Saturday 22 April 2017

The Saturday list #126 - 10 household words and phrases that have disappeared in my lifetime

This morning, I was awoken by the Jo and Simon show on BBC Radio London. They were discussing coal bunkers and whether there were any of the old concrete bunkers left in London. One of the callers mentioned that they kept "coal under the sink in the scullery". It got me thinking. We used to have a scullery, before my parents had "the extension" and created a large open plan kitchen. I can't remember the last time I heard the word scullery. Which, as it's Saturday, made me think of other words and phrases that have disappeared. The criteria I've used is whether my 16 year old son would be bemused by the word.

1. Scullery. This was a sort of mini kitchen, where the cooker and the sink wer kept, but there wasn't room to swing a cat.

2. Gas poker. We used to have a gas poker to light the coal fire in the front room. They were very popular.

3. The Mangle. My mum used to have a mangle to squeeze the water out of the washing. Famously she caught my elder brother Laurie putting worms through it when he was a toddler. These days we have tumble driers.

4. The Black and White Telly. In these days of flat screeens etc, the concept of a black and white telly to my kids is truly bizarre. My daughter asked once why people didn't like colour.

5. Storage Heaters. These were large electric radiators with big concrete blocks in. You put them on when the electricity was at "cheap rate" and they stayed warm all day.

6.  The airing cupboard. This was where the hot water tank was kept and it had a space above for drying items in the winter.

7. The outdoor loo. Before the extension, we had an outdoor toilet. I never quite figured out why, until I asked my dear old auntie. Before the days of central heating, double galzing etc, keeping the house warm in winter was difficult. You didnt want smells trapped that couldn't escape, so the loo was outside.

8.  Eiderdowns. There was a period oin the late 70's when everyone had an Eiderdown on their bed. Haven't heard the term for years.

9. The potting shed. In the 1960's people had potting sheds. I was never quite sure what happened in them.

10. Servents bells. We still have these, although they don't work. Odd really for a semi in Mill Hill!
 My daughter asked what it was recently and didn't believe me. I've kept it in place to remind me of our aristocratic past. All the rooms apart from the little "maids bedroom" had a bell.

Image may contain: indoor
Servents bells

1 comment:

Conniesdad said...

Night storage radiators are still common in rural areas that don't have mains gas. They take a couple of days to warm the house but are fine after that.