Tonight we have another of those items that only really belongs on this blog because of a tiny ownership mark! This little sweeping brush is part of dustpan and brush set, although the dustpan is sadly missing:It has a black painted wooden handle and horsehair bristles:But what makes it interesting is the tiny gold lettering along the back of the handle:From this we can see a /|\ ownership mark indicating military ownership and a date of 1976.
The military have always placed a high regard on cleanliness and men are supposed to keep their barracks or cabins spotlessly clean at all times. In order to do this, shared cleaning products are supplied with brooms, dusters, polishes and brushes issued to a group of men with which to keep everything clean. It is almost always the case that there are never enough of any of these supplies and one wonders if this is done deliberately to foster co-operation and team work (or the MoD are just penny pinching).
It is expected that barrack blocks be cleaned every day and usually this will consist of ensuring there is no dust or litter anywhere, toilets and wash rooms are clean and that any rubbish bins are empty. During training the level of cleanliness is much higher and depending on those inspecting the barracks copper pipes may need to be polished, stones outside whitewashed and locker padlocks arranged so they are all matching. Whilst frequently grumbled about, cleaning becomes so engrained in military personnel that many take these standards forward into civilian life when they leave, much to the annoyance of their partners!