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Housework

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Keeping house during the war years was not easy. Many homes had outside toilets, no indoor running water, or any of the modern conveniences we take for granted today.

With frequent air raids homes were filled with the debris and dust caused by the bomb explosions. Interruption of water supplies was frequent due to bomb damage, and because of the fuel shortages, boiling kettles for hot water was not always an option.

There were very few washing machines; most women used a mangle, poss tub and poss stick, to do the weekly wash. In many homes, clothes were pressed using old-fashioned flat irons, heated on the fire. Lifting them over a clothesline and beating them with a carpet beater to get rid of the dust cleaned the carpets.

Many household repairs previously done by the men were now a woman's job, from fixing fuses to mending buckets and pans.

For working women, keeping home was time consuming and tiring. There were no vacuum cleaners, refrigerators, steam irons, automatic washing machines and tumble driers. In addition many of the clothing fabrics had to be hand washed.

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News from the Home Front

Rationing
The Kitchen
Evacuees
Widows
Housework
Make Do and Mend
Cissie Ewen Remembers

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A card showing women how to create a refuge room.

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