Alex Dalgano's amazing hair oil
In the 1920 and 1921 a series of ads started appearing in the Nottingham Journal advertising 'Alex Dalgarno's hair fertiliser' which claimed succesful results for thousands of people all over the country. The address given on all these was Mr. and Mrs. Dalgarno, Minorca House Hathern. Here you can see four of the ads. And the Dalgarnos were still using the same photo in the memorandum to Mr. F. Farrands in 1931 which was published in our booklet 'Old Hathern in Pictures. Note the catchy tagline 'The heads of the firm'. So who were the Dalgarnos ? Its hard to believe (editor : cheap jibe alert !) but this snake oil salesman was also a mover and shaker in the emerging labour and union movement. Alex Dalgarno like his father (also Alexander) was born in Hackney London in 1866 though his family's origins were from way back in Scotland at least to his great great grandfather Andrew born in Longside Aberdeen in 1730. Back to the story, our Alex, a French Polisher, married Ellen Dunn a cigar maker from Tillington London in 1891 at Shoreditch. By 1911 Alex has become a street seller of general goods. Electoral rolls show the couple had moved to Wide Street Hathern at least by 1919 and were there at least to 1931. So assuming they were working from home, Minorca House was in Wide Street but where ? About the same time as these adverts appeared Alexander was chairman of the Workers Union as you can see in these extracts from local newspapers. This included the first ever Labour Day (later May Day) to be celebrated in Hathern and a public meeting on the Round Bank to support the nominee for the Loughborough Labour party. The last extract describes an open air meeting of the Workers Union in Loughborough Market Place. Prior to this, Alex. was involved in the 1917 dispute at Hathernware Terracotta works so I suppose we can assume the couple were already in the village. There is no clue as to how the couple ended up here. By 1939 Alexander has retired and the couple had moved to 8 the Leys.
|8 The Leys Alexander Dalgarno M 08/03/1866 Married Hair Specialist (Retired) * Ellen Dalgarno F 14/03/1870 Married Unpaid Domestic * Ethel M Spencer F 26/10/1903 Married Hairdresser * Egerton W J Spencer M 13/12/1934 Single Under School Age|