Hello, I'm Chrissie. I can't get over how lucky I am to be living at the seaside - I still love living at Cleveleys after being here for more than 15 years. I hope you enjoy my slightly cock-eyed look at life - come back regularly for a look at living beside the seaside, our mad family life and my view on local and topical current affairs. The weather often features, along with the very different things that you get to see and do when you live somewhere like this.

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Wash Day Blues

Memories of doing the washing in the days when it was really hard work!

We had our outing to Cleveleys on Sunday afternoon and as soon as we got there we bumped into friends and their family which was nice, as it’s always nice to see them. Someone else we all know came and joined in the party, and we did comment when we left them that it sounded just like it did when we go to a coffee morning or the beach group. Very noisy with lots of laughter!

I did notice a few people looking at us, as we were all talking on a heap and making our usual racket while we were at it, but it does feel nice to have lovely friends who you can make a racket with, don’t you think? Once again we had to keep our eyes on the parking time and had to hurry ourselves up, while not being able to go in some of the shops we wanted to. Please Wyre Council, get the time on the residents parking permit extended to three hours. Do you think they will? No, I don’t either!

Mrs Wishy Washy

I shared a video clip of the old twin tub washing machine on my Facebook page the other day and goodness me, it brought back memories of my mum using one just like that. It sat proudly in our kitchen with its grey formica top that doubled up as work top.

My parents didn’t have the luxury of a fitted kitchen in those days, so you used whatever available space there was. Looking at how todays generation have fully fitted kitchens with lots of space, it makes me wonder how on earth my mum managed to get meals ready and do all the things you do, while using every bit of space she could find which wasn’t much, I must say. As I am old enough to remember my mum using zinc tubs in the kitchen and scrub boards with no washing machine available then, when she finally did get her twin tub she was in seventh heaven.

Washing in the olden days

I found this picture (above) in a magazine, showing a woman standing with her mangle, zinc tub and posser which is what people had to use in the days before washers were available. Plus when they did become available they were out of my mum’s reach price wise, so we were all subjected to the torture of the house and kitchen ending up looking like a Chinese laundry as it took her so long to do.

She had to fill one zinc tub with hot water, no mean feat when you think how heavy water is, while the other was filled with cold water to do the rinsing. Then there was a bowl of starch - all gooey and horribly slimy that nearly everything had to be stiffened in, even hanky’s. It wasn’t much fun when you had a cold and blew your nose, as if it wasn’t sore enough, it certainly was by the time you finished with the starching. The washing always looked like it had turned into stiff boards, pillow cases, shirts, you name it everything had a dunking in the starch bowl. Thank goodness she didn’t starch the knickers and underwear, imagine what fun that would have been!

She spent all day Monday washing, with clothes, water and gadgets all over the kitchen. It took her so long to do that she spent the full day washing and on Tuesday she ironed them. So then we had ropes strung round the kitchen ceiling where she hung her ironed washing to air, and they stayed there till Wednesday, thank goodness she saved it all for Mondays is all I can say, at least it only happened once a week!

She used to scrub the shirt collars on the ribbed glass board that she hung on the zinc tub. I can see her now, furiously scrubbing at the collars with soap and a scrubbing brush, I can only say I was glad I wasn’t the shirt collar as it didn’t half take some pounding. Todays shirts would probably have disintegrated if they got the scrubbing my mum did.

Moving into the modern world

She then progressed onto a small top loading washing machine, and was that a red letter day. Not as bad as when the house was full of zinc tubs and all the things she used, but still bad enough. I got the job of turning the mangle which I loved to do as I loved to see the flattened clothes come out with the water wrung out of them, but when she got her twin tub she was away.

This is the video I'd shared, and if you're too young to remember, this is a twin tub!

She used to push it up to the sink, connect its hose to the sink taps and fill it with hot water straight from the tap, no more back breaking bucket lifting for her. But she still wasn’t happy when she moved the washed things into the adjoining spin drier, no she had to also have a separate free standing spin dryer which looked like as round pedal bin.

Only then when she’d spun everything to giddy heights was she satisfied, but oh the mess she made. There was water everywhere. Down the front of the sink unit, everywhere and still piles of clothes - waiting to be washed and the been washed - and so it went on.

She had her twin tub for donkeys years until she was in her early seventies when, after a lot of persuading might I add, I at last got her to come into the labour saving modern world and have an automatic washer.

I did get lots of earache at first as to how to use the 'blooming thing' as she called it, but when she did finally get used to it and saw how easy and tidy it was she became converted with her precious twin tub a mere memory.

I still see her to this day doing all the things she did in the ‘good old days’ as they were called, but as she said they were very hard work days with everything very labour intensive. I used it once when my washer broke and was exhausted by the time I’d finished. I love my automatic washer, so I wonder what will be in store for me next. What will they invent I wonder!!

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Published: 11th October 2017
Modified: 11th October 2017