Dorothy C. Maguire (nee Coles), of Arnside, recalls washing days in the 1930s

RECENTLY when considering all the electrical appliances in my small kitchen I began to think about life in the 1930s, and how much easier life is today, with all its innovations.

First the fire had to be made in the kitchen range before we could even have a cup of tea. Then a heavy black kettle was put on the fire to heat.

The toast was done with a large three-pronged fork over the red embers. Even bacon and eggs were cooked in the oven or over the fire. Now a micro-wave oven can heat milk and other foods in a few minutes.

But perhaps the most laborious task was the washing on a Monday.

My mother had to heat the water for two wash tubs in an electric boiler; one tub was for ‘soapy’ water and the other the rinsing water.

We had a three-legged wooden dolly and a posser to stir the clothes in both tubs. There was a bowl of starch mixture to stiffen shirts and table cloths.

Our mangle had two wooden rollers and it was quite a task to turn the heavy handle when putting sheets and towels through.

We had a large wicker basket to put all the clothes in, which then had to be carried outside to put on the clothes line with pegs. Gypsies used to call on us selling these pegs.

On wet days we had a five-railed clothes rack attached to the kitchen ceiling to dry clothes. We were fortunate to have an electric iron.

During the holidays I have my two grandchildren, Tom and Sarah, to stay and I’m sure they groan when they are set to do my washing up. I’m still behind the times without a dishwasher!