Web Page No 2258
29th April 2016
Top Picture: Pulley for the Washing Line
Second Picture: All Sorts of Pegs
Third Picture: Remember the annoyance when the washing prop fell down on the muddy lawn?
The Washing Line
I remember waking up one sunny Saturday morning when I was about seven or eight years old (I know it was a Saturday because I was not at school and my Dad was home) and there in the driveway alongside the house was a long pole, very similar in shape and size to a telegraph pole. Where it came from I have no idea and I do not know even to this day, all I know was that it was not there the previous evening when I was called in from playing and went to bed. On finding my father in the garden I discovered that this miraculously appearing pole was to be our new clothes pole; our existing one was a short, rotten wartime thing which was only about six foot high, but this new one to me seemed enormous.
As we already had the metal fixings in the ground up the garden and a couple of anchoring points on the wall at the back of the house, it seemed everything was ready to erect this magnificent new pole, but how were we to move it. The answer was simple because my father had already asked Harold next door and his son in law Roger, who lived with them to lend a hand. I can see them now heaving this large pole along the side of the house and across the lawn to lie in front of the metal fixings. However that was the easy part, there was some wood work to be done first before the new pole could be erected. Firstly the old pole had to be taken down, the washing line disconnected and the two large rusty bolts which acted as a pivot and fixing point removed after much use of oil and sweat. Then the fun really began. A hole had to be drilled in the post for both the two bolts to go though and another one half way up the pole for the clothes line pulley to go through and as this was to be a two line clothes line, another hole drilled right at the top for a second pulley. At this period of time no one had an electric drill the holes all had to be bored out by hand with a bit and brace. ( I still have that brace). My father and his two helpers took turns in using the brace and bit.
I seem to remember this took up most of the morning and that tea and sandwiches suddenly appeared for lunch, brought out into the garden by my mother and grandmother.
My father did his early training as a radio engineer starting with Martin’s just beyond the level crossing gates at Cosham and latterly with HMV and so decided that the top of this pole would make the ideal situation for our radio aerial (it was too early for us to have TV this did not come into our house until 1956) and he set to work with cables, wires and insulators to give us the finest aerial in the area. It actually worked very well when it was in position but it still did not stop Radio Luxembourg from fading at regular annoying intervals.
Having installed the radio works and cables all was ready for the pulleys to be roped up and the pole erected. So with much heaving, pushing and sweating, the hammering of pivot bolts and the pulling of ropes the new clothes pole slowly and majestically rose into the air. The strange thing is that my father must have borrowed a ladder to fix the rope through the pulley’s high up on the house wall but I have no memory of this whatsoever, what is even stranger is that my Dad never owned a ladder so he must have borrowed it from somewhere, I know not where.
My mother was delighted with her new two level clothes lines which meant that the sheets she had washed could be hung out full length to dry which must have made things a lot easier for her.
As far as I and my friends were concerned this new pole was a marvellous play thing, it was home base in tag games and especially when mother had no washing hanging on the line and we were playing pirates, it was a great place to run up my home made Jolly Roger to let all and sundry know that there were pirates about.
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News and Views:
On this day 29th April 1960-1965
On 29/04/1960 the number one single was Do you Mind - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/04/1961 the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/04/1962 the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/04/1963 the number one single was How Do You Do It? - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/04/1964 the number one single was A World Without Love - Peter & Gordon and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 29/04/1965 the number one single was Ticket to Ride - The Beatles and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions