From the South China Morning Post this week in 1953 The health of veteran British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was giving cause for alarm after a medical bulletin was issued saying the 78-year-old was under doctor's orders to 'take it easy'. His son-in-law Christopher Somers tried to calm the nation's fears by saying the elderly statesman was 'simply suffering from fatigue, which was probably more mental than physical'. In spite of the warnings about overwork, Sir Winston was still reading his most important state papers while resting at his Kent country residence, Chartwell, but this was much less than his usual mass of documents, Mr Somers said. The Post's correspondence bag was dominated by the perpetual problem of mosquitoes and public hygiene. One writer, with the pen-name 'Cholera', was worried that the 'Keep Your City Clean' and 'Place All Litter Here' signs were being ignored. 'These are wonderful words but have the various men in charge figured out why excess vegetables are strewn in the middle of the street?' There they remained for 12 hours until the garbage van came along, he said. A foreign resident in Kowloon was perturbed by seeing 'very frequently in the Colony. Especially in the streets densely populated by Chinese' small children from two to eight 'openly obeying calls of nature'. This was on the pavement, kerb, in front of shops, or anywhere and 'nobody cares because they are only small children', he added. 'Frequently their hawker mother assists them in this.' When he remonstrated with Chinese shopkeepers about allowing this in front of their shops they were usually amused, he said. Still on the subject of pests, a Savannah, Georgia lawyer named Alex Lawrence astounded jurors by eating a cockroach to prove it was harmless. He was defending Coca-Cola which was being sued by a customer for $20,000 over claims he found a roach in his bottle of cola. The judge restrained Mr Lawrence before he had devoured the whole insect, and the jury returned in favour of the company. The concept of what was good to put in your mouth has changed since 1953. Alongside Craven A 'for smooth, clean smoking', ran adverts for 'Pure Dairy Cream, so healthy!' You could 'whip it and see how firm it stays for hours', before using it to add 'sparkling glamour' to cakes, pies, puddings, cocoa and fruit salads. It was going to take more than glamorous cream to keep the wives of Singapore happy. Fed up with antiquated marriage laws, they welcomed the news that a United Nations inquiry was to be conducted. 'Many women find the marriage laws most unjust. Their husbands can divorce them at any time and without good reason,' said Mrs Shirin Fozdar, Secretary of the Singapore Council of Women. 'British laws should be applied.' Another unhappy citizen, this time in Hong Kong, was A. Peters. He or she wrote demanding to know if there was any law against shouting in the middle of the night. In their street, Pitkern in Kowloon, a man routinely shouted from 1am to 4am. 'It is so nerve-wracking and one is often reduced to sleeplessness. One deserves a peaceful night's sleep after a decent day's work,' the writer complained.