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03 February 2017

How We Used To Do It!!!

Image from Google
A picture similar to this came up on my Facebook feed this morning and set me off thinking about laundry as it was done by the generations in my family.
My Grandma had a dolly tub and mangle out in the garage and I well remember standing on a wooden stool to help her with the dollying exactly the way she used to help her Mother.
Everything was dried outside all year long unless it was raining and then it was pegged on lines in the garage and the doors at each end were left open for the draught to blow through. If it didn't dry completely it was then transferred to the clothes horse which had been handmade by my Grandad before being ironed on a beautiful wooden ironing board....again handmade by my Grandad.

The first washing machine I remember my Mother having was an absolute beast of a thing. It had to be connected to the gas by a pipe, filled with cold water and then lit to boil the water. When it was ready to go the clothes were put in and the lid closed and then the washing had to be agitated by hand via a handle on the lid. Once done it was removed into an oval tin bath and taken out to the back yard to go through the mangle.
After doing a morning of laundry the kitchen walls would be dripping in condensation and would have to be wiped down.

My first washing machine was another beast found from goodness knows where by my Grandad and it cost five pounds. A single tub with a mangle attached but luckily it did it's own agitating and the mangle was electric. I was so glad when it gave up the ghost and I got a twin tub in the late 70's. It was second hand and cost about fifteen pounds if I remember right and lasted until 1983 when I went over to the dark side and got a new fangled automatic. Then the washing took all day to get done instead of just a morning.
I wish I still had a twin tub. I used to love the smell on washing day.
I know we do have it a lot easier these days but sometimes I do miss the old ways of doing things. Now you can just shove a load of washing in and go off and leave it but I do miss the sense of order.....washday on a Monday with leftover roast meat or corned beef, mashed potatoes and pickles for tea. Ironing day on a Tuesday with everything put away and no more done until the next Monday. Every job had it's place in the week and try as I might I just can't get into that kind of routine any more.
Ah well....that's progress for you.

We are all busy here this morning. Andy is doing outside jobs....not sure what but at least he is occupied. DD is cleaning her room and decluttering and I am doing laundry and making a meal plan from the freezer inventory. We have more than enough meat to last until the end of the month although I could do with some more chicken and a stock up on frozen veg. Next week I want to get in the kitchen and make up some sauces to go with some of the meats which will go into the freezer for quick and easy meals so I need to stock up on things like tinned tomatoes and puree to make some tomato based sauces. I am aiming for a well ordered freezer so that I can have a better turnover in everything.

Well I have bored you for long enough so I will go and crack on. The plumber is expected today (still not holding my breath) so I'll run the hoover over first....and maybe have a cup of coffee...lol.

Have a lovely day y'all.
Sheila-x-


16 comments:

  1. Oh this brings back memories! My mum had a twin tub in the 70s, I really resented having to spend Saturday mornings doing the washing when I would much rather have been out with my friends (I was mid-teens at the time). When I started work at 18, the first thing I did was buy an automatic machine.

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    1. Child labour.....lol.
      Guess who used to have the job of hand agitating the gas washer.....oh my life...I remember the aching arms and back to this day-x-

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  2. I can remember my Nanna having a twin tub and big wooden tong things to pull the washing out. I can also remember her and Mum wringing out towels and sheets by each taking an end and turning it opposite ways. You're right there was a lovely smell in the house on washing day. If she couldn't dry the clothes on the line she'd take them to the laundrette, put them in, come home, watch Coronation St, then go back and get them. I used to go with her if I was sleeping over. Happy memories.

    I've no idea how housewives did it years ago. As well as looking after the house my Nanna worked in the mill but still found time to knit jumpers galore for us grandchildren. There's something wrong somewhere these days with time, just not figured out what yet and at nearly 50 I don't expect I ever will. xx

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    1. Yes I had some wooden tongs too.
      My Grandma didn't work but she was always busy in the house.
      I think my problem with time management is down to Andy working shifts of afternoons and nights and always being here for some part of the day. My Grandad used to go out work in the morning and come back at 5pm. I would love that-x-

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  3. When my son was a baby we had a twin tub, life is so much easier now, though I think it's all taken for granted. I used to love seeing my washing line full of white nappies drying in the sun xx

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    1. Oh me too Cheryl. Now a boil wash in my auto takes over two and a half hours. I could have done all my washing in that time in a twin tub. I am seriously thinking of looking out for one-x-

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  4. I remember those days well. I must admit that progress is not always for the better. It must be my age...

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    1. Definitely not always for the better MM-x-

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  5. When I had my eldest son in 1988 I had a twin tub! They were much cheaper than automatics. I remember half way through having to change the water - or mud - as it used to resemble!! It seemed to take all day to wash clothes.

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    1. That's the one thing about automatics...you don't get to see the filthy water...or have to deal with it-x-

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  6. I must admit I loved my twin tub , it ended its days in the garage , my dad took it to wash his seriously filthy work clothes , it must have been 30 years old when it died. I still hang most of the washing out in all weathers due to poverty...we couldn't afford another tumble dryer , running the wretched thing used to double our electric bill

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    1. I loved mine so much that I really am thinking of hunting one down when this latest auto goes as it inevitably will-x-

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  7. That photo appeared on my Facebook page also. Mum's used to 'walk' across the kitchen floor on wash days. x

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    1. Ha, ha......mine used to have a bit of a wander too but then my auto has been known to as well-x-

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  8. My late mother had a twin tub and I swear it did a better job than an automatic. Washing clothes could be an art - judging when to change the water, exactly how hot it should be and what order things should go in. I won't trade my automatic, but it's not as good. My late grandmother was thought terribly posh for having an electric mangle. Thank you for sharing that. It brought back some happy memories (like you say - the smell!) x

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    1. It was a lovely trip down memory lane and how I would love to just have the ability to go back for a day and experience it all again.
      If I could find a nearly new twin tub that had been squirrelled away somewhere I would swap my auto tomorrow...lol-x-

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It is much appreciated.
Sheila-x-