Poss Tub

John describes the much hated washing day when he was a child.

Washing day! How we kids hated it! Especially in bad weather when it had to be done indoors. That coal-fired boiler, [The copper] in the corner of the kitchen, bubbling and seething like a witch’s cauldron, and the clouds of steam that filled the room. The poss tub and its thumping posser,[ some say dolly tub and dolly ] what a job that was with the rubbing board and scrubbing brush, and the wringing machine, another laborious job, the piles of wet clothes and the clothes hung up to dry, on lines criss-crossing the ceiling, on the clothes horse, over chairs and the fireguard.

We remember the day when we got our new washing machine; a galvanised metal tub on a stand, it had a twin bladed paddle on the underside of the lid with a handle on the top. We thought it was marvellous as we filled it with pails of hot water and added the soap flakes, it was all so much easier and we actually fought for turns to operate the paddle, not a full turn but back and forth.

Then there was the ironing to do with those heavy flat irons usually done on the kitchen table! I cannot help but think of those days when we place our dirty clothes in the automatic washing machine and dry them in the spin drier today!

— John Davison