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the old gas lighting


loribear

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smilie_girl_205.gif hi all, i was talking to some friends about the old gas lights on boats & caravans, & i remember hiring a boat with it in & we also had an old sprite major caravan with it in, but did'nt really trust it, i was just curious to know, did any of you either hire a boat or bought one with it in ? & did you trust it ? Lori smiley-eatdrink016.gif
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Hi Lori,

 

We have hired caravans back in the day when the only lighting was the gas mantles, ok when new but prone to damage with a match.

 

Never thought of them being dangerous but they were noisy.

 

Our Community Centre used to have gas emergency lights until around 1970 when we installed battery backup lighting. Every evening function prior to the install required the four exit signs and the four wall lights lighting, it used to help with the heating however.

 

Regards

Alan

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I remember them on boats in the 60s they were fairly common then. They were noisy, and burned with an odd smell. As Alan said you could very easily break the mantle with a match they were very fragile. I think we did trust it, after all it was in everyday use then. In the 50s I had an Aunt who lived in a house which only had gas lighting. In that case people did worry about leaking gas. It was coal gas, and very toxic!!  and was the cause of many deaths before North Sea gas came along.

 

Had health and safety been about then, they would have had a field day over so many things.

 

Maurice

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Ohh yes I remember them well both in boats and caravans . I don't think trusting them was an issue as there was no alternative they were rather smelly and used to hiss at you but at least you knew when your gas was running low they used to pulse the light went up and down . I seem to remember there was a notice that stated you had to have the vents open when they were in use . As well as that my old Nan used to live in a town house with gas lighting it was turned off and on by pulling on little chains on a rocking arm type system , happy days and don't get me started on the old gas geysers that took your eyebrows off when they lit.

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We had gas lighting at home downstairs and no lighting upstairs. Gas lighting,fuelled by Calor gas was installed throughout the house but was never working initially. I recall a man arriving when I was about four years old to repair the lighting but declared there were too many leaks to get upstairs working. Yes they were noisy but being used to lighting the house with two Tilley lamps we were used to it. Not sure how safe it was but Mum was convinced that gas lighting did her plants no good. Cannot recall her expressing the same concerns about her kids. As for boats. We hired them throughout the 60s and they had battery lights. I have however been in caravans with gas lighting. Did the mantles survive being towed?

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Gordon, Your mother already knew that her kids did the plants no good, so wouldn't have mentioned that concern further.

 

I run several Tilley lamps when fishing, it's  surprising how robust those mantles are until actually touched by anything.

 

In 1964 we hired "Fancy Free" from Richardson's that had gas lighting in the saloon and electric in the cabins. Completely useless for playing cards by in the evenings.

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God you lot are showing your age, :razz: so here's a typical Saturday morning in the life of a 9 year old Mow! go to the Butchers early to get a whole Shoulder of lamb for Sunday 11 shillings and a few Breast of Lamb thrown in for free, never knew why but the meat was always cheaper if you got there as they opened, back home and Black lead the Range, Yup! I always ended up looking like one of the Black and White minstrels, next job tear up last Sundays News of the World into little squares and thread it on string for the outside toilet, Dad once nicked some Izal toilet paper from work, it made good tracing paper but paper cuts to the bum wasn't my idea of progress, next job tear up more paper into strips to make spills to light the gas lights and the posh oven in the scullery, in comes Dad and gives me my shilling pocket money and an extra sixpence to get three mantles while I'm out , off I go, do I but an airfix model or not, go round one of my many Aunties do a bit of shopping for her, funny how every woman was my Auntie back then! get an extra threepence of her, next job round the back of the rag and bone yard, while he was out the front talking I'd steal a couple of bags of old rags from over the fence, take them round the front and sell them back to him, most times threepence but on a good day sixpence, the saga of the bottles and the off licence is a whole different story, back to the corner shop with my 1s. 6d, four penneth of Brandy balls and eight Blackjacks and my Airfix Plane, on a good day if  made extra from the rags I'd even buy a couple of Woodbines, but that was ok today I'd nicked one of Mums, so there's me sitting on top of a ten feet high wall, smoking my Woodbine, eating my Brandy balls, Yup! I'm the King of Devonshire Road, go home Dad says where's the Mantles, sorry Dad I forgot! Whack around the back of the head, off I go to get them, get three mantles  from the Hardwear store, time for a bit more play and finish the rest of my Woodbine off, go home give Dad the mantles, Whack around the head again, Yup! same as every Saturday I'd managed to break one, Dad goes off to change a broken mantle, I get my own back for the Whacks around the head, I steal two of his Capstan full strength, can this day get any better, I hide the ciggies and settle down the make my model Airplane, how come I always ended up with loads of bits left over?? next I hear Dad shouting at Mum, you stupid cow you've killed them! nine years old I have to investigate this one! out I go to the scullery, there's Dad standing with a wooden tomato box full of dead chicks, now my Dad used to breed Chickens and Rabbits in the back yard to feed us and sell to the neighbours and what he used to do was put chicken wire around the bottom of the gas cooker, remember those one on legs? and then put the newly hatched Chicks in a box and put them under the cooker on a very low gas to keep them warm and the Chicken wire stopped them escaping, well Dad had been busy cleaning out the Rabbits so asked Mum to put them under the oven, she did it ok! and even put some extra cardboard around it as it was chilly the problem was she turned the gas on low but forgot to light it, Oh Yes! she had gassed the poor chicks, Nine years old I thought it hysterical, Dad didn't, Whack around the head, could this day get any better, :grin:, funny looking back we had nothing, but we didn't know it because nor did anyone else in our old working class street, but I honestly can't remember not having fun,,,,, every time I buy a mantle for my tilly lamp I get taking back to those days,,,,  

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Yeah, I remember my formative years too. No pocket money until I'd polished the silver, an extra guinea if I helped Soams wash the car. Keeping an eye on the pheasant shoot would be good for a few quid too.

Sometimes people don't realise what poverty we used to live in.

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if I go back to Dukinfield in 1945 I can just remember the old gas-lghter man coming round in the evenings.

I got into a lot of aggravation with my Uncle and Aunt for prising the cat's eyes out of the street (Sandy Lane if it's still there!). I used them to glue to a mask I made of an old tin.

I don't recall much else except a communal bog out back for the families of 5 or 6 terraced houses. Ooh, yes, and the newspaper loo roll!

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Blimey John a communal bog, I feel quite posh compared to you now, :eek: at least we had our own outside one, plus the usual guzzunders for the night, Sundays were fun because that was Bath night, on went the copper to heat the bath water plus kettles to top it up, out came the tin bath, Dad first, then Mum, older brother, me, and last younger brother, I swear he came out dirtier than when he went in, makes me laugh now all these people relaxing in their baths by candle light with all those scented candles, we had the luxury of bathing by gas light and the smell of Carbolic soap! what more could anyone need??,,, :shock:

 

And John! I bet you used to climb those old gas lamps and swing from the crossbars, broke my arm three times doing that,,

 

 

Frank,,, 

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Hi Frank,

 

You are starting to sound like the Yorkshireman sketch from Monty Python,

 

Cardboard box, you were lucky! :naughty:

 

Monty Python's Flying Circus -
"Four Yorkshiremen"

[ from the album Live At Drury Lane, 1974 ]

The Players: Michael Palin - First Yorkshireman;
Graham Chapman - Second Yorkshireman;
Terry Jones - Third Yorkshireman;
Eric Idle - Fourth Yorkshireman; The Scene: Four well-dressed men are sitting together at a vacation resort.
'Farewell to Thee' is played in the background on Hawaiian guitar.
 

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN: Aye, very passable, that, very passable bit of risotto.

SECOND YORKSHIREMAN: Nothing like a good glass of Château de Chasselas, eh, Josiah?

THIRD YORKSHIREMAN: You're right there, Obadiah. FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN: Who'd have thought thirty year ago we'd all be sittin' here drinking Château de Chasselas, eh?

 

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN: In them days we was glad to have the price of a cup o' tea.

SECOND YORKSHIREMAN: A cup o' cold tea.

FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN: Without milk or sugar. THIRD YORKSHIREMAN: Or tea.

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN: In a cracked cup, an' all.

FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN: Oh, we never had a cup. We used to have to drink out of a rolled up newspaper. SECOND YORKSHIREMAN: The best we could manage was to suck on a piece of damp cloth.

THIRD YORKSHIREMAN: But you know, we were happy in those days, though we were poor.

 

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN: Because we were poor. My old Dad used to say to me, "Money doesn't buy you happiness, son".

FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN: Aye, 'e was right.

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN: Aye, 'e was.

FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN: I was happier then and I had nothin'. We used to live in this tiny old house with great big holes in the roof.

SECOND YORKSHIREMAN: House! You were lucky to live in a house! We used to live in one room, all twenty-six of us, no furniture, 'alf the floor was missing, and we were all 'uddled together in one corner for fear of falling. THIRD YORKSHIREMAN: Eh, you were lucky to have a room! We used to have to live in t' corridor!

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN: Oh, we used to dream of livin' in a corridor! Would ha' been a palace to us. We used to live in an old water tank on a rubbish tip. We got woke up every morning by having a load of rotting fish dumped all over us! House? Huh.

FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN: Well, when I say 'house' it was only a hole in the ground covered by a sheet of tarpaulin, but it was a house to us.

SECOND YORKSHIREMAN: We were evicted from our 'ole in the ground; we 'ad to go and live in a lake.

THIRD YORKSHIREMAN: You were lucky to have a lake! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in t' shoebox in t' middle o' road.

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN: Cardboard box?

THIRD YORKSHIREMAN: Aye.

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN: You were lucky. We lived for three months in a paper bag in a septic tank. We used to have to get up at six in the morning, clean the paper bag, eat a crust of stale bread, go to work down t' mill, fourteen hours a day, week-in week-out, for sixpence a week, and when we got home our Dad would thrash us to sleep wi' his belt.

SECOND YORKSHIREMAN: Luxury. We used to have to get out of the lake at six o'clock in the morning, clean the lake, eat a handful of 'ot gravel, work twenty hour day at mill for tuppence a month, come home, and Dad would thrash us to sleep with a broken bottle, if we were lucky!

THIRD YORKSHIREMAN: Well, of course, we had it tough. We used to 'ave to get up out of shoebox at twelve o'clock at night and lick road clean wit' tongue. We had two bits of cold gravel, worked twenty-four hours a day at mill for sixpence every four years, and when we got home our Dad would slice us in two wit' bread knife. FOURTH YORKSHIREMAN: Right. I had to get up in the morning at ten o'clock at night half an hour before I went to bed, drink a cup of sulphuric acid, work twenty-nine hours a day down mill, and pay mill owner for permission to come to work, and when we got home, our Dad and our mother would kill us and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN: And you try and tell the young people of today that ..... they won't believe you.

ALL: They won't

 

Regards

Alan

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Alan! my Dads side of the family did come from Yorkshire, and Mums side were Bargees, being born in London whenever I met a relative I never understood a word they said, did I mention? that we were so poor that in the Winter when it was really cold, we used to give Grandad a Trebor mint to suck, then all sit around him to keep warm! 

 

Frank,,,

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Hi Frank,

 

We are on the Yorkshire/ Derbyshire border  and we were fully in Derbyshire before Sheffield extendered its catchment/rates area.

 

We have trouble understanding people from only a few miles from us.

 

It is a good job you didn't give your Grandad a "Uncle Joe's Mint Balls" to suck or you might have got too warm. :naughty:

 

Regards

Alan

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Hahaha, i know what you mean alan, i'm originally from sheffield tha noes, i really hate that accent now lol, i now live in derbyshire, but when we young we suck victory vees to keep warm lol, & our bath was built into a sort of wardrobe in my bedroom, & quite often i used to hear mum come in & half close the doors & light some candles to see with, so that she did'nt wake us up, but i was awake listening to her humming , but did'nt know what can't remember what tune it was lolbad_09.gif lori

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Good news Alan! you can still buy them on Amazon and Fleabay,,

 

Lori! are they the same ones that you bought two ozs of from the jar, if it's the one's I'm thinking of, if you sucked one then breathed on the wall, you could strip the paint off, and Bath in a cupboard?? that wasn't Sheffield that was Narnia, :shocked  

 

Frank,,,,

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Hi frank, yes that was them, pure heartburn stuff lol, & yes it's true about the bath, you used to have to step up to climb in lol, half our neighbours used to come round to use it as they had'nt got a bath. Trouble is , it used to make my bedroom damp .not nice lol. Lori ;-)

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Lori! if your bedroom was anything like mine damp was the least of your problems,  mine was like an Icebox even in the summer and the windows dripping with condensation, I had a little gas fire in my room but It was cold even with that on, Mum always used to put housebricks in the oven then wrap them in old towel to put in the beds, times I burnt myself or bashed my toes on those, I had so many blankets on my bed I couldn't move once I got in bed, best thing ever was when one of Dads dodgy mates got him a load of those red hospital blankets, those kept us all toastie ,,,,

 

Frank,,,

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The days before central heating, scraping the ice off the inside of the windows before you could look out.

Cardboard to cover the hole in your shoes, it disintegrated in the wet.

Football in the street with no fear of ever seeing a car.

The pet rabbit that only ever survived for a month or two.

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yes frank i know what you mean, it was freezing in winter in our house, you had to scrape the ice of the inside of the window, & we had no central heating, we only had one gas fire & a parafin heater in the frontroom, & we too had loads of blankets on the bed too to keep warm. lori :-)

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Amazing how a thread can develop! Lori asked about gas lamps! and its turned into an hilarious thread, with some fantastic, and extremely funny contributions. English humour at its best.

 

Loved them all especially the four Yorkshiremen, living just across the water from there, I can relate to such folk.

 

I have enjoyed reading this thread immensely!

 

Maurice

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I lived with my Grandmother two streets down from where we live now.

We had a bathroom but for some reason the bath the bath was in the center of the room, but luxury a toilet and sink in there too. Most of my relations had a tin bath hung on the back of the celler door and an outside privy.

We had a small parafin heater (more a lamp than a heater) that kept the the bathroom pipes from freezing. Before the gas fires in the 70s we had two coal fires one of which was a small range that also heated the water.

Frost so bad (Up North) that you had trouble scraping it off the insides of the windows. We had two 15 amp sockets (the type with the switch at the front and the socket which was horizontal above the bulky switch). One was at the top of the stairs and one was in one room. The kitchen floor was concreat painted red and the pantry had a stone floor and a stone shelf, the joys before refigeration.

Shopping was done everyday of course down at the local Coop. One side for fresh provisions and the other side for none food items. If you needed items for both sides you had to queue.

So it was down before the shop opened wait whist the sugar was weighed into those large blue bags, lard and butter were cut from the very large blocks and packaged into greaseproof paper.

Off next to the Post Office, the next shop on from the Fish and Chip Shop (black & white floor tiles) with a couple of tables to eat in. The eariest price I can remember was half a crown (two shillings and sixpence) for fish & chips for 6 people. Next onto the fruit shop, everything was weighed and put direct into the well worn shopping bag, no doubt a stone or half a stone of potatoes etc. This shop was in two halves, fruit & veg and the game/fish. As a child birds hung up outside was a bit daunting. These days if you hung anything outside a shop it would be nicked.

We all tend to look on our past with rose coloured glasses but I must say we all enjoyed being children in those days.

Regards

Alan

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Alan! I hope you saved all those Green Shield Stamps, my Dad used to collect Kennsitas Coupons as well but I think that was a bit later, on the subject of electrickery, we we the first in our street to have it, Dad had some dodgy deal going on with the Polish electrician, one light pendant in each room, no sockets, Old Alf Safety would have had a fit with everything being plugged into one light pendant, it looked like a Brown wire spiders web, radiogram, Mums new fangled lectric iron, plus half a dozen other things, boy we all lived dangerously back then, it's a wonder any of us survived to tell the tale, I don't know how old Javosky did it but we didn't have a meter, I remember Dad robbing the Gas meter, he had a pal on the leccie board, that got him some lead seals and wire so he could seal it so no-one knew about it, he used to jam the counter somehow, then unjam it a few days before the meter reader was due, I don't think I look back with rose tinted glasses, mum and dad did the best they could the same as everyone did back then, it was survival, by todays standard where I came from were slums but in my own way I was happy because I didn't know  different, I don't ever remember having anything new even for birthday or Christmas (Violins Please) best one was my first two wheeled Bike, I'm sure Dad stole it from somewhere because he sure painted it a different colour quickly, I still tell Judi, it's the reason I have to have things even if I never use them, it was all those years of having nothing (more Violins please),,

 

Frank,,,,,

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                                                                    The JTF guide to keeping warm.

 

When cold, warmth can be obtained by rubbing two footmen together. If you are VERY poor, just get your one footman to rub himself together.

 

Freshly laundered bed linin can still retain some warmth from the smoothing iron. Have your maid make the bed just before you retire there.

 

If still cold do not feel ashamed to instruct your butler to give the maid extra blankets for your bed.

 

If all the above fails, you may be ill. instruct your butler to call your physician and have your chauffer stand by.

 

 

Simples!!!  

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