Saturday, 21 April 2018

REWIND


When you get to 72 the mind starts to wander back in time and I've been thinking about how so many things are so very, very different now from when I was a child in the 50's.

I listen to the kids now talking about how they have to have a shower every morning and wonder just how they would have fared back then.

We didn't have a bathroom, all we had was a sink in the scullery, we didn't even have a proper kitchen.
Mum used to do everything in this tiny space containing the cooker, a boiler, sink, small larder and a very small flap down table that was her worktop.

We all took turns at the same sink that served everything from washing ourselves each day and washing the clothes etc,   washing hair was done with a kettle full of hot water and a jug of cold mixed in this same sink.


Our bath hung on the wall outside of the back door exactly like the one on the picture and Dad had to get it in and put it in the tiny space of the scullery.
Mum would boil up a boiler full of boiling water and place the tap over the side of the bath, then cold water was added.


When we had all jumped in one after the other the water was less than savoury I can tell you. Dad was always last.
He then had the job of bucketing the water out until there was just a small amount left, what he then did was to up end it and walk it to the kitchen door to pour the water out into the garden.
Can you imagine this going on today? 

Needless to say bath time was not that often, probably once a fortnight.
Oh, and the soap was called Lifebuoy, the only soap my Dad would use, just plain old soap.


He wasn't a man for deodorants and after shave but that's a whole other post, lol


21 comments:

  1. Briony, did your family have an 'outhouse' like ours did? LOL! No flush toilet for us! We did have a bathtub indoors. And an icebox instead of a refrigerator. The ice man delivered a big block of ice every week. Then when Zip and I got married we moved into our house in the late 60's, it had no modernization so we started all over again with the 1940's type of living.

    It was fun when we were young, we liked being 'back to the land' types who lived like our grandparents did. But at our age now, we'll take all the modern convenience we can afford.

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    1. Hi Pat, yes we called it the outside lavatory and we stored the paraffin in there so it always smelt, lol. You had to brace yourself to go out there in the winter it was so cold. Toilet paper was that hard stuff and when we ran out it was newspaper threaded onto string. I'm sure a lot of people would think this disgusting but it was how it was then and we all grew up none the worse for it.

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  2. When my sisters and I were small, Mother shampooed our hair each Saturday morning by positioning her ironing board at the kitchen sink. We lay on the ironing board with our heads back over the basin while she soaped and rinsed--a mixture of hot water from the teakettle and cold from the tap, poured out of a pitcher.
    We did have a 'bathroom'--as our house was built in 1949--but the bathtub was used once a week, with about 2 inches of water allowed--not exactly a luxurious soak! We 'washed up' daily at the tiny bathroom sink. At my grandfather's house next door arrangements were far more primitive. An outhouse/privy was in one corner of the woodshed. When we acquired the Amish farmhouses 4 years ago the arrangements were similar to those of my grandparent's generation, although there was a shower rigged in the laundry/washroom. Not sure how it was managed as it consisted of a large bucket with holes drilled in the bottom--it must have required cooperation from another family member to fill and hoist the bucket once the person in the shower had soaped up! First thing we did here--install 2 [!] proper bathrooms!

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  3. I am with you, age 73 now. we had an outhouse, the same bath tub you did, except ours lived in the dirt floor basement and had to be brought up stairs once a week and placed in the kitchen. we did not have that boiler, but had to do canning pots of water on the cook stove. my job was taking the slop jars out each morning down the hill in the snow to the outhouse. we kept them on the basement steps, just outside my parents bedroom. the steps were just planks and open and when i used one of the slop jars in the night, i was afraid something would grab my ankles through the open back of the steps... plus it was freezing. you are right, the kids think it is horrible if they don't have double sinks in their own bathroom now.

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  4. Well, frankly, people are a little crazy about bathing these days. I usually shower each morning but every now and then, if I'm not dirty, I'll skip it, and if I tell anyone that they act like I have a hole in my head. And all the hair-washing! My grandmother used to wash her hair once a week. Any more, she said, would make a person sick!

    Morning's Minion (above) mentioned bathing in a bathtub with two inches of water. That's how we bathed, too. We were never allowed to fill up a bathtub.

    I still prefer bar soap -- I use Imperial Leather!

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  5. When I was very young,the kitchen sink was our bath and I can still remember the feeling of my backbone touching the side of it.Then when we were posh,lol,we had a tin bath nailed to the back of the kitchen door which was filled by boiling kettles and saucepans.No bubblebath in them days,just a bar of palmolive soap..sometimes Camay!.We had an outside toilet...thats when i learnt how to run fast,lol and a coalhouse next to it.I hated that cause it always had spiders in it!God knows how kids of today would have managed.They havent got a clue!We didnt even have a twin tub till i was about 15,every thing was handwashed in the sink.My Mam still had a twin tub until about 4 years ago and although the spinner was broke on it,she wouldnt get rid and used to wring the clothes by hand.She was 80 by then!So when it packed up,we talked her in to having one of those new fangle automatics,lol.And she is amazed at how fast it is and she wishes that she would have had one sooner!xx

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  6. I've heard many stories about metal bathtubs and outdoor privies and using the catalogue for toilet paper . . . by the time I was born we were fortunate to have a regular bathroom but we had to carry all our water for bathing as there was rust in the tap water. So our baths were in two inches of water as well. Hair washed in the sink in a basin. Later I was in the habit of showering every day because that's what everyone here did and I thought it was the "right" way, but the last few years I've had to cut way back because of dry skin and a tendency to eczema. But as Steve said, if you tell people that, most of them look at you like you're a heathen - ha ha

    Clothes washing is another thing that's probably overdone. How dirty do most people's clothes get in one wearing? Not very :)

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    1. Do you think we are influenced by the adverts Jenny? telling us that we should all be squeaky clean and smell of roses. LOL

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    2. That first sentence should have read "stories from my parents" :)

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  7. When we lived as a family we had a Council house which did have a bathroom, but all three of us got in it at the same time, and I was the unlucky one to get the plug hole end. Later when mum and dad split up we moved to a dilapidated slum of a terraced house, no bathroom, tin bath in the kitchen, big stone sink, and outside lavvy. It was a step backwards. These days people are OCD about showers and baths.

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  8. I can imagine the reaction of kids today if they were told they had to do this

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  9. I don't know about you but knowing the things I know on how things are done today....I could not do that sort of thing today. At the time you were living that life if I had lived it I probably would not think a thing about it.

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  10. It's interesting how much society's attitudes to bathing etc have changed in one person's lifetime.

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  11. My mom tells many stories like these and I do worry about youth today. They would not survive with out electricity and wonder if there imaginations would be positive at all, if left to there own mind 😐

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  12. We didn't have central heating. Ice formed on the inside of the bathroom window.... Can you imagine anyone putting up with that these days?

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    1. I remember the ice inside the windows. We only had a fire in the front room in an old black range, all the other rooms were freezing and no carpet just lino and a rug. lol

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  13. No, I can't imagine taking a bath that way.

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  14. There are so many people in the world who are actually still living that way. Or don't have access to clean water at all. And so many who do have are wasting so much of everything. I can remember as a child when spending time at my Mammaw's house for the holidays, all of us cousins would be outside running around all day long, and at night when we came in, Mammaw would use a washcloth with soap to wipe us all down. There was no way we could all take a bath. I find it really scary that big corporations are piping out fresh water daily around the world and bottling it up. South Africa is already having a water crisis. Imagine what will happen when all those sources are drained.

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  15. Christ! You had it easy Briony. Sounds like you were living in the lap of luxury. Up here in Yorkshire, we lived in a badger's sett, washed in puddles after it had rained and ate dandelion leaves and worms for dinner!

    (Only kidding... you are right to suggest that the youth of today have no idea what daily life was like back then for working class families - damned hard.)

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