Kendal Oral History Group aims to compile a picture of earlier times through the recorded memories of the area’s older residents. Mrs Marjorie Parkin was born in 1923 and interviewed in 1999.

WE’D no electric light for quite a long time – we just had oil lamps.

Then, after a while, we bought a machine that made electricity, a generator. It wouldn’t take a cooker.

We used to milk the cows from it and we had lights. If Jim was milking the cows we didn’t have lights in the house.

Later on we had a television but you couldn’t have a cooker. It wasn’t strong enough to have a cooker.

The only thing about it was; if you got into bed at night and the engine was still running someone would say “Who has left the light on somewhere?” You had to get up and go round and see where somebody hadn’t switched off. It was amazing nobody would admit to leaving it on.

Washing had to be done by hand. We had a washing boiler built in the kitchen. It was always lit on Monday morning. In those days you only washed on Monday and did your milking buckets and sterilised everything on that day.

Tuesdays was baking day; Wednesdays was your bedroom day; Thursdays was odd jobs day and then on Friday you did your living room and everything else; that was your cleaning up day. Everything had to be done by Friday.

If you kept bees during the war you got an extra ration of sugar for your bees, so it helped with your baking.

We used to have what we called molasses, which was a dark treacle, to feed the cows with and it made lovely gingerbread. So occasionally the cows got short rations.

We weren’t really short of food because we had our own pigs and hens and things like that.

You were allowed to kill one pig for your own use. We used to salt the bacon with dry salt and saltpetre then, when it was dry, we used to hang it up in the living-room on hooks.