Don’t forget rationing, poverty and no mod cons
IT looks as though T Hall's memories of being eight in 1952 have picked out the better parts. I was 13 then and well remember that time.
We still had our ration books (rationing didn't end until 1954) so sweets were limited. Food was basic with lots of stodgy filling meals and butter was a luxury.
Spare a thought for the poor housewife – no washing machines, washing done by hand and then the problem of drying it, with only a mangle which slotted on to the kitchen sink but that didn't get all the water out. We had days on end dodging water dripping from washing on the pulley, which was hung from the ceiling in the kitchen.
Refrigerators were unheard of – our bottles of milk were kept standing in a bucket of water in the summer to stop it going off. No vacuum cleaners either.
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Fitted carpets hadn't come along and it was mostly lino on floors, but if you were lucky you had rugs down which you swept up with a brush and pan down on your knees.
My mother would spend half a day cleaning the big range in the kitchen.
Lots of houses didn't have hot water or inside toilets, no central heating there. In winter you ended up going to bed with more clothes on than during the day. My mother often wore a headscarf and gloves in bed, and in the morning you scraped the ice off the inside of the windows.
Yes, things were cheaper then but so were wages with £2 to £3 per week being an average wage.
However, the simplest things gave us lots of pleasure, like going to the park for a picnic with only a jam sandwich and a bottle of water, and we could get a penny back on the empty bottle.
It was maybe fun for the kids being able to wander all over the place without our parents worrying about us, but who would want to go back to those days of people living in dire poverty, rationing and no mod cons. It certainly was no picnic for our parents and grandparents.
E Farquharson, Grimsby.
The Telegraph says
When we look back with fondness, it is often the good parts that we remember. Was the grass always greener back then, or was it rose-tinted?