The Washerwoman

The Washerwoman

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Family Care, 1960's style






I love old books, and my favourites have to be the ones with surreal and often rather disturbing pictures. This crazy selection come from a tome called "Family Care, in sickness and in health" which was published in 1963.

It covers everything from an A to Z of childrens ailments, common medical problems, personal hygeine, mental health, toilet training to care of the elderly. Not only is the text a fascinating insight into life almost 50 years ago, but the photographs are real gems!

" A cautionary word about plastic bags!
"Every mother needs a firm adjustable brassiere...... and many like to have a well made corset."

this sensible looking boy doing his homework looks more like a child from the 40's, rather than a child of the 60's. I find this an interesting snapshot of how little childrens clothing changed in the 20 years following the 2nd World war.

"Young children soon develop an insatiable curiosity, and directly one's back is turned have their fingers into everything."


Above shows the dangers in the kitchen with the sensible advice that "Saucepan handles should be turned inwards so that children cannot pull boiling food over themselves" (I just want that kitchen!!)

"Children should not be allowed to use sharp knives as they invariably cut themselves"

"Children should be trained to wash their hands" Once again the image used looks more 1930's or 40's than 1960's.
"Old people can exercise gently in rocking chairs". This lady appears to be living in a room from the Victorian period...

"Sometimes a Granny lives quite happily with her family" (the use of the word "sometimes" is an interesting choice....)


Not only does the book cover childhood, there is also a chapter on the older generation, this old chap playing the piano makes me smile...and the caption says that "old peoples homes have improved a lot in recent years"

"Bowls is an ideal sport for older men".... what about the women???

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Favourite & Best Bits of 2009


Snow dominated the start of the year.. and the end of 2009..... the above photo was taken in Austria where we had a magical holiday.
Below is a view over Somerset fields.

I saw the Dohl Foundation twice in 2009, brilliant band, and I could happily see them again in 2010.... http://www.dholfoundation.com is their website.


The ancient rose above the washerwoman's washing line, sadly it wasn't a great summer weather wise, so not a lot of time spent in the garden this year.

Purchased a van in 2009, a useful vehicle to say the least.... guess who chose the colour?

2009 was a year of several reunions, above is the long awaited & much anticipated get together with Angie, Jacqui & Steve. We all worked together in the early 80's on a certain orthopaedic ward at St Thomas's hospital.

Next came a noisy weekend in Bath with Christine, Aline, Sara & Catherine.
(Hardly any wine was consumed.....) Great weekend & always a special treat to get-together with these school friends & ex-flatmates!

WOMAD, Charlton Park, Wiltshire. Below is Sarah Savoy (and the Francadians) http://www.myspace.com/sarahsavoythefrancadians
One of the highlights over the amazing 3 days, this girl has a great voice & a stylish taste in dresses!


Peter Gabriel played a stunning set on the Saturday night. The special effects were awesome.

Summer day out at the Big Sheep in Devon with Donna, Alfie, Lizzie, Thomas & Tilly was a special day to remember. Donna Thank you so much for organising it.

At the end of August, we moved into the Dairy House (above is the stock we took & used for our business card photoshoot)

September - another trip to France in search of solitude (oops, sorry that is meant to read stock)

Shelves at the Dairy House, our eclectic style taking shape.

Had to add in this photo.. taken this weekend with some friends who are over in this country from Australia. Not seen each other since the very early 90's. Where do the years go?

Photo below is the girls of 1979 Nightingale school of nursing. Thank you Ruth for hosting a super day. It was great to catch up & see everyone.


Monday, 14 December 2009

A Date for your Diary in 2010

I am happy to post news of a great new event for the Textile lovers diary. After several months of chat and planning, Sue and I have come up with a date for the
Vintage Textiles and Costume Day @ Dairy House

Sunday 11 April 2010 from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm

Of course it isn't all about textiles & vintage costume. The Dairy House has a fantastic assortment of beautiful antiques, pictures, glassware, ceramics and much more....... There really is something for everybody, so we do hope that you will be able to come along and make a day of it.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Home Sweet Home

The past week has been good as there is only one more fair on the horizon before Christmas.
This means there is time to catch up with a bit of sewing. Shown above is the "sewing chair" where I like to sit in natural daylight. The old wooden sewing box came from my grandmother and it lined with pretty 30's floral fabric, the Lloyd loom chair from a Car Boot sale & the cushion from The Fountain Antiques Centre in Honiton.

Next came some time to tidy, dust & clean the house......nice to see the kitchen worktops for a change!


Housework is not my favourite occupation, but it does mean that you can take time to look at my favourite bits & bobs in the home.
I bought this plaster head in Lewes in the 1980's so she is a real "old friend".

An eclectic selection of bits & bobs adorn the shelves.. and my family are always complaining "that I have too much stuff"....... Do I? Really?

Then came the opportunity to sort out my winter clothes, I am rather fond of blue/green jumpers as you can see!


This oil painting of a house & garden was a recent treat. It was destined for the Dairy House but somehow found its way onto my kitchen wall.

A little more dusting required..... my growing collection of lustre ware & cider mugs. I have spotted another one in a local Antiques shop that I might have to succumb to soon if somebody else doesn't buy it.


Sadly not a very good photo of my 1940's lady. I bought her at Shepton Mallet Antiques fair some years ago.

At this point you can see that my trusty camera is not taking the best piccies in the world. Despite help & advice from "technical support" (aka eldest son) it would appear it is beyond repair. This might be my last blog posting for a few weeks until I can buy another one.... grrrrr frustration!

Anyway, I struggled on & took a few more pics, including my Lloyd Loom sofa & screen. I bought the screen in Bath Antiques market about 18 yrs ago & still adore the chubby cherubs & over-blown roses. The sofa was a more recent find in an Antiques centre.

Some "Red Regatta" 1950's china, along with my french spotty butter dish....

We are expecting friends for supper, so a wonderful opportunity to get out the whole set.

and still going with the sailing theme, an interesting old 1930's black & white photo of Cowes regatta which came from an auction. You cannot see it, but there are some suitably dressed people on the boat, he is wearing a smart blazer & peaked hat, she is elegant in her print dress and sun visor.....

That's all folks! Back to the housework & a little more sorting.... I will have this house "ship shape" by Christmas!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

December already!!!


A slightly overdue 1960's school room sign for this month. There is actually only one fair on our Vintage calendar & that is the Shepton Flea market on the 13th of December. I have decided to list the fairs on the side bar of the blog from January onwards so that they are more visible. If there is a website, you should be able to click on the image and it will take you to there so that you can see the opening hours & admission details. Well, lets give it a try anyway!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Bath Fair preview....

Another busy week at Washerwoman HQ!
This coming Sunday is the Ashley Hall Vintage Fair at the Assembly rooms in Bath, http://www.ashleyhallfairs.co.uk/

Here are a selection of a few items I have been washing & preparing to take along. This includes 40's Paisley wraparound dresses, vibrant coloured 50's ball gowns....

This beautiful vintage wedding dress.....

Wearable Horrockses 50's cotton print dresses.... and much much more......





Now, back to the ironing, see you there!