More kitchen tales

1940s mangle in the back yard
Royal Pavilion and Museums Brighton and Hove

Luxury of an Ascot

I remember the kitchen at home in Bennett Road in the 1940s. We did not have the luxury of a deep Belfast sink but a shallow brown sink with one cold water tap. We had a copper boiler in the corner of the kitchen built into a brick surround with a chimney, but as soon as we got the further luxury later on of an Ascot gas water heater sometime in the 1950s, my dad did away with the boiler which made an extra space.

Mangle in the back

We had an old blue mottled gas cooker which had a pipe next to it with a tap and tapered pipe for lighting the cooker. My dad sometimes unscrewed the gas lighter to use the raw flame for heating metal to red hot for something to do with his work for engraving tools, for annealing I think.The electric iron my mum always plugged into the light socket, how that worked is a wonder as the lighting circuit was only on 5 amp wire fuse, unless my dad had been fiddling with it. The mangle was outside in the garden, the first one I remember had wooden rollers and then later came along a mangle with rubber rollers (more luxury). 

Do you remember?

What was your childhood kitchen like? Maybe yours was more up-to-date than this one? Did you have a mangle? Please share your memories by posting below.

Comments about this page

  • We lived in a house in Grenville Place. I can remember my Nan lighting the boiler each night so we would have hot water the next day. We had a mangle and a gas stove just like the one Mick Pierson describes, we also had a coal cellar which was in the kitchen, none of this would be allowed today. Coalfires seem to be the normal thing,we didn’t have the luxury of an electric iron, dangerous things my Nan would mutter whenever the subject was brought up. The irons that were heated up on the gas stove were good enough, we never had an Ascot water heater, then the sudden move to London came but we still had to wait for improvements. Things moved a lot slower in those days.

    By John Wignall (22/04/2017)
  • I wish we could have a like thing that we could operate. Some of the things put on the site are just brilliant.

    By TerryHyde (24/04/2017)
  • I remember  in the late ’50s ‘helping’ my Nan to do the washing when we lived in Maresfield Rd. I was pushing the washing into the mangle whilst she wound the handle, but I forgot to let go and ended up with my wrist trapped. No lasting damage though.

    By David Gillam (27/04/2017)

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