Archive for February 27, 2011

Did Your Dad Do Any Chores In The House?

February 27, 2011 1 comment

Following on from my orange drizzle cake triumph I  find myself wondering whether the men did anything at all in the olden day house. It would have been especially helpful many decades ago, when domestic conveniences were either non existent or too costly.

I suppose any historical survey of men’s domesticity in Ushaw Moor can be split into three main categories: underground miners, colliery surface workers, and the rest.

Underground miners were thirsty and tired when they got home. After a wash in the bath tub and a meal, courtesy of his wife, the miner went to the ‘club’, or the pigeon loft, or any number of things, if the season and time of day allowed it. They socialized, wound down, or even fought men if their alcohol intake was excessive and a bee was in their bonnet. So the women of such men were neglected most of the time. Well that is how the story generally goes but is it true?

Surface workers may have got dirty but often their jobs were less tiring; what was their excuse for downing eight or so pints, or excessive whippet racing, if that is what they did? In what way, if at all, did their domestic performance differ from the underground miners?

Then there were the none mining workers. Did the male grocery assistant take delight in helping his wife vacuum or sweep the floors? What did pine scented liquid mean to him?

So was your dad a domestic slave or something else?


Categories: Memories