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When Mr Fudge retired in 1973, the recipe transferred to the East Street Pharmacy where it was sold until 2006, for much of that time under the supervision of Mr Kevin Morrish.Even now, the mere mention of the Fudge’s name evokes a warm wave of nostalgia and longing in many Bridport people.Finding commercial sources of the linctus became more difficult and temporary interruptions to the availability of Fudge’s Firewater occurred early in the 21st century.Then, in January 2006, a notice appeared on the window of Bridport’s East Street Pharmacy (then owned by Moss/Alliance) announcing that the medicine would be discontinued owing to “problems with the supply of ingredients”.People travelled long distances to purchase the medicine, holiday makers often went home with supplies and, during some winters, as many as 250 bottles of Firewater were sold each week at the East Street Pharmacy.The medicine also had a formidable reputation: “It nearly blew your head off but by golly it did the trick”, “Tasted like red diesel mixed with the finest brandy, lovely”, “The menthol really took your breath away” “It was a trial to take but you knew it would make you better” and several people spoke of “the Fudge’s shudder”.
Unconventional uses of Fudge’s Firewater The medicine was also a voice-saver for some professional singers and I heard about one well-known entertainer who would regularly send a friend to buy Firewater from Mr Morrish to help lubricate her vocal cords.
Although cough medicines cannot alter the course of viral infections, they may help you feel better and Mr Fudge’s medicine attacked symptoms in several ways which is perhaps why it was so popular and so successful.
It was the menthol, however, that made the potion so memorable, justifying the Firewater nickname and establishing a shared experience among those who used it, believed in it and benefitted from it.
Local pharmacists were aware of the problem and tried to control it: Mr Morrish monitored all sales personally and Mr Conroy (manager in the early 21st century) restricted sales to one bottle per person, with a signature.
The end of Fudge’s Firewater Gee’s linctus gradually fell out of favour as a cough medicine because of the problem of abuse.