Washing really was hard work; I hated Mondays when Mum always did hers. First the clothes were soaked, then scrubbed on a wooden rubbing board – later the rubbing part was made of glass, which made things a little easier. The clothes were then boiled in a large stone copper heated by a fire underneath; the wood or coal was fed through a trap door in front of the boiler. After this the clothes were rinsed, first in cold water, then a second cold rinse with a blue bag to keep the whites whiter than white. The next step was to separate the articles to be starched: Dad’s collars (these were separate from the shirt), pillowcase, etc. At last they went out in the yard (no garden) to dry. If it was raining, the clothes were dried on a pulley in the scullery.
When the clothes were dry, then came the ironing. There was no electric iron, of course – another invention of the future. Flat irons were placed on the top of the range, and to test whether the iron was hot enough one spat on it – if it sizzled, away you went on the table covered with n old blanket… there was no ironing board.