Wednesday, 13 July 2016


When I was a kid, kitchens had their own sort of 'feel'
to them.  What's more, all of the kitchens in all (well, almost
all) of the houses I lived in had the same ambience.  There were
two porcelain sinks side-by-side, one bigger and deeper than the
other, in order to accommodate washing.  Not washing dishes -
washing as in laundry.  I'm ancient, remember, and most of
the houses I've lived in were built before washing machines
were a common appliance in most domiciles.

There was also often a larder or pantry for stocking
food, as well as cupboards and drawers and all the usual
trappings of a kitchen.  Every house I ever inhabited but one
(built in the early '80s)  also had a clothes-rack attached to the
kitchen ceiling for hanging laundry to dry, which was lowered
and raised by a cord and pulley system.  When I flitted from
one house to another, the kitchen always had the same
'feel' about it; the same 'mood', the same ambience.

The first kitchen of ours to have a stainless steel sink
was in a new-built house we moved into in 1983.  This was
also the first kitchen to have a slightly different feel to it than
previous ones, on account of having up-to-date (for the time)
cupboards and work-tops, instead of the 1950s and '60s style
ones we were accustomed to.  It also had a dining area within
the kitchen rather than in the living-room.  It was also the
first one without a clothes-rack on the ceiling.

Today, in my present house, the kitchen is relatively
modern and doesn't have that same feeling as of old, on
account of not having the same fittings it did when I and my
family first lived here in the '70s.  (We lived in the same house
twice, with a gap of just over four years in between.)  I don't
know about anyone else, but I miss that old atmosphere that
kitchens had when I was younger.  Everything nowadays is
too spick-and-span and high-tech, and looks like the
sort of kitchen JAMES BOND would have.

Tell you one thing for sure:  first time I see one of
those overhead clothes-racks anywhere, I'm nabbing it
for my kitchen, just to try and restore part of that familiar
feeling of old which I miss so much.  What about the rest
of you?  Any other Criv-ites feel the same?


Phil S said...

I tell you what I liked about mid century kitchens. They looked great. Particularly if you had that design with the mini boomerangs and the plastic furniture.
It looked like the Jetsons.
One thing I can't figure out is electronics on a fridge. It tells me I need to buy milk? Because the notepad doesn't work? And I have to pay how much for my fridge to tell me?
Wouldn't it be cheaper to get a butler at that price?

Kid said...

You mean you don't have a butler, Phil? Hey, keep up with the times, man - all the best people have a butler these days. I've got three.

(Yeah, okay, I'm lying. I've only got two.)

DeadSpiderEye said...

The thing I remember about them is the smell of tallow soap, not the poncy designer variety they sell in The Body Shop now, the stuff that was the size of a brick and twice as hard. There was also a washing line strung between terraces, that you could only access from the kitchen window. Belfast basins, Ascot boilers, beech worktops they all disappeared to be replaced by stainless steel, immersion heaters and laminated chipboard.

Kid said...

Yeah, I remember that soap as well. Also, my mother had a wringer which fitted over the divide between the two sinks. She'd feed the clothes through it to wring them dry after washing them in the big sink. Bet she was glad when we got a washing machine around '62 or '63. I still remember the smell of the rubber seals on it. We must've had that machine right up until the late '70s at least.

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