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Still Waters

Domestic life in 1950s Britain

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Unchanged since the 1950s, this amazing house, once the home of Liverpool's most celebrated photographer, gives a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.

The Georgian terrace on Rodney Street in Central Liverpool, was owned by Edward Chambré Hardman and his wife Margaret who lived and worked there for 40 years, keeping almost everything and changing very little.

Completely original, down to the post-war rations in the kitchen cupboard, bakelite telephone in the office, the building is now preserved for posterity by the National Trust and open to visitors.

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I once lodged in house like that in "the pool".but the landlady would never put up with that untidyness,she used to scrub and whiten the front step,lovely people.I worked on the docks and loved the shown scenes,brought back a lot of memories,then I was moved to London....Yuk

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I haven't seen an over the tubside soap dish since I was a kid. I can remember pots and pans that looked like that. No teflon there. And I'm American. Thanks for the post SW.

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I haven't seen an over the tubside soap dish since I was a kid. I can remember pots and pans that looked like that. No teflon there. And I'm American. Thanks for the post SW.

little black and white t.v.'s to,no colour them days,thats if you could afford one,my first wage was £1.00 per week,or about a $2.50 your money.but we were happy,no wars for a while.No McDonalds,Hardly any cars about and no Motorways.cheers.

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OMG! The first TV I can remember having was a black and white Motorola. Highways weren't what they are now, and there were nowhere near as many cars. An average of 1 per household unless a child had a job and could afford to have one. Now you see 3-4 cars per household. I have a neighbor that has 6. Everybody who lives there has one. The war didn't have as much impact here in the US but you're so right. Life was so much happier and easier then. When I tell my kids that in the early 60s ice cream cones were 10 cents and candy bars 5 cents they look at me like I'm nuts. When I started driving in the early 70s gas was 32 cents a gallon. Now I can't even find a cents symbol on my keyboard, just a dollar sign. :rofl:

Thanks for the good memories.

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OMG! The first TV I can remember having was a black and white Motorola. Highways weren't what they are now, and there were nowhere near as many cars. An average of 1 per household unless a child had a job and could afford to have one. Now you see 3-4 cars per household. I have a neighbor that has 6. Everybody who lives there has one. The war didn't have as much impact here in the US but you're so right. Life was so much happier and easier then. When I tell my kids that in the early 60s ice cream cones were 10 cents and candy bars 5 cents they look at me like I'm nuts. When I started driving in the early 70s gas was 32 cents a gallon. Now I can't even find a cents symbol on my keyboard, just a dollar sign. :rofl:

Thanks for the good memories.

Hi,I could go on,like did you have a radio with valves in it, ? cell phones,g.s.p.sat nav,not invented,a car would cost about $1200 new.Most airoplanes still had propellors,ha ha,and some ships had steam engines with coal fires,no dishwashing machines ..and now our petrol(gas) is nearly $3.00 a LITRE.Thanks for your views,Best Wishes,cheers.

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Haha, I don't remember valves but I remember tubes. Even TV sets used them. When I was about 8 or 9, one of my brothers bought me a new transistor radio for Christmas. It even had an earplug. The only dishwasher you had were your hands. Everything was done by hand. I remember my grandmother's washing machine. It didn't have cycles. You filled it and put the clothes through ringer rollers to take the water out. Then they went on a clothesline. My mom kept that in a pantry closet for a long time. When I was a real little kid back in the late 50s, I didn't wear Pampers either. My mom used to put my cloth diapers out in the yard to sun bleach. Funny what you can remember when you think back.

Best wishes and take care also.

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Haha, I don't remember valves but I remember tubes. Even TV sets used them. When I was about 8 or 9, one of my brothers bought me a new transistor radio for Christmas. It even had an earplug. The only dishwasher you had were your hands. Everything was done by hand. I remember my grandmother's washing machine. It didn't have cycles. You filled it and put the clothes through ringer rollers to take the water out. Then they went on a clothesline. My mom kept that in a pantry closet for a long time. When I was a real little kid back in the late 50s, I didn't wear Pampers either. My mom used to put my cloth diapers out in the yard to sun bleach. Funny what you can remember when you think back.

Best wishes and take care also.

Hi,again...Your "tubes" were my "valves",ha,ha.When I got married the whole reception at the best Hotel in town cost £185,about $380 dollars,and that was expensive..(Wife still has receipt)..I used to visit Pennsylvania,and Baltimore regularly,on a Brit Merchant ship,and a big hit was taking home vinyl record disks of Elvis ,Tina Turner etc,they were very expensive here,and now they are worth a fortune to collectors.Happy days eh !.I guess the kids nowadays have it easy with p.c's ,coloured t.v etc..Its funny how our language is slightly different as your diapers were called "nappies" here,and have I spelled "coloured" right ?...no its "colored" in U.S. ha ha ,as long as we are friends who cares...Bye for now,regards...

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In the early 60's I got my 'spending money' by mowing lawns (this is well before the adults took this job opportunity away from kids)... I would mow fornt and back yards, hand trim the grass around the house, drive and sidewalk - and charge $5.00

With $1 I could go to the gas station (convienence stores did not sell gas back then) and get a gallon of gas for 8 cents (normal price was 12 cents or so but there was always a 'gas war' between competeing stations), a 16 ounce bottle of soda (or pop if you prefer), some candy, a couple comic books and still have 5 cents left over...

I worked by butt off in the summer, but I had spending money all year at school...

I use to think that if I ever got a job that paid $5 an hour I would be living on easy street :lol:

A kid could ride their bicycle on city streets (in housing neighborhhods anyway) and not worry about traffic, parents didn't think twice about letting kids play outdoors unsupervised, and many times I would spend Saturday mornings at the local theater watching cheesy sci-fi movies, and not an adult in sight...

Of course the problem with looking back at a 'golden age' is that there were many bad things at the same time... Many people had it pretty rough, and not every kid had a good life...

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Haha, I don't remember valves but I remember tubes. Even TV sets used them. When I was about 8 or 9, one of my brothers bought me a new transistor radio for Christmas. It even had an earplug. The only dishwasher you had were your hands. Everything was done by hand. I remember my grandmother's washing machine. It didn't have cycles. You filled it and put the clothes through ringer rollers to take the water out. Then they went on a clothesline. My mom kept that in a pantry closet for a long time. When I was a real little kid back in the late 50s, I didn't wear Pampers either. My mom used to put my cloth diapers out in the yard to sun bleach. Funny what you can remember when you think back.

My grandmother had one of those washing machines, only hers was in an outhouse not in her kitchen. I used to help her sometimes but she wouldn't let me feed the washing through the rollers (mangle) for fear I'd get my fingers trapped.

She also had a sewing machine with a foot pedal to operate it. She never had a fridge or freezer either and kept all her food in her pantry and had a bread bin. Mind you she lived very close to the shops so could get fresh bread and milk whenever she wanted.

I've still got my transistor radio B)

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A kid could ride their bicycle on city streets (in housing neighborhhods anyway) and not worry about traffic, parents didn't think twice about letting kids play outdoors unsupervised, and many times I would spend Saturday mornings at the local theater watching cheesy sci-fi movies, and not an adult in sight...

Same here! I hated being stuck indoors and was always out playing, ball, skipping, roller skates, scooter, swings, hula hoop lol. anything that I could do outside. As long as my parents knew where I was, that was fine by them. I always told them before I went out where I was going.

Heck I even used to help the local milkman deliver milk. That was when milk came in glass bottles, one pint and half pint sizes. I'd sit on the back of his trailer and hold on for dear life lol when it was hitched to the back of his tractor. That would be against the law now. We lived across from the farm so I spent a lot of time there, it was great fun, he let me go with him when he bought the cows in for milking and I'd help put feed out for them too.

When I was in primary school we used to get a free bottle of milk every day. When it was very cold the milk would be frozen and the teacher would put the bottles against the warm pipes to thaw them out. That made the milk taste disgusting lol I hated that.

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In the early 60's I got my 'spending money' by mowing lawns (this is well before the adults took this job opportunity away from kids)... I would mow fornt and back yards, hand trim the grass around the house, drive and sidewalk - and charge $5.00

With $1 I could go to the gas station (convienence stores did not sell gas back then) and get a gallon of gas for 8 cents (normal price was 12 cents or so but there was always a 'gas war' between competeing stations), a 16 ounce bottle of soda (or pop if you prefer), some candy, a couple comic books and still have 5 cents left over...

I worked by butt off in the summer, but I had spending money all year at school...

I use to think that if I ever got a job that paid $5 an hour I would be living on easy street :lol:

A kid could ride their bicycle on city streets (in housing neighborhhods anyway) and not worry about traffic, parents didn't think twice about letting kids play outdoors unsupervised, and many times I would spend Saturday mornings at the local theater watching cheesy sci-fi movies, and not an adult in sight...

Of course the problem with looking back at a 'golden age' is that there were many bad things at the same time... Many people had it pretty rough, and not every kid had a good life...

Hi,Taun, agree with you above I had a paper round which paid about 75 cents a week,but you could get into the movies for 10 cents and walk home 5 miles saved you 8 cents on the bus..In my village it was considered unsociable if you locked your door before midnight,as people used to "pop" in for a chat and a "cuppa" (tea) and help with whatever project or chore you were doing..Nowadays if you go out alone walking,after dark, you stand a good chance of being mugged,as the town I now live in turns off the street lights about 8 p.m.to save energy.No red and blues about,they go to the city about 10 miles away.cheers.

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Hi ,Still Waters, Thanks for bringing up this subject and the pictures.I sailed out of Liverpool a couple of times on a "two fat & one lean" Harrison Line ship,it certainly brings back the "good old days"."Life was grim and times were hard ..but you were ok with your union card" ha .cheers

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My grandmother had one of those washing machines, only hers was in an outhouse not in her kitchen. I used to help her sometimes but she wouldn't let me feed the washing through the rollers (mangle) for fear I'd get my fingers trapped.

She also had a sewing machine with a foot pedal to operate it. She never had a fridge or freezer either and kept all her food in her pantry and had a bread bin. Mind you she lived very close to the shops so could get fresh bread and milk whenever she wanted.

I've still got my transistor radio B)

That's funny. My grandmother used to say the same thing to me about keeping my hands away from the rollers. I remember Mom's old Singer with the footpedals. We did have a fridge but we had a milkbox on the porch steps. The milkman would come and put bottles of milk and butter into it. I still have a scar on my left hand between my thumb and forefinger where I fell when I was about 4 yrs. old and cut myself when the bottle I was carrying broke. 14 stitches to close it and 2 on the pinky finger of my right hand. OMG, now I have radio envy. :w00t:

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In the mid to late sixties we had two sinks side by side in the kitchen. One was for clothes and the other for dishes and it had a wringer (iron mangle thingy) in between.

Can remember getting a bath in the deep sink.... lol... seriously! I must have been about three or four years old.

(Happy Days)

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Can remember getting a bath in the deep sink.... lol... seriously! I must have been about three or four years old.

I believe you! I can remember that too. Not you....me :lol:

There were houses near us that didn't have an inside toilet, just an outside one. We were lucky I guess as we had both, one inside and one outside. I never liked using the outside one, it always had spiders on the walls :(

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Posted (edited)

I believe you! I can remember that too. Not you....me :lol:

There were houses near us that didn't have an inside toilet, just an outside one. We were lucky I guess as we had both, one inside and one outside. I never liked using the outside one, it always had spiders on the walls :(

In the late 60's my oldest sister had just married a guy from New York City (we didn't hold that against him though :) )...

We were visitng my grand parents and he had to 'go'... Well my grand parents had an old fashioned outhouse - not a flush type either!...

The poor guy literally did not know what to do! :lol: It didn't help that when he finally decided to go ahead, and was seated the wind blew the door open - and there he was!

But writing about these changes in our lifetime reminds me that my mom moved to Oklahoma in a covered wagon - it had automobile tires, but it was a horse drawn, covered wagon... Before she passed, she got to witness, the birth of television, computers, cell phones, jet aircraft, even a few trips to the moon... All in one generation...

Edited by Taun

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Posted (edited)

In the late 60's my oldest sister had just married a guy from New York City (we didn't hold that against him though :) )...

We were visitng my grand parents and he had to 'go'... Well my grand parents had an old fashioned outhouse - not a flush type either!...

The poor guy literally did not know what to do! :lol: It didn't help that when he finally decided to go ahead, and was seated the wind blew the door open - and there he was!

But writing about these changes in our lifetime reminds me that my mom moved to Oklahoma in a covered wagon - it had automobile tires, but it was a horse drawn, covered wagon... Before she passed, she got to witness, the birth of television, computers, cell phones, jet aircraft, even a few trips to the moon... All in one generation...

lol! How embarrassing for your brother-in-law, I bet his face was red :lol: I know of some outside toilets that had cut up newspapers to use as toilet paper. That must have left quite a print on the backside :w00t: My grandfather used to take a newspaper in with him always, to read, he must have been expecting a long sit down! lol Actually I've seen my late dad doing that too at times....like father... like son :D

It's nice to look back though, I think so too, like a different world back then.

Edited by Still Waters
spelling!

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My grandfather used to take a newspaper in with him always, he must have been expecting a long sit down! lol Actually I've seen my late dad doing that too at times....like father... like son :D

It's nice to look back though, I think so too, like a different world back then.

It's a man-thing. Toilet is the only place you can get peace to do the crossword.

And, Yes!.. you do sometimes end up with the headlines across your backside. lol

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It's a man-thing. Toilet is the only place you can get peace to do the crossword.

And, Yes!.. you do sometimes end up with the headlines across your backside. lol

What a cheek! :D

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Hi all,my gran had an outside loo down the garden which was used as a guard post,I kid you not ,Grandad used to go and sit there (fully dressed) waiting to catch the Leek Bandits,the guys on either side did the same,as they all grew prize leeks,and when it got to a week before "show" time if you didnt guard them they used to be "knobbled" a ring would be cut round them at the base rendering them useless for showing.I was the go between with cups of bovril..Between them they had about 17 /18 cups for 1st ,2nd,and 3rd places.If they won 1st prize it was about £5-00 not bad when the average wage was £7-00 per week.The chap next door also had 20 pigeons in a pigeons "cree",(loft)which he used to race.

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Posted (edited)

Used to love "stealing" rhubarb from our neighbours back gardens.. it was like being on Mission Impossible.

(We had no need to "steal" it.. you just had to ask the wifey for some while the hubby was at work.. lol. Rhubarb dipped in sugar... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm)

Most folk grew stuff if they could, back in the day. I miss that.

Edited by Eldorado

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Used to love "stealing" rhubarb from our neighbours back gardens.. it was like being on Mission Impossible.

(We had no need to "steal" it.. you just had to ask the wifey for some while the hubby was at work.. lol. Rhubarb dipped in sugar... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm)

Most folk grew stuff if they could, back in the day. I miss that.

My mom always had a veggie garden in the back yard (which of course meant I had to dig it up, weed it, water it and tend it -while she got to call it HER garden) We grew a surprising amount of green beans, tomatos, peppers, green onions (leeks?), melons and potatos...

When I was about 8 or 9 we lived near Buffalo, NY and our neighbors had a cherry orchard... Their son (about my age) and I would climb up in the trees and stay there for hours playing and eatting the (mostly) ripe cherries... Good times...

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Hi all,my gran had an outside loo down the garden which was used as a guard post,I kid you not ,Grandad used to go and sit there (fully dressed) waiting to catch the Leek Bandits,the guys on either side did the same,as they all grew prize leeks,and when it got to a week before "show" time if you didnt guard them they used to be "knobbled" a ring would be cut round them at the base rendering them useless for showing.I was the go between with cups of bovril..Between them they had about 17 /18 cups for 1st ,2nd,and 3rd places.If they won 1st prize it was about £5-00 not bad when the average wage was £7-00 per week.The chap next door also had 20 pigeons in a pigeons "cree",(loft)which he used to race.

Hi spud, Now that's what I call dedication! It's a bit much he had to do that though. One of our neighbours down the avenue kept racing pigeons, his used to win too.

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Used to love "stealing" rhubarb from our neighbours back gardens.. it was like being on Mission Impossible.

(We had no need to "steal" it.. you just had to ask the wifey for some while the hubby was at work.. lol. Rhubarb dipped in sugar... mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm)

Most folk grew stuff if they could, back in the day. I miss that.

A small amount of sugar in a bag and a stick of rhubarb i remember it well,:) Kids wouldn't dream of going scrumping (does everyone use that word) these days, there's a large tree covered in apples by my local supermarket kids play around it but the fruit is left to rot, i remember the first frozen food "peas" i used to go to the greengrocer and buy them by the pint.

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