After the photographs, I thought should come a tale or two. I have posted some, if not all, of these before, so sorry if longtime followers get a déjà vu view feeling.
Ink, school and toilet tales
Because Dorrie had very long hair, worn sometimes in plaits, the boy sitting behind her in class used to take great delight in dipping the end of one of these into the inkwell, and flicking it at her frilly, white, starched apron.
The resulting mess brought scoldings galore from Ada, who was busy enough washing for her large family, as well as others, without this added hassle. (After being widowed, Ada eked out her money by taking in washing, as her Mother, Sarah had done before her.)
Since the Sunday joint's leftover cold cuts solved the problem of getting dinner ready, washing day was always Monday. With the copper boiler in the scullery doing sterling service all day, not to mention bars of soap, washboard, blue bag and starch, Mum remembered Gran always being less than cheerful(!) at the end of yet another steamy, marathon washing session. . .
Children at school with Dorrie sometimes took their lunch with them, like they do now, but I don't know that she did, as she lived close enough to go home lunchtime. Anyhow, one of the boys earned the name 'Buppy-Shoog-shoog' because of his predilection for bread and butter sprinkled with sugar, for his sandwiches. Dorrie pleaded with her mum to do the same for her, but Ada was firm - 'No such rubbish for you, my girl.'
I do believe the boy's real name was Horace Bumpstead, as many years later, Mum recognised him, working as a conductor on the buses in Portsmouth, and pointed him out to me. A small, insignificant little man, with old fashioned, round, wire framed glasses, slightly pot bellied (no doubt due to all those sugar sarnies) and what you might call a 'prunes and prisms' mouth - i.e., tiny and puckered. He stammered a bit, and used to repeat everything more than once in a hesitant way, his voice rather high and squeaky, but rusty sounding at the same time. In fact, just as you might expect one named Horace Bumpstead to sound.
I've mentioned elsewhere the 'piano game' Mum played with the meat skewers, but another of her favourites was to take a candle into the outside loo, (don't think there was an indoor one too - there wasn't) drop gouts of hot wax onto her hand (painful - I once tried it too) then 'operate' with a blunt knife to remove them.
The earliest memory I have of this loo is a bit traumatic, as I managed to bolt myself in, even though I'd been told not to, then couldn't work the bolt properly to get back out… Not too disastrous, as the green -or was it brown?-, wooden plank door had a hole right through where the latch was, as well as decorative openings across its top, so a passing grown up easily heard my panic-stricken pleas for help, and gave calm instructions as to how I might get out.
The wooden seat went from side to side of the back wall, and the round hole must have had chinaware below it, but my memory doesn't stretch that far. I was too small to worry about the mechanics of the thing. The water tank was fixed on brackets high on the back wall. Its chain was long and swinging, and loo paper was squares of newspapers, cut up and threaded onto a loop of string hanging from a hook on the side wall.
My cousin, Peggy remembered that, as a child, there were occasionally squares of tissue paper instead, if our Auntie Glad had brought home some of the sheets used as packing for the fabrics delivered to the factory where she worked.
The well scrubbed, wooden seat was warmly comforting to sit on - about the only thing in the loo that was, as howling draughts were the norm on chilly days. It's sad, when the toilet was updated in later years, that this seat met its demise in favour of a more modern, much chillier version...
Monday Bank Holiday. I must add a little more for the benefit of any late comers - Gran's loo was a proper, brick built edifice adjoining the kitchen and attached to its mirror image for the house next door. No thunder box cans to empty! I might have known even the mention of a loo would dredge up some questionable reminiscences in the comments box !