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Sunday, 10 April 2016

A-Z: I Remember.....Kitchens and Knitting

I Remember When......
Recalling Memories of My Childhood

 (I am getting ahead of the schedule here, 
as I am away some days the coming week)  
What was your KITCHEN like at home, growing up  - a small galley style only fit for one person at a time, or the epitome of the  large farmshouse style kitchen as  the busy hub of the family?  

Until I was 10 years old, we lived in a rented terraced house.  The kitchen was small, basic and cold.    It was also rather dark and gloomy with a solid back door and little light getting in.   A pantry with a cupboard with a mesh door was the primitive fridge!   

Our back garden with the solid back door to the kitchen

Labour saving devices even in the 1950's were scarce. Washing (always on a Monday when my mother donned a cross-over overall and put her hair in a turban), was done by hand and then put through a mangle to dry either outside on the clothes line or on an overhead pulley. The only other alternative was a steaming clothes horse around the open fire.

We later moved and my mother had Raeburn solid fuel cooker (a bit like an Aga) and this was her pride and joy.  A spin dryer followed to ease wash day and then a twin tub, before the luxury of an automatic washing machine. 

Getting a fridge in the late 1950's was another  luxury - we could make ice cubes!   The icebox was tiny - in no way a freezer, but it meant we could buy ice-cream to eat at teatime. 

Another kitchen memory was of me sitting on the draining board and Mum teaching me how to KNIT - a dishcloth of all things to inspire me!  I then moved on to knitting a scarf and a pixie hood for myself or my many dolls.  I kept this craft up, knitting my school pullovers and later jumpers for my husband - until it became far cheaper to buy knitwear,  than spend money on wool and the time on knitting it up. 

 Still the skill  came in useful  - here a brownie doll I knitted for my daughter. 


Copyright © 2016 -  Susan Donaldson.  All Rights Reserved 


  1. Sue, thanks for sharing your memories which have rekindled mine. I grew up in houses with tiny kitchens but for the past 40 odd years have always had a big kitchen/hub in our homes.

  2. My Dad built our house and we had a nice size functional kitchen with counter dividing the dining room. I remember our first fridge was really old, one up from an ice box. We had no dryer and Mom hung our clothes on the line, een in winter. I remember the sheets standing up by themselves in the mudroom.

    Mom taught me to knit also, and 2 of my daughters knit now. I made lots of sweaters that never got finished because some were boring and also I hate sewing them together. Now I do dishclothes, its all the rage here! And I knit dolls for the kids. I made 3 dinosaurs and 3 cavemen for my grandson.
    Looking forward to L to see what I will remember then!

  3. We live rather primitively for many years in a house with a tiny kitche no electricity or running water and a privy. But we did have a gas stove and the luxury of a kerosene refrigerator. Those years remain among our fondest memories. Mom called it "glorified camping." I'm a visiting minion with the Joyful Brigade. Happy to meet you!

  4. I started to write about kitchens and probably should have. My pictures of the kitchen I grew up in are not very good. I can't even remember what color it was, but I remember when Momma wallpapered it. It was her first time wallpapering, and she continued to do all her own wallpapering after that. Then I learned from her and we helped each other wallpaper our kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms. My last wallpaper job, I hired a pro.

  5. Thank you all for your memories. I too have no photographs of our kitchens, and my mother was the decorator of the household. She followed the trend of having one feature wall in a room, but so,disliked the wallpaper she had chosen, when it was up, that she changed it quickly.

  6. Our kitchens were a good size until we moved into flats and then they were not big enough to eat in but there was a breakfast room right next to them that we ate in. I don't remember a time before we had a refigerator because we got one before I was 2. I remember our wringer washer but it was electric. No dryer until I left home. Mostly we hung the clothes in the basement. Finding Eliza

  7. Our kitchen in my childhood was a decent size and we always are round the table, except on special occasions in the dining room. We had a fridge (sub-tropical) but no hot water for a long time so the kettle had to be boiled. Mum was very fussy about how the washing up was done! Our laundry was downstairs (typical Queensland high-set house) but we too had a mangle but also a copper in which the clothes, sheets etc were boiled and washed. Clothes were hung outside in the sun on a Hills Hoist unless it was rainy when the clothes went under the house.


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