Cleaning In The Old Days – Such Hard Work

We lived with my Nan when we couldn’t join our parents on overseas postings.   Nan used to keep the house spotless – no mean task with three small grandchildren racing about creating mayhem.  I particularly recall following her about and watching each task be carried out in an invariable routine.   The rugs were hung over the washing line to air and be pummelled ;  rubbish bins were emptied first with used ashtrays and these were then rinsed out and left to dry.  In her own bed sitting room, she had a real fire with a huge grate.  The routine was always to clean out the ashes into a special long handled dust pan – these were still hot and had to be handled carefully so as not to drop any on the lino or carpet.   The empty grate was then swept thoroughly and washed with hot suds – rinsed and all surfaces, metal and ceramic, dried vigorously to a very bright shine.  All that before the beating of the rugs to get out the rest of the dust.  So much easier today with central heating,  vacuum cleaners and spray floor mops!