Friday 4 March 2011: The Battle of the Washhouse
I've gone all Orwellian tonight for some reason, must be the after effects of World Book Day and climbing out of the bath to find Anne Robinson interviewing Trinny Woodall about her favourite books. Trinny appeared to be describing a book that helped you to solve crossword puzzles?! Did I miss something when I got into the bath? Was anyone else watching?
Anyway back to the Battle of the Washhouse. This building is outside our back door and to the right a bit. It began its life as a Victorian washing house in the days before plumbing and automatic washing machines. When we first moved on to the street our then very elderly neighbours had stores of wonderful stories to tell about growing up, being apprenticed at the Mill, tugging the forelock at Mr Ferrand who would drive down to church from St Ives Estate in his horse drawn buggy etc. Margaret showed me the wash house and described how the children hated wash day because it literally took all day and if it rained the house would be hung with steaming washing. They were expected to help mother wring out the sheets and long johns and work clothes. Since Margaret and Sam passed on, the wash house has been owned by several subsequent neighbours and used for a variety of purposes. At one point our neighbour below wanted it pulling down because it looks ready to fall down, but it's looked ready to fall down for some considerable years. This was the time of the Battle of the Washhouse. Needless to say it is still standing and fast becoming a garden feature.