When I was a child, the neighbors on the road we lived on would vie for who had the whitest wash. Woe betide if your wash had any gray in it; you would be talked about for days. The wash was put out on a washing line which would go from one end of the garden to the other. The wet clothes were secured with pegs so they could blow in the wind (if there were any) or sit in the sun and dry. When it rained, most homes had what was called a “hoist” in the kitchen where the wet clothes were placed after being put through what was known as a “wringer” and hoisted up from the wash room (in the basement) to dry with the warmth of the house. The ironing took ages. Everything was ironed – panties, handkerchiefs, socks – nothing escaped the iron, so much so that washing was done on Mondays and ironing on Tuesdays. When we finally got a washing machine, we thought we had died and gone to heaven because we did not have to do the wringing anymore. The machine spun the clothes dry, and they were a lot dryer than when put through the wringer!
Looking back, I do not know how people coped, but they did because that is all they had to work with. This was, of course, in England where this took place. In the USA, they did not have to cope with such an archaic system for washing. They had washers which took huge loads of clothes, and also dryers to dry them. Many of the houses had under floor heating, whereas we had coal fires which, can I say, were very dirty and smelly. But on a positive side, the fires were so good to sit in front of and toast crumpets! Since connecting with my brother, so many memories have come to the surface for not only me, but also my brother. It is nice to reminisce about the past.