a third of Guernsey homes has no hot water at the time of the previous census, and almost half were said to have inadequate sanitary facilities.