DUNCAN BARKES It’s not just the politicians who are getting their hands dirty...

I have noticed something in recent times which has left me feeling decidedly uncomfortable.

I don’t wish to cause offence or appear indelicate, but it seems there are men who out there who can only be described as grotty little soap-dodgers.

Alarmingly, I have drawn this conclusion having witnessed chaps in the Gents leaving the urinal and heading directly out of the door – without washing their hands! Yuck!

Many of these fellows are the suited and booted type, so more than likely they will be going on to shake someone firmly by the hand before the day is out. Double yuck!

I was taught it was basic hygiene to wash your hands using soap and water after you had been to the loo, but clearly there are those who choose to ignore this fundamental rule of cleanliness.

Frankly, it is revolting. There is simply no excuse. And while I would not wish to be considered some sort of lavatory pervert, I have clocked this behaviour in many loos; at Chichester railway station, in smart restaurants, in pubs and even in the workplace.

And it is not any particular kind of man. It is widespread across every age and background. In the past six weeks alone I have witnessed a prominent politician commit this dirty crime, a well-known TV presenter and, perhaps most worrying, a waiter.

Michael Jackson used to be mocked for always wearing gloves, but perhaps he was on to something.

Are you a bloke who does NOT wash and go? If you answered yes, then you are a disgusting scuffer. But just remember next time you give your order to a waiter: what goes around comes around.

* Farewell to centre’s best asset, Gillian

You might not be able to remember what you had for lunch yesterday, but I’ll bet if I asked you who your favourite teacher was as a child, you could give me an answer immediately.

For me it was Paul Brown at Durrington High School. For Mrs B it was Ted Hill at East Wittering Primary School. You never forget those teachers who really inspired you.

This week the Barkes household has been a gloomy place as we have just discovered Barkes Junior will have to say goodbye to a very special teacher.

Gillian has been teaching children to swim at the Westgate Leisure Centre for many years. Planning to retire next year, it would seem the council has decided she should retire early, and so sadly she will be hanging up her cossie very soon.

A brilliant teacher with a wonderful no-nonsense but warm-hearted approach, Gillian is one of Westgate’s very best assets.

Her expertise and kindness see children who are initially frightened of the water joyfully finding their confidence and relishing their splashy lessons.

Swimming, I believe, is a vital skill that all children should learn. That Gillian has taught hundreds of children this potentially life saving skill is an accolade in itself.

That she has commanded such affection and respect from these water babies is an even greater achievement.

It is a crying shame Gillian is departing ahead of schedule. She will be sorely missed.