THE FLATLEY DRYER

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 13 Jul 2018, 10:04

When I worked in a brewery the danger was from accumulation of CO2 underneath the big open fermentation tanks. In those days you regularly heard of men dragged out unconscious or dead because they'd gone underneath to sort some problem or other with piping or leaks. Similarly, if you fell into the full tank (and walls of the old tanks were only about waist high) you were a goner if someone didn't fish you out immediately. You'd quickly suffocate in the layer of heavy CO2 or drown in the foam. If you spent too long in the hop store you could fall asleep from the effect of the soporific hop oils emanating from the big hop sacks - but by golly it smelt good!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 14 Jul 2018, 03:11

I used to pick up timber from Glicksten's in Stratford, East London and next door was the Yardley's plant. Always good smells there! Rendering plants were a different kettle of fish! The worst smell I ever encountered was Greaves, minced up rotten partially treated dead cows. Evidently leaving it to start rotting aided the rendering process. It wasn't a strong smell but clung to you and anything it touched for a long time! Marvellous what we put up with in those days....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 14 Jul 2018, 09:59

I remember my first trip abroad, to the Continent, and being shocked by the foul smells. And even worse when I first went to the Far East!

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 15 Jul 2018, 02:55

The more I have seen of modern Europe, the more impressed I am by how well they have recovered from the destruction of WW2 and how some cities have looked after the old buildings. Look at Ypres, Churchill recommended keeping the ruins as a reminder of the war, they simply rebuilt it as it was before. Nuremberg is the same.....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 16 Jul 2018, 04:12

One household task that seems to have completely vanished is darning woollen socks. Mother would frequently repair holes in the heels of my stockings with neat darns. Socks were kept going until the heels and toes were almost all darns. There was a cunning little gadget that was very common, it was a small metal frame that to clipped over the hole and guided the placing of the weave to fill the hole. I remember them being sold on Stockport market. Mother never used one, she stuck to her wooden mushroom. I wonder how many modern housewives would recognise what one was for?
She stopped ladders in her stockings with clear nail varnish.......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Wendyf » 16 Jul 2018, 05:57

I have two wooden mushrooms, and actually darned the heel of a sock just a couple of years ago. I didn't choose to do it, a lot of pressure was applied by the owner of the sock, he said he would do it himself! :laugh5:

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 16 Jul 2018, 06:11

I wonder who that was.......
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 17 Jul 2018, 03:48

'Make do and mend' was part of my childhood. If something had a flaw you couldn't buy another so you put it right. This was even embedded in the army. Part of the equipment issued to me when I joined was a 'housewife'. This was a small sewing kit containing the essentials for running repairs. Most houses had a cobbler's last somewhere and it wasn't uncommon for fathers to put new clog irons on or new hobnails in boots. All boots had studs or hobnails and to this day I lengthen the life of my heels by having steel tips. In fact a man stopped me the other day and commented on the fact that I was the only person he knew that still had hobnailed boots, he had mistaken the clicking of my heel irons for evidence I had full nailed boots. One thing I learned when I started bothering with my cattle was that they like to hear you coming and clog irons were a good defence against startling them and getting kicked.
That reminds me of an employer I knew who always whistled. I commented on it one day and he surprised me by saying that he did it so his men could hear him coming. This meant that he was less likely to come across them lazing about which made his life easier!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 18 Jul 2018, 04:02

One of the consequences of the make do and mend culture was the number of small businesses who catered for the demand. Every town had a good ironmomnger's shop where you could get all you needed. There was a tinsmith on Church Street and if you had a hole in a bucket or cooking vessel you took it to him and he repaired it. There were blacksmiths to deal with heavier metal and you could buy shoe leather, hobnails and clog irons for home cobbling. Knitting wool and supplies for sewing and home dressmaking were easily bought in the town.
It even affected the newsagents because there were magazines that advised on all these activities and included patterns and plans. All this has gone now..... Today if a plastic bucket springs a leak it is thrown away and home dressmaking and cobbling are just about dead.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 19 Jul 2018, 04:03

One of the things that struck me when I was researching the LTP was the variety of interests people had. Women had less time than men but even so organisations like the Woman's Union and the Young Wives run by the churches and chapels were well attended. Arthur Entwistle's father had a gas engine and lathe in the front room of their house on the Croft and he got margarine boxes from the Maypole Dairy and made wooden toys, mainly for Xmas presents. One tackler on Wapping made model steam locos with nothing but a hand drill and files, he also made optical instruments and once tested some lens he had bought and sent them back because they were defective.
Not all men were so industrious but I think there was more of it about then than now. One good measure is the popularity of magazines like Model Engineer and Practical Mechanics. The biggest section of the publishing industry was woman's magazines. I think the advent of popular TV has a lot to answer for!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 20 Jul 2018, 03:59

In my childhood most public buildings and even Stockport Grammar School had a 'Commissionaire'. Usually drawn from retired military men they wore smart blue military style uniforms and acted as gatekeepers. Even factories had them. They were supplied and administered by the Corps of Commissionaires. I see from THIS that they have now morphed into a modern security firm.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 21 Jul 2018, 05:27

Prince's Street was the main street in Stockport, main street stores and even a theatre. One block back to the north was a slum street which was as bad as anything in the town and that's saying a lot! I have a very clear image of a little lad dressed in nothing but a vest playing out in the street and it was not summer. We talk about deprivation today but I don't think there is anything quite as bad as that today. Or am I wrong about that? I hope not. The contrast between the main street and the slum was so violent. This would be in about 1940 I think.
Susan has promised me that she and Mick will take me for a wander round my old haunts later in the year, it will be interesting!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 22 Jul 2018, 05:04

My mother was still washing by hand until around 1946. She had a dolly tub in the back yard and a mangle in the kitchen that folded down into a table, the only working surface in the kitchen. However, she had a Hoover vacuum cleaner, the only 'modern' piece of equipment in the house. That is until father hit a problem at work with welding slag inside the large flare casings they were making. War production came first and he took mother's cleaner to GGA and there it stayed. I don't remember any reaction from mother, but she must have been sad to have to go back to the old-fashioned Ewbank carpet sweeper. Incidentally, you can still buy them new!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 23 Jul 2018, 04:31

Shortly after the end of the war there was high excitement in the household at Napier Road. A brand new Servis washing machine was delivered and installed in the cellar under the kitchen. It heated its own water and had a power wringer! Mother read the instructions and washed everything in the house! I have never seen a woman so happy.
Then father came home and broke the news that the washer wasn't ours, he had wangled it in a time of post war shortage form the firm who made it and it was to go to one of his mates. I don't know what ensued but a week later another one arrived specially for mother!

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Not the same make but exactly what mother got.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by PanBiker » 23 Jul 2018, 08:37

I can remember my mum having one of those and the excitement when she upgraded to a Hoover Twin Tub. Part of that was almost certainly that my dad had just built the kitchen extension so there was more room to accommodate it. We had joiner built units and cupboards (made in shop at Skipton Rd works) to replace the kitchenette and had a new stainless steel sink and drainer to replace the old Belfast sink.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Tizer » 23 Jul 2018, 08:56

There must be 100s of old photos, posters and documents on this history page of the Ewbank web site. Click on one of the images to enlarge it and then toggle through them using the side arrows. Ewbank history

Here's one relevant to the robot age...

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 24 Jul 2018, 03:39

Funny, but that advertisement reminded me of the woven coir(?) mats that were common. Always clean and if you lifted them you found out why..... All the muck dropped through the interstices and was there on the floor underneath!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 25 Jul 2018, 04:08

Looking back I realise that the most important element of our house (Apart from the fact it gave us shelter) was the coal fire which always burned in the grate in the kitchen, winter and summer because it was the source of hot water. It demanded attention all day from cleaning and ashing out in the morning to banking it up at night so that it burned for as long as possible. Mother would often ask me to bring in a shovel full of coal from the bunker in the back yard. The trash can in the back yard was always known as the dustbin because that's where the fine ash ended up.
In winter the fire was the core of the house, it was the only source of heat. Closing doors to stop draughts was essential and our world was limited to the immediate area of the fire. Many years later when we first got central heating the first thing I noticed was how much bigger the house seemed to be. No problems in those days of kids living separate lives in their bedrooms, it was too bloody cold in there!
I often wonder how people would react today to going back to those conditions.....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 26 Jul 2018, 03:44

I've often thought about my mother doing the washing by hand and tried to remember what detergent she used. I have an idea it was Rinso or Acdo. What I can remember clearly is that she put the last bits of bars of soap in a jar with water and when they had dissolved to a sort of syrup she used that for spot treatment of cuffs and collars, scrubbing them with a small brush she kept for that job only. Waste not, want not and I still use the ends of bars of soap in the same way. Soap flakes were very common but you never see them these days. I think everyone used Dolly Blue in the final rinse water, it made whites look whiter.

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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 27 Jul 2018, 04:24

One peculiar thing about washing day in my childhood was that it was universally always on Monday. For many women it was the start of three days dominated by the dolly tub, wringer, clothes line and iron.

Image

The washing line at Hey Farm in 1976. I love washing lines, this was a small wash mainly of knickers!

The advent of modern washing machines, dryers and even ironing machines and the laundromat has freed women from this tyranny but many still say they haven't enough time to cook! It makes you wonder how their grandmothers managed!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 28 Jul 2018, 02:45

Someone asked on the site about fast food in Barlick a while since. The fact that many housewives were working in the mill meant that fish and chip shops, pie shops and other sources of ready food did well in the town. It struck me yesterday that they all used UK sourced ingredients apart from imported wheat. The fast food shops of today's high Street use a far higher proportion of imported ingredients and that percentage is rising as we neglect food production in this country. Sooner or later the government is going to wake up to this and instead of the wartime slogan 'Dig For Victory' they are going to have to run a 'Dig For Survival' campaign......
The present plans for farm subsidies after Brexit don't mention paying farmers to grow food, only environmental benefits based on acreage. Small grass and hill farmers were supported but not any longer.....
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 29 Jul 2018, 03:39

When the Second World War started plans were already in place to bring in food rationing and in effect nationalise agricultural production. Before the war farmers were having a bad time but suddenly they became popular! Everything possible was done to bring land into the most effective production. The shortage of shipping due to enemy attacks changed what we imported or rather how we imported. The aim was to get as much food in as small a space as possible and much of what we brought in was dehydrated, apples became dried Canadian Apple Rings which we ate instead of sweets. Eggs became egg powder and I remember mother liked it, she said it was better for baking. These policies were very successful and we never went hungry, in fact on the whole, the population was better nourished at the end of the war than they had been in the 1930s. Bureaucracy isn't always a bad thing!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 30 Jul 2018, 03:46

Changing the clocks has always been a contentious subject but during the war we had Double Summer Time, a shift of two hours not one. See THIS Wikipedia article that gives the history. I can remember during the war the long summer evenings, light until after 11PM. The consequence for us kids was that our mothers made us go to bed in broad daylight and I can still remember the thin green curtains in my bedroom!
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Stanley » 31 Jul 2018, 03:50

Because of the war a lot of horses were still used, they didn't need fuel coupons! Our milk was delivered by horse from Dobson's Dairies at Didsbury, the same people that ran Coates Shed in Barlick as a dairy for years. Rag and bone men still used horses as did the Co-op, our coal was delivered each week by a horse drawn wagon. The Co-op had a big multi-storey stable and mother took me there one day, I remember one big black horse they called Hitler!
A by-product of this was horse muck on the streets. It was an unwritten rule that if it was outside your house you got first go at it for the roses in the front garden. My mother used to send me out with the coal shovel to collect it. We didn't complain about it as people do today, we used it.
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Re: THE FLATLEY DRYER

Post by Julie in Norfolk » 31 Jul 2018, 06:35

You've just sent me back to Bath Street, Nelson. Picking up the horse muck for grandma's garden.
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