Monday, 8 October 2012

Cotton Sheets and memories of the 1950's!

I only have to close my eyes and memories come tumbling into my mind.
 A childhood in the 1950's!

They tumble somewhat like this from a 1950's baby!

1. Waking very early on a Monday morning and smelling water coming to the boil
2. The copper pan on the gas ring.
3. Piles of washing being sorted on the stone floor in the kitchen.
4. The wet wooden draining board worn away at the edge by the scrubbing brush working on stubborn stains.
5. The blocks of Fairy Soap.

6.The little Blue bags popped in with the whites

7. Fascination of the mangle as it turned and spluttered water in it's wake.
8. A hurried breakfast and being literally sent out of the door to play -- where? Well anywhere! Anywhere but under Mum and Grandma's feet!
9. Seeing the white washing on the line and knowing that soon you would be allowed back in until it started all over again the next week.
10. Ironing seemed to go on all week. With much spraying of Robin Starch.

I can remember lying on my back under a cherry tree in the garden just watching the sheets blow. Strangely I have no memory of what they did when it was raining and the washing could not be put on the line! Maybe it went over the bath!

Well, as I have said before it is so hot here in Spain right now and as I was wandering in the little village market I saw some very large,very white,very crisp, cotton sheets!
Immediately I thought cool,calming and relaxing.
Well of course much Spanglish was enjoyed.
"Oh yes -- Of course they are top quality!"
"Oh yes --of course they are Egyptian cotton!"
"Oh yes-- there are 400 threads per inch!"
And, "Oh yes--- most importantly they will keep you super cool!"

Well, for 8 Euros for all that who am I to argue!
Of course when you buy something from the market it deserves to be washed.
It deserves to be hung out on a long line!
Shame about the lack of grass and a cherry tree to lie under in the dappled shade and watch it blow on the long line!

Well, so far so good and in a trice it was dry!
Oh, I felt just like my Mum!

Here she is with me and my brothers.
And then the trouble started.

Can you see those creases?
I dashed away with the smoothing iron!
I pressed,I sprayed, I pressed some more and some more and then suddenly I remembered something else!

Mum and Grandma used to be a bit grumpy on Mondays -- I am sure they must have been dreading ironing those sheets.
Well I gave it my best,hardest,most powerful press and the result was-----
Pretty pathetic!

Young ones today!
Sorry Mum, not up to your standards but I have enjoyed remembering you and the cherries!


  1. What a lovely post! It must have been such hard work on washday Monday - we forget how lucky we are with washing machines and tumble dryers!
    Being a 60s child my memories are a little different but wash day was still Monday, but I think there was a twin tub and much moving of heavy wet washing with wooden calipers! I dont remember a mangle although I think my Granny may have had one!
    Ironically our first washing machine when I set up house with my hubby was one of those old fashioned twin tubby things so I then got to experience it myself (1981!)!
    The ironing.......that hasnt changed so much since then!
    Gill xx

  2. I remember washday Monday as well my sister and I had the job of using the old mangle and scrubbing my baby sisters nappies on the washboard till they were sparkling white then into the boiler with the wooden tong things

    Janis xx

  3. You brought back lovely memories for me Chalky, helping my Aunt fold sheets when I was little and oh so many more came flooding back too, had a nice little trip back in time x Ginny

  4. This is why I stick to flannelette and tumble dry it!! I remember my Mam saying about my Nan being grumpy on Mondays because of washing too. I was a 60s child and so by then we had a washing machine with a mangle on the top and a separate spinner. Saturdays were washing days for us and my Dad got to cook and make egg and chips. I love washing on the line. It reminds me of my Nan. On a rainy day she put everything on wooden clothes horses in front of the cole fire. It is extremely wet here in Devon at the moment. ps Have you seen that Clovelly had been flooded?

  5. Lovely to see you popping in. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. I am glad I have bought back some happy memories!
    As a postscript I have just washed said sheet and I am ashamed to say I have not ironed it at all. That blind man and his galloping horse had better be my bedmate tonight.

  6. Great post with loads of great memories to share, I have a washboard from my aunts , and I can't bear to get rid of it , I had two but gave one away to a museum , I expect twintubs will be museum pieces soon , ps thanks for tips on ipads , I'm still considering one

  7. Thank you for popping in Joan. I have come to the conclusion that getting up close and comfy with the IPad is like learning a foreign language. You have to be dropped in the midst of it and keep on keeping on!


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