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TITLE
Memories of wash-day
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_SINCLAIR_TOTTIEBROWN_03
PLACENAME
Alyth
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
PERTH
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
unknown
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
2275
KEYWORDS
housework
laundry
audio

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In this audio extract, a resident of Inverness talks about the regular household cleaning chores she had to perform as a child growing up in Alyth, Perthshire, in the first half of the twentieth century. The recording dates from around 1986.

'But we hadn't a sink like this, we had a little scullery. But our wash-house was outside, and as I said before, my father got up at six o'clock on Monday morning, lit the fire under the boiler to give my mother boiling water to start off with. And we'd two tubs; and my mother gave it the first graith - that was the first washing - and then she put it (I have to call it) into the second tub and I did the same with two wash boards and then it was put into cold water under a tap, and, until the water was clear, and then it was put into the boiler to boil. I don't know how the clothes managed to last but they were beautiful and white. Then they were taken out of this boiler, put under this cold water tap again, and then we had a wringer over another tub, and a dolly blue, and you put the blue into this water. And when it was clear, under this tap again, in the tub, it was put in there and wrung out and then put out to dry, the wash. I had to go away to school, of course, by nine o'clock, but when I came home at lunch time my mother was still at it. Oh, it was time consuming. It was terrible, when I think back. But oh, the clothes, lovely fresh. And we got mince and tatties, or mince and bread, or tattie soup or something; you didn't get a great lunch on a Monday. No, no, you didn't get a great lunch at all. But that was our wash day.

And the mangle? The mangle?

Oh yes, and the mangle was for the sheets. But we hadn't a mangle, we gave them out to an old lady and we paid a half-penny for each sheet to be put through the mangle - a half-penny'

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Memories of wash-day

PERTH

1980s

housework; laundry; audio

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Bill Sinclair Audio: Inverness Recollections

In this audio extract, a resident of Inverness talks about the regular household cleaning chores she had to perform as a child growing up in Alyth, Perthshire, in the first half of the twentieth century. The recording dates from around 1986.<br /> <br /> 'But we hadn't a sink like this, we had a little scullery. But our wash-house was outside, and as I said before, my father got up at six o'clock on Monday morning, lit the fire under the boiler to give my mother boiling water to start off with. And we'd two tubs; and my mother gave it the first graith - that was the first washing - and then she put it (I have to call it) into the second tub and I did the same with two wash boards and then it was put into cold water under a tap, and, until the water was clear, and then it was put into the boiler to boil. I don't know how the clothes managed to last but they were beautiful and white. Then they were taken out of this boiler, put under this cold water tap again, and then we had a wringer over another tub, and a dolly blue, and you put the blue into this water. And when it was clear, under this tap again, in the tub, it was put in there and wrung out and then put out to dry, the wash. I had to go away to school, of course, by nine o'clock, but when I came home at lunch time my mother was still at it. Oh, it was time consuming. It was terrible, when I think back. But oh, the clothes, lovely fresh. And we got mince and tatties, or mince and bread, or tattie soup or something; you didn't get a great lunch on a Monday. No, no, you didn't get a great lunch at all. But that was our wash day.<br /> <br /> And the mangle? The mangle?<br /> <br /> Oh yes, and the mangle was for the sheets. But we hadn't a mangle, we gave them out to an old lady and we paid a half-penny for each sheet to be put through the mangle - a half-penny'