Cleaning and Polishing the Home

Continuing my Mum’s remembrances about how life used to be, here are her thoughts on cleaning the home.

One thing which I remember clearly is the making of our own furniture and floor polish. The only polish we could buy was called MANSION polish. I believe it could be in short supply and so we were taught to make our own. We grated beeswax into the empty Mansion polish tin and covered it with turpentine leaving it overnight to soften. If we had any brown shoe polish to spare a little of it was added to this mixture when it had softened and all ingredients stirred in well. The beeswax had soaked up the turpentine and was easily mixed to look like bought polish. It was applied to either the furniture or the floor and even tiles, rubbed in well with a lot of elbow grease and then it all had to be buffed with much elbow grease, so that it all shone with no smear marks. It was a very good way of avoiding “batwings”. This expression was unheard of in those days.

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Using and Cleaning the Kitchen Range

Continuing my Mum’s recollections of how life used to be for her, here are her thoughts on cleaning in the kitchen.

In the summer of my 5th year we moved from a small bungalow where we lived in Peel Common, just outside Fareham, Hampshire. It was very exciting because we moved by horse and cart. It was a huge shire horse and an open cart belonging to people who had befriended my Dad and Mum. The owner wanted to place me on the horse to have a ride but I recoiled from this huge animal. So, life started for us at 21 Beaconsfield Rd, Fareham.

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Washing Laundry the Hard Way in the 1950s


My Mum has superbly accepted my challenge to remember her life and how very different it is for modern day housewifes. My parents married in 1950, and their first home was a little thatched cottage – a tied home – with no electricity and an old Victorian range. Here she gives an insight to how the laundry was done. Continue reading