Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Controlled explosions

In answer to the query on the previous post, this is the best image I could find of an Ascot water heater with a swivel pipe. However, the one in my flat was somewhat less modern than this, and would rattle dramatically when it was fired up. If I turned the water pipe to the right it filled either the washing-up bowl or the shallow china sink. If I turned it to the left, and remembered to lift the worktop, it filled the bath. On wash-days, I had to angle it just right to fill the single-tub washing machine that I stood next to the bath. That was when washing clothes was a morning's work - fill the single tub, let it heat up, then put in the first load and switch on. Turn off after 5 minutes, disentangle the clothes, turn it on again. Then the sopping wet clothes had to be lifted out with tongs and flung into the bath which I had filled with cold water, for a rinse. Then I had a small spin dryer that I had to be careful with, for if I knocked the bowl under its drainage spout I could flood the kitchen floor! Oh, the deep joy when I upgraded to a twin tub with its own built-in spinner! Mind you, I still had to rinse out the tubs and remove the fluff from the filters! And if the clothes weren't loaded evenly in the spinner, the machine would thunder wildly across the floor!

Mine wasn't gold like this one, but the layout is the same, even to the rubber ring that was put into the top of the spinner to stop the clothes from getting entangled in the machinery.

The tumble dryer that completed my utility collection only died a couple of years ago.

It's all so easy now.


  1. Ah, memories! And for the information of SR's blessed readers, I inherited that twin tub (washer/spin-dryer) from him when I moved into my curate's house in 1986.

    He is right - it is so easy now.

  2. I appreciate the explanation. Thanks! My first washer was similar, although it filled with a rubber tube that was supposed to fit over the kitchen tap (but didn't). So one had to stand there holding it while the washer filled. If, on rare occasion, it did stick to the tap on its own, the tube became so excited it invariably flew out of the washer and spewed water all over the floor. Ah, the good old days.

  3. RR - I had completely forgotten that I passed that wonderful piece of domestic equipment on to you. How the heck did I get it to your establishment?

  4. I cannot recall. We must have somehow squeezed it into your car (I didn't buy a car until later that year) or else borrowed someone else's car.

    Now you've got me thinking...