The Wash Tub

I grew up in the era of Sunday baths. There were five kids in our family and there is no way each of us had a clean bath full of hot water so it must have been rather murky for the “last man in”. The baths were on Sunday so we were fresh for the new week. I don’t remember any smelly kids at school so presume we all smelt as bad as each other! After playtimes forty active kids had to create quite an odour, especially in summer.

Having a bath on Sundays didn’t mean we became grotty gradually, we were always playing outside and often in the dirt. One school morning I was all dressed ready for school when Mum noticed my dirty legs, they must have been beyond cleaning with a face washer because Mum made me stand in the washing machine. I have no idea why there would have been soapy water in it at that time of the day but there was.

The washing machine was a big, cylindrical tub on castors with a wringer attached. The wringer had two rollers which you could swing over the centre of the tub or back to the edge. There was a metal plate on the end that you hit to separate the rollers.

Mum never  ever had what you would call, “lightness of touch” and even if she did have, dirty knees need a bit of scrubbing to clean, I suppose.  As I stood in the soapy water her enthusiastic scrubbing caused me to overbalance and I dropped down into the soapy water. I was soaked and needed a complete change of clothes before I could leave for school but I guess my legs were clean!

You didn’t know that about Nana did you?

This is a similar washing machine though I remember it as much bigger. As a giant child gobbler in fact!

This is a similar washing machine though I remember it as much bigger, as a giant child gobbler in fact!

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5 thoughts on “The Wash Tub

  1. Oops off my last comment went!
    Great bit of nostalgia here … So many of the old appliances were so large … Remember early mobile phones!
    Yes loved this image… A whiff of an era now gone… The dress, hairstyle, design of the machine!

  2. I remember Mum being very, very wary of the machine after she caught a breast in the rollers, have no idea HOW she managed it! I do remember the first mobile phone my brother had, he needed the latest and best communication device. His mobile included a separate, very heavy battery pack with shoulder strap. Another “trend setter” I remember were the “trannies”, that were about the size of a couple of bricks and not much lighter. That’s given me the idea for another post. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

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