|Image found somewhere on the internet|
Because we were studying all week Saturday became our wash day.
Dirty laundry had to be sorted into little heaps whites for the first wash, a boil wash, then coloured cottons, etc. all the way down to socks, etc.
By the final wash the water was more than a bit murky as everything went through the same water.
Washing was transferred from the wash tub to the spinner by means of a pair of large wooden tongs, one had to be careful to try to keep the spinner balanced.
On many occasions I found myself embracing the machine as I tried to stop it foxtrotting around the kitchen because I hadn't quite got the balance right.
It was labour-intensive and I didn't cry when we were eventually able to afford an automatic machine.
I may have found that tedious, but imagine having to do all of this:
Sort the Clothes
Put tablecloths, collars, cuffs etc into maiden tub but with cold water. Soak them some time then peggy them a short time, wring them and then empty the water. Put about 1/4 lb soft soap into boiler with a small teacupful of wash liquor. When hot put the clothes back into tub, pour the hot water etc on to them. Peggy well for 5 or more minutes, then rub, boil and then rinse three or four times in cold water. Blue in warm water.
Fold collars, cuffs, handkerchiefs in a clean cloth after wringing out and put away wet in a drawer till they iron.
I found these instructions in one of my old kitchen journals, dated 1880. Pity the women/girls who had to do that with each wash load.
Memories of my grandmother doing her washing in the mid 1950's are very clear in my mind. She had a single tub machine and a mangle and I was always intrigued by the Blue bags which she used in her white washes.
However, it was the mangle which was the big attraction. I loved watching the wet washing being put through it, the water was squeezed out and the items came out like cardboard. I desperately wanted to make that magic happen, but I was thwarted.
Grandma was very short and had thin silver hair, flat to her head and then rolled, curled and pinned like a long sausage around her head. She wore a pretty floral pinny, one of those all encompassing wrap around ones, something like the one below.
|sorry, I couldn't find source.|
Strangely, I can't remember how my mother did the washing at that time although I do have vague memories of a copper in an outhouse, but I can't remember anything else.
I was obviously blinded by my love for the mangle and the blue bags at Grandma's house, or perhaps my mother rather cleverly let me visit Granny and then got on with her own washing while I was out of the way.
Nostalgia is great but I am very happy with my modern washing machine. I enjoy being able to tell it to do any one of a number of wash, rinse and spin programmes. I can tell it to come on in the middle of the night, or when we are not about. I simply have to remember to switch it on.
I have been guilty of forgetting that one vital procedure on more than one occasion.
I dry our washing in the old fashioned way, whenever possible. The sight of washing flapping in the wind always makes me happy, and so does that wonderful smell which is only found on line-dried washing.
Although I know they are popular, I dislike those scented fabric conditioners, they really offend my nose. No right, no wrong, just personal preference.