The Nostalgia column with Margaret Watson

Margaret Watson.
Margaret Watson.

I THINK people who were born in the 1930s and 40s saw more changes in their growing up years than any other previous generation.

Last week John Croft wrote about his days as an electrician working for the YEB – a rapidly expanding business in the 1050s.

Our beloved first electric washer - the twin tub with spin dryer was to follow.

Our beloved first electric washer - the twin tub with spin dryer was to follow.

This week I thought I am showing photographs of how electricity changed our lives during those years, especially in the home.

How it transformed the lives of women who in those days did all the housework, washing and cooking in the home.

In the 1950s, vacuum cleaners replaced long brushes to clean carpets, electric washers replaced zinc tubs and possers, spin driers meant washing didn’t have to be hung all over the house to dry when it couldn’t be hung outside.

Fridges and freezers meant women had no longer to do the shopping every day because the fridge would keep food fresh.

An old fashioned way of doing things - but still better than the posser and giant rollers.

An old fashioned way of doing things - but still better than the posser and giant rollers.

The electric iron meant we could dispense with the flat iron which was heated on the coal fire or gas ring.

But it was the electric washer more than any other invention which took the drudgery out of wash-day. No more boiling, scrubbing and winding the clothes through massive rollers.

No wonder we wore our clothes until they really did need washing, because there was only one washing day – Monday.

This week I am using pictures to send our minds spinning back to those supposedly “good old days” when women (definitely not men) looked after the home.

How we did the washing in the 19th century - a peggy tub. Note it takes three to do it.

How we did the washing in the 19th century - a peggy tub. Note it takes three to do it.

They say pictures speak a thousand words, and these certainly do, and after we’ve looked at them we will spend some time thinking about them.

A reader of my column said to me the other day: “At our age, we haven’t really much to look forward to have we? So, we look back. Keep up the good work.

“We can’t get enough.”

I certainly will, and I hope readers enjoy looking at photographs this week rather than the written word – for a change!

These photographs come from a book written over 60 years ago by Anthony Byers recording the history of electricity in the home.

I’m sure you all have memories of washing the old way in comparison with the new way. Let me know.

Email Tresham3@gmail.com with your memories of the area.