January 2012 Newsletter - Helen Fischer (Hender) YHS 1967

Helen Fischer (Hender) YHS 1967 wrote:

WASHING DAY... Mum having to wash the clothes in the “copper” in the laundry. Everyone had the double concrete sinks in the old days – a wringer was attached to one of them. The fire was lit under the copper to heat up the water, then the clothes were put in to be washed in the boiling hot water. They were then put in to cold rinsing water in the trough and put through the wringer – then (weighing a ton) taken to be hung out on the clothes line which went from one end of the yard to the other and propped up by wooden poles. Our kids could not even imagine this and now you see things from our childhood in antique shops!
I threw my dummy into the fire box of our copper at 36 Railway Avenue then started crying when I realised it had burnt. Did not get another one after that!
It was very exciting when mum got her first washing machine, her pride and joy the “Stampco” with its own built in wringer. It cut washing time down so much (ours was green).

THE SMELL OF WINTER FIRES... while walking home from school (I loved that smell). You could smell all the wood fires burning. Then when the dad’s got home from work, you could hear them all chopping wood from the wood sheds – getting the kindling ready for the morning (as everyone had a black IXL wood stove in their kitchen) and for the wood heaters or open fire places in the lounge rooms. I used to love chopping up the kindling with our little tommy hawk axe! Did everybody cook their toast on a toasting fork in front of the IXL in the kitchen – tasted the best.

BROWNIES BOB A JOB... I used to hate Brownies “bob a job” as I always got stuck sweeping the foot paths at everyone’s houses of coal dust – phew! Hard work when you are only 8 years old. The SEC used to send around huge vacuum cleaners to suck out all the coal dust from the ceilings of the houses to prevent them from catching fire. That was always good to watch when you were a kid.

PRINCESS OF FLOWERS... at the local garden show every year. We all dressed up in our best party dresses and went on stage – how embarrassing!!! I remember one year with Elizabeth Langdon, Christine Canovan and myself. I wore my yellow dress with matching yellow petticoat!


AUTUMN... was great as the Plane trees used to shed their huge leaves – we used to kick the leaves, scrunch them under out feet and throw them at each other going to school. People used to sweep up the leaves out the front of their house and burn them in the gutter – another smell that takes me back to my childhood.

SMOKERS... used to be everywhere. Waiting rooms in the Health Centre used to have a smoky haze hanging from the ceiling as everyone used to light up in those days. Bad luck if you suffered from asthma – but then again you did not hear of anyone having it in the good old days.

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