It’s fair to say that I’ve got a bit of a reputation as a “washer woman”. I like nothing better than seeing a nice line of freshly washed clothes flapping in the sunny breeze. And strange as it seems to some, I quite enjoy doing the ironing too. We are enjoying a week or two away in our caravan and are currently staying in Feilding. A visit to the Coach House Museum reminded me that doing the laundry was very hard work in old colonial times.
Doing laundry the hard way
I always enjoy looking at displays of old household implements – washing buckets, wash boards and old mangles. All items to make the life of a housewife a little easier, and they must have been so glad to have them. But how would I have coped, I wonder? And I loved the old sewing machine, stitching up a sacking work apron, but making it pretty with a coloured edging. There would have been little leisure time for ladies who lived in these early days.
Tools of the trade for colonial housewives
Further around the museum I was delighted to come across a “virtual horse and buggy ride”. I followed the instructions and clambered aboard, picked up the reins and pushed the big green button. The buggy gently swayed, as the horse on the TV screen took me on a ride along the streets of Feilding. Such a thrill for a townie like me who is just a little frightened of great big horses.
Enjoying my virtual ride.
Later in the afternoon it was time to attend to our own laundry. But I did it the easy way, non of this back breaking stoking the fire, moving clothes around with a copper stick, and working that heavy mangle. Instead we drove to the local launderette, loaded the clothes, added soap powder and a few dollars, and sat back to read my book while the machine did all the work.