Friday, 22 July 2016

Scrubber






Today I have been scrubbing steps.  When all is said and done, my life isn’t just about lounging in the sunshine.  I don’t do it very often but the bats roosting above the entrance door had made an unholy mess.  

While I was on my hands and knees scrubbing away I was reminded of my grandmother, Alice.  She went into service at a young age at the big house in the village and was employed as a house maid until she married my grandfather who was a groom on the estate.  Cleanliness was next to godliness in my gran’s house, she was always cleaning. Her week followed a strict routine - Monday was wash day, Wednesday was dedicated to baking,  Friday shopping, church twice on Sunday, and she never left the house without her hat and gloves.  Everything in the house was highly polished, even the apples in the fruit bowl.  She never owned a washing machine, vacuum cleaner, or refrigerator.

On Mondays Gran would light the copper in her small kitchen and the smell of soapy, steamy washing would pervade the house. I remember helping to wind the big wrought iron mangle with huge wooden rollers as she fed in the wet washing. After being mangled the sheets used to be so tightly squeezed between the rollers that they used to come out from between the rollers almost horizontal and as stiff as a board.

I am so grateful for all my modern labour saving gadgets that give me time to play, enjoy life and have leisurely afternoons watching the Tour de France.


8 comments:

  1. I can remember my Mum using a dolly tub and a 'posher' and scrubbing board to do the washing, she lost the end of her finger in the mangle! Then if it wasn't good drying weather, the washing hanging in lines on the ceiling. Thank goodness for automatic washing machines is what I say.

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    1. So much easier these days. I can remember sitting on spin dryers to stop them dancing across the floor.

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  2. Now I understand where all your energy comes from; grandmothers teach.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. I don't have that much energy Maria, I wish I had more!

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  3. I just had to change my Nanna's details to working in service in London, my Grandad being a driver and her place of washing with the copper as the Scullery. They did not have hot water on tap until my Dad installed an immersion heater when Mum & Dad lived with them in 1939. Don't we have it easy?

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    1. We sure do. I try not to take it for granted though.

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  4. I remember the day mum bought her first washing machine, a twin-tub. It was a reconditioned one, so not new. We had been to the beach and mum was worried about sand getting in it out of the clothes we had been wearing/towels. She used to use a Burco boiler for washing the hankies and anything else that might need boiling.

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  5. Twin tubs were well posh.

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