Wash Day

Duration: 1:58 minutes
Accession No: TWCMS : 2009.65
This story has been viewed 7650 times

The story is about Edward's memories of the hard work that his grandmother did on wash days.

By Edward Emmerson

Other information

This story was inspired by the collections at Monkwearmouth Station Museum, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums.

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Video transcript

Wednesdays and Fridays were always wash days in my Grandmother's house.  She would be out in the back yard with the poss tub and huge mangle.  It took some muscles to turn that handle.  She used the blue dolly bags to keep everything white.  After they were clean, they were hung on the clothes line to dry.  Long clothes props held the clothes up from the ground and they would dry in the breeze.

On rainy days the wet clothes would be hung up on the clothes pulley above the kitchen fire.  The house would be full of steam.  if they were left outside on in winter the clothes would freeze and they would be stiff as a board.  My Grandmother would have to drape them on the fireguard to melt.After the washing came the ironing.  She had two old flat irons, one to heat up while she was using the other.  In those days there were no electric irons, they had to be heated up on the coal fire.  To find out if they were hot enough she would lick her finger and touch the hot plate.  There were more clouds of steam from the ironing.

Then the following week it would start all over again.

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