THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Stanley
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 07 Dec 2017, 05:07

We didn't realise it at the time but us kids were getting valuable life lessons in looking after ourselves and some folk medicine that at times verged on witchcraft. We knew that cobwebs stopped bleeding from a cut, a wound bound up with clean cloth in its own blood healed quickly and that funny lines on your body following veins could be blood poisoning and you needed help. Stagnant water was bad for you and the River Mersey was so dirty that you could guarantee being poorly if you came in contact with it. We were convinced that a green monster lived in it and looking back, this was a subconscious defence mechanism to keep us away from it. I can still remember the foul smell particularly in summer. At that time the Mersey was an open sewer, it was the done thing to pipe all industrial and commercial waste directly into the flow and let it all wash away. I found out later that as late as the 1960s, if you worked for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board, fell into the river and refused a tetanus jab you were automatically sacked. Some of the most dangerous waste was from the slaughterhouses. At about that time I became aware of horrible places called fell-mongers. This was where the skins from slaughtered sheep were processed to recover the wool and lanolin and produce leather. The danger there was anthrax. I found that during the war lead plates were put in the flow of raw sewage in the Heavy Woollen District and these collected fat which was scraped off and used for a variety of purposes. Rumour had it that this included margarine manufacture. What was certain was that this was the only source of lanolin, washed out of wool during the scouring or cleaning process. This valuable resource was used in soaps and cosmetics. Worth remembering when you come into contact with lipstick!
Do kids get this education today?
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 08 Dec 2017, 05:05

Read Charles Wilson's magisterial two volume 'History of Unilever' for an account of how we exploited all lipid resources from whaling to rendering plants. Their business needed fats for feedstock and they weren't particular where it came from. The overriding principle was that no matter how disgusting the source, the high temperatures of processing 'rendered' the material sterile and safe. This is still the ethos in the industry! I got my first clues when I was on the tramp, I saw the sources and the destination of the fats. I banned margarine in the house!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by chinatyke » 08 Dec 2017, 06:48

:exactly: :biggrin2:

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 08 Dec 2017, 08:42

Thanks for that China......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 08 Dec 2017, 10:29

The modern equivalent of that sort of processing is MRM, mechanically recovered meat giving a meaty sludge that can go into all sorts of food products but was banned in the UK in 2012.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by chinatyke » 09 Dec 2017, 00:07

Tizer wrote:
08 Dec 2017, 10:29
The modern equivalent of that sort of processing is MRM, mechanically recovered meat giving a meaty sludge that can go into all sorts of food products but was banned in the UK in 2012.
The dreaded pink slime!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 09 Dec 2017, 04:21

The waste bin of the food processing industry is the rendering plants turning rotten meat waste into 'Protein Derivatives'. Flies, maggots and all. Amazing what you see when you are repairing boilers.... Ask yourself what happens to out of date fats and oils..... Then look at the origins of 'Baker's Shortening'.... Out of date cheese is 'hydrolysed' and becomes Mozzarella for pizzas.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 10 Dec 2017, 04:56

Funny how things come back to you. There used to be a furnishings shop on Prince's Street in Stockport called Hutchinson's and my mother was a regular customer but only for joss sticks! God knows how supplies of joss sticks could be available throughout the war but she burned them regularly in the front room. They were always stood in a large Doulton jar and unnoticed by her when the smouldering flame reached the rim of the jar they went out. One day my father was in the front room reading the paper with a joss stick burning and on that day when it reached the rim it got past and ignited all the remains lower in the jar! By the time she went in to get him for tea he was asleep in a room full of smoke and certainly got the benefit of the Oriental fumes. I don't think he had any ill-effects beyond a head ache for the rest of the day.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 10 Dec 2017, 12:00

I know about the bodies of cats being found in old walls and various things left to keep evil spirits at bay but I hadn't heard of shoes doing the job!
`The shoes hidden in homes to ward off evil' LINK

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 11 Dec 2017, 05:13

I've heard of the practice before Tiz. It is quite common to find human remains buried inside the house under the fire stone in excavations of prehistoric buildings. In that case it's thought that the occupants gained comfort from having a loved one close to them.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 12 Dec 2017, 05:07

Living at Hey Farm was like having my own archaeological site to play with. Hey was a wheelwright's shop for many years when the Crooks owned it and I was intrigued by the fact that mounted in the rafters above the workshop was a large wooden wagon wheel with a wrought iron crank mounted on it. As I learned more about the place I eventually realised it was a flywheel for driving a wood turning lathe. Momentum would be generated by a foot crank and the drive transmitted by a belt. Sorry but I don't have a picture of it but I hope it's still there!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 13 Dec 2017, 05:10

My mother always had us kids in bed at 7:30 PM even at the height of summer and we never had any problem with it. I remember I had thin green curtains and the room was light in summer but I always went to sleep. My strong memories are of lying there listening to the rainwater tinkling into the gutters and the down-spouts and even stronger, hearing the sound of goods trains being made up by the shunting engines in the nearby marshalling yard at the end of the viaduct. The wagons had loose chain couplings and when the shunting engine chuffed into a rake of trucks the buffers rang as they clashed in progression and in reverse the chain couplings clinked as they took the strain. I could see all this in my mind's eye just from the sounds. Then there was the occasional blast of the whistle as the engines signalled their intent. Such a strong memory, I can hear them as I write this.....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 14 Dec 2017, 07:08

Another example of family discipline was reinforced by food rationing. What we had to eat when we sat down together at a properly laid table complete with tablecloth was what was available. The only choice was whether you ate it or not! If you didn't, you went hungry so there was never any trouble with 'faddy' eating.
How different it is today in most cases! I am told that many kids don't sit down to meals until they go to school dinners. Also most of them are asked what they want to eat. I have seen kids who survived on Coco Pops as long as they were at home.... We subconsciously absorbed the ground rules of nutrition because those were the principles on which the availability of food was mandated by the all powerful Ministry of Food. Later of course I found out about the contribution made by people like Jack Drummond. (LINK)
I also recommend finding a copy of 'The Vitamin Murders' by James Fergusson. (Published by Portobello in 2007) This is a good account of Jack Drummond, his work and untimely end and the decline of healthy eating in Britain.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Bodger » 14 Dec 2017, 09:21

As well as the food, my father had strict rules, i couln't leave the table without " Please may i leave the table"

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 14 Dec 2017, 11:17

Even pets are often on special diets now.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 15 Dec 2017, 04:33

I can remember saying to our kids that we all had to live in the house together and so there had to be some rules. They understood because they were used to it at school as well. It never seemed to harm them and they all say now that they have lovely memories of childhood. Incidentally they have followed the same general rules themselves and my grandchildren are all delightful well-behaved kids on the whole.....
My impression of some families I know is that they live chaotic lives with shifting standards. Perhaps I am getting too old to comment......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by chinatyke » 15 Dec 2017, 14:18

Bodger wrote:
14 Dec 2017, 09:21
As well as the food, my father had strict rules, i couln't leave the table without " Please may i leave the table"
We still have a rule like that in our house. When we have finished we say a comment like "thank you, that was very nice." It's an appreciation of the cook as well as the food.
My youngest stepdaughter, the one in America, married a Jewish man. When they sit for a meal they don't say grace or anything religious but instead hold hands and say something nice, perhaps something relating to an event during their day, can be anything. I thought it was a lovely thing to do.
Good manners are still important and noticed by others.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 16 Dec 2017, 04:10

I love good manners. One thing that I grew up with but I don't remember the origin was that we were taught never to comment on food until everyone had finished the course in case we said something that upset whoever was still eating....
My dad had a prayer that finished a meal even though he was non-religious. "We thank the Lord for what we've had. If there was more we would be glad. But as the times are very bad we must be very grateful".
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