Feb 16 2012

The Washing Machine

Published by at 1:14 pm under News

My earliest memory of a washing machine in our house was probably us kids trampling on the bedsheets that were left to soak in the bath. The Ma’ would get the older brothers to flex their muscles by having them wring the water out of the sheets before she hung them up on the clothesline in the back garden (The sheets that is). There’d be water everywhere in the house, all over the toilet floor and running in streams down the stairs into the hall. The Ma’ didn’t mind so much because she’d get the older sisters to scrub the place down with a scrubbing brush and a lump of carbolic soap. Be God there was some moaning going on between the older ones in the house over all the work that had to be done on wash day. Looking back now over the years it seems to me that the Ma’ must have been washing clothes almost every day of the week.

Then one day the Da’ and his pal arrived home on their bikes with a contraption tied between the two bikes, it was a washing machine but I have to say it was a very early and crude model of a thing altogether. But the Ma’ was delighted and especially when a gang of the women off our road all gathered around to see  what it was. First off the machine was tied with rope in between the two bike and the two ould fellas travelled home by standing on the outside pedal of their own bike and scooted all the way home. Be the jakers there was fierce excitement altogether because it looked to us kids like some kind of rocket from a Dan Dare film on the Cabra Grand. The contraption was finally unharnessed off the two bicycles and with the help of about a hundred kids it was brought into our kitchen where it stood tall and proud.

To us little ones it seemed huge altogether. It was like a roundy metal barrell that stood on three legs and had a lid on top. When the Da’ took the lid off there was killings to see who’d be first to look inside. We couldn’t make it out how this thing worked and there was this other thing sticking up out of the middle of it and we couldn’t make any sense out of it at all. Then again to us this was space age technology. The Ma’ was delighted and the envy of all the neighbours, she was a ‘Thoroughly Modern Milly’.

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