Heating, Lighting, Cooking and Refuse


Heating, Lighting, Cooking and Refuse


Reminiscences Regarding Heating, Lighting, Cooking and Refuse Collection


"I can remember these (hurricane) lanterns being hung in the milking shed. This helped to create a cosy atmosphere and it was pleasant to hear the cows chewing the hay. The lanterns were used in winter to light the way when delivering the milk to properties around Waterlane, such as The Trench, Watercombe House etc."

"My mother grew up in Selsley and she had to go up and along the garden with a lantern like this to go to the toilet. She didn't like it as the cows used to make noises from over the fence."

"The candle lantern given to the museum by Stella Tanner belonged to Mrs Phelps who lived at Lydas Cotage, then 2 cottages not one. "

Toasting Fork

"I remember my grandparents in the late 1950s toasting bread on their gas fire. They put a slice of bread into a wire cage which fitted on the front of the fire and by pulling a lever down you could turn the bread over without handling it."

"The metal toasting fork reminds me of toasting crumpets in front of the fire when coming home from school. The toasting fork hung up at the side of the fireplace and was adjustable so that the person toasting didn't get too hot."

Flat iron and Gas Iron

"The iron was my favourite when I was younger. I helped my grandmother. The iron was so heavy and also it got very hot while on the range so I had to use a glove (to hold it). The iron used to sit on the trivet."

"I remember my mother using 2 flat irons at home - one was warming on the gas oven and one was in use. She used to test it before using it."

"My mother has a flat iron that was her mother's. She asked for her mother's oil lamps only to be told that they had been thrown away when the cottage got electricity!"

"I remember when the flat iron wasn't used any more it was put in the garage and was a good surface for hammering on!"

"My grandmother used this gas iron. She started using this when her cottage received a gas supply. It was attached to the mains and then the gas was ignited through the slots in the base. She ironed for 9 people with this iron in the 1930s and 1940s."

"When we had the first electric iron we had to plug it into the lighting point in the ceiling as there were no points."

Washing clothes, previously done by hand or sent to a laundry, became less labour intensive and much quicker with electric washing machines.

Ironing, previously carried out with flat irons was then carried out with electric irons, at first plugged into the lighting circuit until power sockets were installed

Cleaning the floors and carpets - the difference made by the early vacuum cleaners were remembered. The regular annual testing of Hoovers was recalled by some

Electric refrigeration instead of pantries with cold slabs and meat safes or keeping dairy food in a bucket half way down the well transformed household provisioning. Lyn Alcock remembered her parents first fridge was coloured brown so that it could be placed in the dining room without being visually intrusive. BG and AG remembered the ice-cream man, Mr Mosley coming on a Sunday at midday and one had to eat the ices straight away as they couldn't be kept cold even until after Sunday lunch

Heating the house, previously done by coal fires or solid fuel boilers, could be done by modern central heating systems once electricity was available to run the circulating pumps and controls. Central heating boilers could be solid fuel or oil-fired. There was a big expansion of domestic central heating in the 1970s, but most people remembered living in houses without central heating in their early life.

Refuse Collection, discussion on the collection of refuse highlighted the fact that no-one remembered a time before the regular public collection of refuse, though several people remarked on rubbish dumps found in gardens that would have been the norm for disposing of rubbish before organised council collections. Glass bottles, tins and china items had all been turned up in gardens.

BG and AG talked of the Ash Cart, which was a motorised vehicle. These collections were tipped into an old quarry site on the Oakridge to Sisley Road between Lillyhorn and Holloway Pike.

Several people remembered the Rag and Bone man going round collecting.





Oakridge History Group


Kay Rhodes




“Heating, Lighting, Cooking and Refuse,” Oakridge Archives, accessed April 2, 2023, https://oakridgearchives.omeka.net/items/show/404.

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