Sunday, 10 April 2016
LAYING OUT THE RED (ORANGE & YELLOW) CARPET...
Hard as it may be for some of you less ancient readers to believe, fitted carpets in houses were not always the norm back in the 1960s and '70s - at least, they weren't in my house. We didn't get our first fitted living-room carpet 'til 1972, when we first moved into the very house in which I now reside as I type this strange, but hopefully interesting post.
Until then, we'd just used the same carpet from one house to another, quite regardless of whether it adequately fitted the floor space or not. Any recesses along the sides, or extra space at the back of the room were filled with linoleum, providing a flat, smooth surface on which to play with wind-up robots, DALEK ROLYKINS, or toy cars by CORGI, DINKY, TRIANG, and MATCHBOX.
Regular readers will be fed-up hearing how my family moved to another house in 1983, but although it was a much larger house, it had a smaller living-room, so our fitted carpet from '72 was cut down to fit the dimensions of the new room. Regular readers will doubtless also be equally fed-up hearing how, in 1987, we moved back to our former home. We got a new fitted carpet for the living-room, and our old one was used for the hallway and staircase.
Until then, our staircase carpet, as was common at one time, ran down the middle of the stairs and was held in place by sliding clamps, embedded in the painted wooden margins on either side of the carpet. Perhaps the concept of carpets that don't fit from wall-to-wall will seem like a sign of poverty or deprivation to anyone under 30, but it was once quite standard in British homes, regardless of a family's income or perceived social status.
Now, if you're a mere youngster, the dates I listed will seem like prehistory to you, but, to someone my age, they won't seem like that long ago. So, to recap: First fitted living-room carpet in 1972, and first fitted stair carpet in 1987. (And just to complete the picture, we didn't get our first colour TV until 1975 or '76.) If you're a similar age to me, does this match your experience of growing up, or did you live in opulent splendour, with fitted carpets and colour TVs in every room? Do tell.
What I find hard to get my mind around is that our old living-room carpet served that purpose for 15 years (in two houses), before changing careers and becoming a hall and staircase carpet, a position it's fulfilled for nearly 29 years now. Yet it seems like only a few short years ago that it was covering our living-room floor.
How time flies, eh?
Posted by Kid at Sunday, April 10, 2016