The torture of Wash days Past


My mother ruled  the cleaning with the strictness of a sergeant major. No washing machines  in our house until 1968, why would she need one she had daughters… Laundry wasn’t ever done on a Sunday and had to be on the line before 7.30 in the morning, Monday for linens, the clothes washed every/any day except Sundays.

A Burco boiler with its tin lid and a large pair of wooden tongs sat in the washroom. Tongs were used to pull the boiling sheets and tea towels from the boiler which was cloudy with soap, in to the sink of waiting cold rinse water. Next to the Burco was a spin dryer that moved around at will, we would sit or lay on it to stop it from pulling the plug from the wall. (No we didn’t sit on it for any other reason). Wooden pegs called dollies were used to hold the items on the line and beware of  mother if you forgot to wash the line first. The line is a bit fuzzy, I remember it tied to a ring on the house and across to a post on the far side of the garden, I think a sort of bailing twine… A skinny long branch with a Y at the top was used to higher and lower the line. Being small I didn’t hang out, my sisters were taller so they did. I still fail to understand why legs were slapped for putting pegs in the wrong place. I apparently still hang out incorrectly, so  Mother said last year when we all mucked in the morning after Dad died.

Photo borrowed from internet no identification of origin.