Wash Day Memories

Duration: 2:08 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.30
This story has been viewed 7521 times

This story is about Doreen's memories of how she used to wash clothes and the equipment she used.

By Doreen Collinson


Other information

This story was inspired by a 'blue bag' from the collections at Beamish Open Air Museum.

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Video transcript

The Reckitt's Bag of Blue reminds me of the past - washing days when I was young, before the days of electricity, telephone and running water.

The kitchen range had 24 inch bars, the oven was on one side and boiler on the other. The cold water had to be pumped by hand in the back kitchen, which had a stone sink, and then had to be transported to the kitchen boiler to be heated. The fire was heated by coal and sticks. The hot water was then transferred from the kitchen to the back kitchen where the possing stick and dolly tub were.

The clothes were sorted into piles - whites, coloureds and woollens, from the hottest wash to coolest.

We possed the clothes in the tub, the water was very hot, mangled them, rinsed them and then mangled them again and in the final rinse we put the bag of Reckitt's blue and shook it around - this was to make clothes whiter - and then there were to mangle again. We then took the clothes down into the orchard where the clothes lines were.  The clothes lines were actually broken cord from the ploughing. The woollens were spread out on the garden hedge to dry.

Today people take running water, electricity and telephone all for granted when in actual fact it was all very hard work.  

Great story with wonderful photographs!Posted on 09/11/2009 at 03:45:12

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