Washing Day: There’s nothing takes me... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
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Washing Day

There’s nothing takes me back in time

Like seeing washing on the line

When Monday was the washing day

When I’d be keeping well away

Some strange gadgets played a part

The iron mangle a work of art

I never understood it all

At that time I was only small

It's just as well that things have changed

Or I'd be totally disarranged

Now I have this big white box

With dials,switches even clocks

I load it up with my attire

And hope the dam thing don't catch fire

86 Replies
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That’s very good Don. I thank goodness for my washing machine, wouldn’t be without it. Xxxxx

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Hee! Hee! Hee! love it. We had an old mangle in our back yard when I was young and remember my sister Sally putting my other sister Christine's hands through the mangle, boy did that cause a ruckus. When we moved we had a new one with a lift up top, those were the days eh! Don x

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Strewth! Poor Christine. I hope it wasn't one of those massive ones with big wooden rollers. My mother later used a small wringer with rubber rollers that I found ideal for putting the wash-leather through when washing the car. I wish I still had that.

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Unfortunately for Chris it was the big one with wooden rollers, gosh can you imagine health and safety with one of those things now ha!

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It's really good to see you Don. I hope you're as well as can be, and Midge and Company too.

There's a mangle rusting away outside my house, it's almost as tall as me and looks like it would need a lot of muscle power to operate it. But probably less of a fire risk in spite of its wooden rollers.

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Ha! HH, that could be the one we had lol x

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When I first saw it I had no idea what it was. Daily life must have been a lot harder in the past.

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It was so hard for my Mum in our younger days, poor thing must have worked from dawn to dusk. She had pans of water always boiling, either for washing or for us to wash and cooking everything from scratch, making coal fires, gosh it must have never ended, wouldnt ever want to go back to that time x

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When I was very little my mum used a twin tub (??) She seemed to have to stand there doing things for most of the time, it wasn't automatic. For some reason I found the thing scary, I can't remember why, but that's probably why it's stuck in my mind.

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Ha! I had one of those when I lived in Hong Kong and loved it x

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Me too it boil washed the nappies which came out brilliantly white but all tied together no disposable ones in those days

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Oh I remember the old twin tubs! Weren't they the first washing machines? I remember vaguely my grandmother using a mangle but I think my mother washed by hand and rinsed them out. With 4 children of 10 and under it must have taken her days.

I well remember how pleased she was to get the twin tub. x

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Those usually had a cast-iron wheel with a handle on the side which was very easy to operate being low geared. I vaguely remember being dragged in to spin that round while my mum fed the sheets through. 😜

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Good evening Mr.D and I too would be in a terrible pickle, if I didn't have my washing machine. I'd never have the puff to use a washing board,i honestly wouldn't. Full praise to the ladies (pc correct:-and men) who years ago had no other options. Oh weren't those years so hard .... although it could be that we really don't appreciate how easy we have things nowadays?

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Some strange equipment was used in those days. Of course the washboard became well know for it's more entertaining use, but what was the thing that looked like a three legged stool with a long handle sticking up from the top?

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Umm 🙊🙆 , I've got a nagging feeling that what I'm going to say,is totally wrong and I've gone off on a tangent🙉 ?....... Something to do with a milkmaids chair? 🙈 ???

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It would be a milkmaids stool but for thangle. 😉

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Thangle? x

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Th’andle = the handle. 🙄

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Ooops and me a good Manc too :) x

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That would have been the washing dolly posser Cap'n - either made of wood or copper used for tossing the washing around in the boiler. I remember there was an enormous wash copper boiler in our scullery which my poor mother had to use to wash the whites, she also had a large mangle with which to eliminate some of the water from the dripping clothing which could finally be hung out on the washing line but only of course on a Monday! I really don't know how she did it. There was also a wash board not used for skiffle! I also remember bath night in front of the fire in a tin bath when I was about 3 or 4. The house was decidedly lacking in mod cons with no central heating - stone hot water bottles would take the chill off the sheets prior to bedtime. Those certainly were the days!

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Spot on Margaret, I expected nothing less from you. Washing day used to be such a big occasion, family living came to a halt, my first house had an little extension 'the wash-house' used as a bike-shed. Cloths-horse, rake hanging from the ceiling, all sorts of gadgets, what a palaver it all was.

Now my only input to the operation is to admire the washing on the line, to gaze at it and remember things. My cleaning lady does it all bless her.

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Now I am very jealous Cap'n - a cleaning lady . . . ?

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I inherited her, my wife Margaret took her on during the last months of her life. I can't sack her because Midge loves her so. 🙄

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Awww - you are so sweet Cap'n x

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😁 I just know how to play my cards right.

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Remind me not to indulge in a game of 'Snap' with you ;-)

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Remember all those things haha mum used to put big overcoats on the bed for more warmth.

Could scratch the ice off the Windows and that was inside too.!

Loads of blankets on the beds no duvets and a tin bath .

Flannelette sheets and a stone water bottle.

I wasn't as cold then as I seem to have been for years with c.heating and duvets and double glazing .....strange!,

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Hi Kittykat2, we must have been all the same those days, I remember ice on the inside brrr but so cold, think the weather was alot colder then, wouldnt want to go back to those days x

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That's what they used to call the good old days

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Ha! You can keep them good old days, although people were alot nicer then and we didnt seem to have the same problems that we do now x

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We were all healthier then I believe Kittykat2

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Hey Majji, we had a tin bath as well, ha!

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Izb1 we did have a proper bath tub however the bathroom was so very cold my mother couldn't bring herself to inflict it upon me lol. We also had a coke boiler again in the scullery which would give you hot water however it wasn't much use in the summer months as downstairs became like a sauna . . . . we also had a gas light fitting in the scullery which appeared to be additional to the electric light - those were the days?

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I cant really remember, but dont think we had a bathroom, but do remember we had an outside loo which I was petrified of using x

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We dd too till I was 5 then we moved to a more modern house inside loo and a bath !!!💕X

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Those outside loos were still around in the late 1950's Izb1 - I remember going to a school friends flat or maisonette somewhere in Harrow and I too refused to visit it - particularly scary at night I thought. We also had an elderly lady nearby who used to keep her coal in her bath!

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Omg it was terrible at night, Mum got a chamber pot for me as I was hysterical at night and not much better in the day ha! Think my sisters made it worse telling ghost stories and making me worse lol x

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Lol - I guess that is what sisters are known for . . .

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Well Don, in our neck of the woods it was called a poncher- our neighbour had one of those, we had a copper thing that looked a bit like an upside down colander on a pole with a perforated lid over the top of the 'colander', it was still called a poncher though and was used to 'ponch' clothes in the dolly tub - a big galvanised barrel 😁. I used to love the smell of washing day - hot soapy water in the copper boiler, clothes being ponched in the dolly tub then rinsed umpteen times in clean water before being mangled and pegged out to dry - or on a wet day, hung up in the kitchen. It was a day's work unlike today when things can be popped in the washing machine and left to get on with it. Back then the 'normal' washday process was for wives and Mums to 'just get on with it', and they did!

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Thank you HH, yes I'm still doddering about in my usual confused state. Midge, the guardian of my sanity, is doing very well thank you, even lost a bit of her excess weight. The knitted ones are constantly complaining that the view from the campervan hasn't changed for quite a while. But I'm hoping to put that right shortly. 😉

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That's great news all round, and congratulations to Midge on her weight loss. My big sheep is on a diet, easier said than done in a field full of grass 🐑 Very exciting to think the view from your campervan window might soon be changing. I hope we'll all be able to join you, vicariously at least 🛣️ 🏞️

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I was thinking about your sheep during that very hot spell, did they have their coats off by then?

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🤣 There hasn't been a hot spell here yet. But they were shorn about 2 weeks ago 🏖️

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I forget that you live up yonder.🙂

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Nowadays my friend those days are not so fraught

If you have wisely invested as your parents taught

In a new washing machine/ condensing tumble drier

You really couldn't aspire to anything higher

So just pop in your laundry Master Po

And it's a simple as that just wash n go :) x

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Ha! Skis you are getting good at this x

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A mere imitation of the real thing,just a grasshopper :) x

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🤣🤣🤣

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Just a Grasshopper, but a modest one. 😉x

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My parents taught me since the day I woke

Don't fix owt if the thing ain't broke. 😉x

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A very clever retort from my dear chum

With his hotpoint twin tub with rusty drum. :)x

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A very good rhyme skis but's hard

To beat our lovely resident bard!

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I don't compete with master Po

He taught me everything that i know. :) x

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:) :D xx

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I guess ( hopefully) we are the last generation that will remember the Monday washday routine of scrubbing board, dolly tub, blue bag, starch and mangle.

And Monday dinner.....cold cuts and bubble and squeak ....leftovers from Sunday if you were lucky .

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I love bubble and Squeak,M&S do a nice packet of 4 and there's nowt wrong with cold cuts. :) x

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Oooh no.Nnnnoooo! Yuk!. Not one I'd be choosing from M&S, but each to their own my friend!😛 😜 😝 !!!

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Hopefully Knitter those days are well and truly gone, but never any Sunday leftovers in our house ha!

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I have 2 blue bags under my sink, we used them for wasp stings when I was child. My Dad told us that there was such poverty in his young days that women asked for a squeeze of his Mother's blue bag on wash days. We lived in a cottage that had an old forge going back to Cromwell's time where my Mother had a brick built copper . She lit a fire underneath and did all the washing out there, mangled fterwards. Bath nights there was a tin bath in front of this copper, warm and cosy as we took turns for a weekly bath, wrapped in towels for my Dad to carry us indoors after. Now we don't even get our hands wet. Polly X

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Gosh! You must have been invisibly living in my childhood home! Tuesday was ironing day.

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Brings back memories Don, I remember my mum having some sort of boiler type thing in the house.

When I first got married a washer wasn't first on list did the sheets in the bath. Can hardly get myself in there now😏

Terry nappies soaking in napisan.....hard work !!

Love your memories posts 💕X

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Brings back memories Don of my mother lighting a fire under a brick enclosed boiler in the kitchen in which the bed sheets were placed and then agitated using a poncher

stick to get them clean .

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Love that poem! Thank you. It brought back many memories for me. I remember Mondays my mum would be grumpy because she was so tired after washing with the boiler and the old tubs and hand roller and long lines of clothes and sheets. How easy it is all these days. We are so spoiled.

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About 1937 my mother bought an electric washing machine that was a tub with an electric mangle on the top. Like everyone above, Monday’s was the ritual day of the washing. In 1957, 20 years later we moved and my mother sold the washing machine for £20. She was overjoyed as she sold it for slightly more than she paid for it. 20 years use for no cost, but of course prices had gone up. She bought a twin tub. I got a twin tub for a wedding present in 1970.

It’s so much easier these days, though bending over to get stuff in and out of the automatic squashes my lungs and is a trial.

Hope you are doing well Don and hope we can meet up at the coastguard station one day. I love your poems

X jo

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I'm fine thanks Jo, don't get about as much as I did, so will probably be spending more time at the coastguard station which is only 1/2 hours journey from me. £20 after 20 years use shows how well made stuff used to be. My old one did quite well until it's final spin rattled the house on its foundations. I replaced it before the tiles started coming off the roof. 😂

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I too have many memories of wash day. I used to turn the mangle for mum, hlding the buttons in one hand, if they went through they broke, unless they were the rubber buttons. The mangle lived i. The junk room, bucket u derneath to catch the water.

We recently had a new boiler put in which revealed at the back of the airing cupboard, my old wash board, glass fronted. Wondered if a charity shop would be able to sell it, shocked to see several on ebay, a buy it now price of around £48! Love Iris x

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They'll probably think the washboard is an old musical instrument. 😉

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Was that the ones with a metal rubbing section? This is glass.

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I've no idea, give yours a rub-up and see what it sounds like. 😁

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Ooh, you are awful, but I like you!

My daughter in law said "what's that?" When I showed it to her!

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I've had ladies say that to me in the past. 😉

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Now I can't remember the comedian's name! So what's new!

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I don't remember any comedians discussing washboards. 🤔

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But do you remember Dick Emery?

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I do yes, you quoted him, I was big fan.

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🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

Mine broke a few months ago and I have been managing doing the washing by hand since and I have to say my muscles are getting bigger by the day.🤣🤣

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So many memories. Great work.

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Brilliant, Don! xx Moy

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Your secret is out now, Moy. It has been revealed that you could do much better than me at the drop of a hat! 😉😘

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Kind of you to say so, Don, but not true! I could never come up with the great odes that you do. Please keep 'em coming. I love reading them. xx Moy

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I had a Burco boiler when I was first married! I used it to boil nappies ( the smell permeated the house!!😁) I had a friend two doors down and we used to compete on who got their nappies on the line first!! Our rag and bone man would give you a Dolly Blue or a Dolly Cream to colour your net curtains,!! Would today's generation even know what they are? The rag and bone man also use to give out Donkey Stones for the steps!

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I remember, donkey stones and gold-fish. 😁

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Ah rag and bone men used to take out one item for a penny or a ballon haha.

What memories 💕X

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I hated my Gran's modern twin-tub, it moved across the kitchen as it worked!! The memories of the stuff in the blue twist of paper, red carbolic soap and starch still there. For people with dementia, smells work very well to take to a here and now memory. A local library (where I worked) had a few memory boxes. The best was Clothing/Laundry, some very odd underwear, some of the flannel undies were most interesting! but the smell section for laundry always set the older people off with their memories, pre-electric and other mod cons.

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