Some of my treasures

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Post by Tan on Sat May 05, 2012 1:09 pm

Many jobs that were done wasn't too liked by many, but of course they brought in the money, and well needed of course in those days, as now of course, when anyone was bringing a family up.

My Dad initially trained to be an Accountant, he was always good with figures, he got a job and stuck it about 3 months I think he said, as it was then he realised that working indoors, in an office, was not for him.

His Mum then suggested he joined the Army, this was taken as a discussion by family members, but it wasn't what dad wanted to do, but in those days he felt pressured.

He followed what they wanted, and went for the tests or exams, what ever it was like that, and deliberately fluffed the maths tests, he never said a word to his Mum and Dad, but when he got word to say he failed, my Grandma took him aside and asked if he did that intentionally, Dad owned up to her, she smiled in a sense.. Laughing

So then Dad applied to work in the Merchant Navy as he had preferred that than the Army..


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Post by Cat on Sun May 06, 2012 8:21 am

My dad used to work at Williams Dye Works.That was the place where they made all the food dyes, nowadays they are refered to as colourings. He used to come home from work all colours,mostly orange/yellow shades.He worked there all his life after leaving the army.The dye eventually got into his skin and his hands and face turned permanantly that colour.Anything he wore or touched eventualy turned that colour as well.Our knive handles and bed line were all an orange shade.I had my own little knife, which i have still got to this day,with its orangy shade handle. In those days when you had been at the job for 25 years you got a gold pocket watch.When his turn came around they asked him what colour strap he wanted,he politly replied, on a pocket watch you have a chain so i want a gold chain on mine.He got one.Think it was only gold colour though.

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Post by Tan on Sun May 06, 2012 8:25 am

I can well imagine how your Dad was with the colouring as only a little on my skin when I used to use it stayed for quite a while, amazing even scrubbing the little bit it took an age to fade away..

Such a memorable treasure for your dad to have the gold watch and you still having your knife there our Cat.
Reminds me I have a knife that my dad kept for all time, as he accidently left it on the oven when he was young, his Mum was going to throw it away at that time but dad got it and kept it, I will take a photo of it in a minute..

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Post by Tan on Sun May 06, 2012 8:34 am

Here is the knife, taken one way then the other, hopefully the writing can be seen on it...
It says...Trafalgar Harrison Fisher & Co. Sheffield (Pirth Stainless)

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Post by Joelle on Sun May 06, 2012 9:41 am

Such lovely memories for you all, it must have been hard for your mum keeping the bed linen and towels clean Cat.
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Post by Cat on Sun May 06, 2012 9:42 am

Yes Tan, in those days cutlery handles were nearly all plastic like, and soon caught fire if left near a naked flame, not like to-days cutlery, mostly stainless steel.

No amount of bathing or washing ever rid my dad of his colouring and there was no baths or showers to get under where he worked before he came home.It was a good wash down at the kitchen sink as best he could before going to bed,we had a bathroom with only the bath in it and a bath once a week.
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Post by Joelle on Sun May 06, 2012 10:26 am

Our bath was in the kitchen Capt, with a lift up wooden top that was my mums work top, we were once a weekers too as we had to get a big fire going and draw the damper for the back boiler to heat the water
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Post by Guest on Sun May 06, 2012 10:48 am

I can see you running wildly in circles being 'chased' by your fishy-smelling Daddy with both of you really laughing when you were little, our Tan! And I suspect your Dad was a super-duper bus driver, too!
And I laughed out loud reading he deliberately flunked the math part of the exam in order to avoid the army and enlisted in the Merchant Navy - don't blame him a bit!

Working as a tire fitter in a bus garage must have been such hard work for your Dad, June - and working in a funeral home surely isn't eveyone's 'cup of tea' - but I bet no matter what he did, he did it very well.

Having a dad as a joiner must have been lovely, Joelle - how I admire people who take a piece of wood and create magic with it! I couldn't help but smile reading he'd tease you with a little piece of coffin lining ... even most adults are squeemish about anything to do with coffins - gentle grin.

Your Dad was surely what we now think of as a 'dying breed' of skilled craftsman, Nev - decorative plastering alone - wow!

And your orange/yellow Daddy, Cat - thank goodness it was a 'safe' dye he was working with but even so, as Joelle said, bet your Mom often rolled her eyes at the thought of trying to get the orange sheets white again - grin. Glad he got his gold pocket watch when he had been with the Company 25 years - bet you really treasure it now, too!

Cat, the knife you have must have such super memories for you - not only with it still having the yellow tint on the handle but especially because it means your dear Dad held it in his hands. And what a treasure you have in the knife your Dad acccidently 'baked' when he was young, Tan and such good, clear photos of the brand on it, too!

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Post by Maywalk on Sun May 06, 2012 11:18 am

Had to smile about the bath. We used to have a full sized galvanised bath that hung on a nail outside the kitchen door like this one below. It was brought in EVERY Friday night for us all to have a bath.

Gawd help the last one in it because very often they would come out dirtier than when they got in. Some of my treasures - Page 2 2835949603

My mother also used to get a paraffin rag to rub our scalps with to keep nits away.

It kept every b****r away never mind the nits.

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Post by Nev on Sun May 06, 2012 12:58 pm

There used to be an old quarry a bit higher up the road from where I lived as a child, there were two shallow ponds in it, though deep enough for one poor soul to drown I remember, but we used to sail across those ponds in one of those tin baths. Great fun as a boat but never had to bath in one, as the previous owner of my parents house had installed a bathroom with a proper bath and wash basin.
Funnily the loo was still outside at the bottom of the yard though, and freezing cold in winter.

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Post by Captain Nemo on Sun May 06, 2012 3:11 pm

What great photographs the final knife one is very clear and what lovely things to have with so much memories ,
My Dad joined the Army and was trained as an Artificer on the Ack Ack guns but along the way got his Lorry licence and Car and Motorcycle and was soon shipped off to Iraq and the Middle east for the war he spent so long out there and into India its lovely when I could hear him say about the Khyber pass and he had been there also the buildings at Petra all photographed and even sat on top of the Great Pyramid at Guysa in Egypt in the war many moved around the world but when the war ended he was Demobbed and got home and promptly joined the RAF trained in the New science of Radar and again went all over the World until he settled and Married then he worked for Avon Rubber the Tyre factory in Melksham doing maintainance before the rubber moulding fumes were making him ill and he left and went to Westing house Brake and Signal Company until he retired making and repairing railway signaling equipment ,
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Post by Tan on Mon May 07, 2012 12:57 am

I so remember being washed in the sink our Cat, and my Grandma had a bath with a thick wooden cover on the top, sometimes when friends came to play and we did hide and seek I hid in the bath with the cover over the top.. chuckles

This is interesting our Joelle, what does 'draw the damper for the back boiler mean'?. Very Happy

Oh for sure our Mara, what a pong, and dad did chase me around, so much fun, as at times just before he shaved he would grab me and rub his bristly face on mine, I called him 'Desperate Dan' after a cartoon show.. chuckles
Yes dad did the maths test badly, his Mum knew well and good with dad being very good at maths that he did it deliberately, she never told his Dad..I know they spoke about that a lot over the years and laughed too.

The knife was always kept in my dad's drawer, and a treasure for sure, it's in my drawer now, as a lovely keepsake of what he told me..

I am laughing so much here our Maisie about the nit rag there, oh those times I recall Nitty Nora coming to school and so hoping she wouldn't call my name out, as after the inspection we all filed back to class then anyone with the nits were called back to see her.. chuckles

Wow, such fond memories there our Nev sailing down the river in the Tin bath, such fun for sure, what did you use for paddles?, your hands?.. chuckles

Such interesting jobs for your dad then our Captain, and many stories to tell you when you were growing up, have you maybe still got any photo's of his time there, maybe on the Great Pyramid. Very Happy


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Post by June on Mon May 07, 2012 1:02 am

The 'damper' at the back of a coal fireplace had a lever at the back of the chimney which you moved to direct the heat. With the damper, a metal shield-type thing, pulled down the flames and heat came into the room. With the damper up the flames went through the opening at the back to warm the hot water cistern.

We had one in our first house when we got married and one at home when I was a kid. No central heating then.
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Post by Tan on Mon May 07, 2012 1:08 am

That's a brilliant idea then, I never remember seeing family doing that, but of course I was only young, but I do remember slightly an old heavy iron being put on the top of a stove to heat up for the ironing, and when not in use they used it as a door stop.. Very Happy

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Post by June on Mon May 07, 2012 1:24 am


That old knife of yours looks to have had a bone handle which is what all my old cutlery had. Either bone or ivory which also would not stand too much heat.

Wood as well, my old kitchen knives, long gone now, that my mother-in-law gave me (she was born in 1902) had turned wooden handles.
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Post by Tan on Mon May 07, 2012 1:37 am

Yes June it does look like bone to me as there are like little holes in it, mean't to be there, I have never seen any others personally, but I know dad said there were a few knives like that there, and that was why it was just going to be thrown away, but like mentioned dad kept it and so pleased he did, as I will treasure it like he did.
I've never seen the Pirth Stainless written on anything else, just the normal Stainless Steel, so seeing the knife with that on was different..

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Post by Nev on Mon May 07, 2012 2:37 am

In fact that knife handle looks like the early cellulose plastic, it went like that when heated and also over age it would gain a mottled surface like that one has, as it is a semi organic type material. Also very flammable too, bet dad had a job putting it out if it actually caught fire rather than just melting.

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Post by Tan on Mon May 07, 2012 2:48 am

Thank you for this information Nev, I thought maybe it was bone, but sounds like then it is like you say it is..
I know dad said there was an awful smell coming from the knife when it caught the heat, that's what alerted them to it in the first place, and it was instantly put into some cold water..

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Post by nordog on Mon May 07, 2012 4:39 am

Now we have smoke detectors. That knife had the early type of plastic not Bakelite then Nev.
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Post by Tan on Mon May 07, 2012 4:57 am

It would well have set smoke alarms off if there were any those days, it's a good thing my Dad and Family hadn't gone out when the knife caught fire.. PeekABoo

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Post by Joelle on Mon May 07, 2012 5:05 am

I can remember that happening when I was small and if the handle burnt clean away it just left a blackened long rod around which the handle had been.
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Post by Tan on Mon May 07, 2012 5:19 am

Oo, that would be hard then to use it Joelle.. chuckles

I had been wondering on the knife of mine why the rod was showing, but just looked at it again, and I pushed it, so it's just the handle part that had moved down, the rod part is not showing now..

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Post by June on Mon May 07, 2012 5:43 am


The handle parts tend to come loose if put in water that's too hot, or flames come to that Very Happy
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Post by Tan on Mon May 07, 2012 6:13 am

Ahaa, well, at least we know some flames licked around the handle, so maybe the shock moved the handle down, and it was never thought to be pushed up again. chuckles

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Post by Captain Nemo on Mon May 07, 2012 6:24 am

The smoke would be black and horrid im sure the sort that days later you still smell it in the kitchen , so prompting Mum to scowl at Dad for days as she is reminded of her knife being ruined a bit,
They did make a lot of cutlery with Bone handles but that would more go black and burn but not melt ,
Its made the knife very special so I hope you can still find a good use for it Tanooma chuckles
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