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Friday, 6 February 2015

Up the wooden hill

Now that you know where the necessary facilities are let’s go back into the house, back into the hall.  Just a quick look around and then we’ll go upstairs.

The telephone when it finally arrived, was put in the hall.  That was the usual place in British homes at the time.  Halls were cold, draughty places and that was the way to keep the phone bill down. 

There was one other door off the hall, but we won’t open it, thank you very much!  Directly inside the door was a steep flight of steps down to the cellar and it looked very dark and frightening.  I, for one, never ventured down those steps.  

Anyway, let’s go up the stairs.  It was made up of two flights and there was a small room at the half landing.  I’m not sure what it was for and the only thing I can ever remember being there was a rather depressed aspidistra.  At least it depresses me to remember it!  Anyway let’s go right to the top of the stairs and turn left where there were three lovely bedrooms, two double and one single, all of which overlooked the front garden.   

I’m sorry to mention “the facilities” again, but under each bed was a chamber pot.  These inevitably gathered nicknames.  Gerry.  Po.  Gazunda.  Flying saucer.  Whatever you called it, it still had to be emptied in the morning.

Those bedrooms were unbelievably cold in the winter.  I used to roll up my clothes and keep them in bed with me so that they were warm enough to put on in the morning.  I was never a child who took great pride in her appearance!


  1. My father always called the stairs and still does the wooden hill. I can remember as a child always having a hot water bottle, as there was no heating upstairs. How times have changed...

  2. Yes, one went "up the wooden hill to Bedfordshire". I had a stone hot water bottle which I liked much better than the rubber ones. I forgotten that!

  3. Phones were generally in the hallways here as well. The houses even had cute little niches for them. I remember the first thing my husband did when we moved into our own little 1950's bungalow was to take out that little niche and drywall over it. I really missed it -- there was quite a purpose there. In fact, when I think about it, I really miss all of the houses I lived in during that time -- they were tiny for sure but they seems to be organized so well -- something modern builders could take a close look at!