Friday, 28 October 2011

Lighting the Kitchen Fire

I Remember Mother Lighting the Kitchen Fire

If the oven door was slightly open we found out that the cat even slept in the oven over  night. But she soon found out that that was not a good place to be.

The kitchen range was the main source of heat for the whole house and it also had a back boiler to heat the water in the taps, so this was lit every morning of the year. Mother would put some chopped sticks on the hearth or in the bottom of the oven each night so the sticks would be dry as tinder for lighting the following morning. As you can imagine the hearth was a nice warm place for the cat to spend the night and if the oven door was slightly open we found out that the cat even slept in the oven. But she soon found out that that was not a good place to be.

 A shovel full of ashes was cleared out from under the grate, some news paper runkled up and sticks put on top then a shovel full of coal ( best steam coal from the railway, rolled off a steam engine tender as it past through our fields, dad knew the driver and they exchanged contraband when food was on ration). A match was applied and both dampers were pulled out to draw the fire round the oven and boiler, then she went on with other jobs such as getting breakfast for when morning milking had finished and we all came in. Read on

I Remember Mother Lighting the Kitchen Fire

First job every morning, is to light the kitchen fire,
It heats the water in the tap, heat this end of house entire
Chopped sticks were placed, hearth night before,
It catches light instantly, and with damper out it roars.

One Sunday morning after breakfast, when father tales us told,
We heard a scratching and a scowling, from the oven wo behold,
Mother opened oven door, out popped our poor old cat,
Door left part open night before, to keep warm at that.

When mother put match to fire, she latched the oven door,
To pre heat for Sunday joint, not knowing who was indoors,
The poor hot cat shot out the door, to cool off in the snow,
Not out there long the milk she sort, she was all aglow.

Big shovel full of coal brought in, and bank the fire up hgh,
The beef was put into the pan, vast heat it was then to apply,
When part done and she looked in, great waft of heat and haze,
Tatters placed around in fat , to roast till brown and brazed.

Our Sunday morning tales dad told, lasted to coffee time,
As long as nothing else came up, to delay the ending what a crime,
Then we all turned out, a brush apiece, to sweep up round the yard,
All trying to imagine all the escapades round uncle Dan's farmyard.


Don't seem to have a relavant picture to this blog so, this is just a picture of trees in our back fields, the big oak on the right is almost dead and is a prime candidate for firewood.

Uncle Dan's Fire

This would have happened in the 1920's when father was in his teens; he and his mates were inquisitive as to know the sleeping arrangements of his uncle Dan and his house keeper.
 Them years ago straw was in battens not bales, so they decided that they needed to wake them up quickly in the middle of the night, and the best way was to light a fire in the middle of his front lawn, well lawn, it was a sheep grazed patch of grass round the house, lawn mowers for farmers were sheep.

They brought a few battens of straw stood up wigwam stile and chucked in a match, when the fire had got going well, they stood round the corner and shouted FIRE.

Uncle Dan's Fire

I remember father telling us, about his uncle Dan,
Lived in his farm house, and they did get a plan,
His house keeper lived with him, had to check which room,
And wondered how to find out, they dare not assume.

They went round one night, out to his front lawn,
Way after they had gone to bed, curtains they were drawn,
Built a pile of straw there, and set the lot alight,
Hiding round the corner, twas middle of the night.

They had done all this, and shouted loudly FIRE,
Only wanted to see witch window, what was to transpire,
If they looked out same window, that it would confirm,
What they suspected all along, just to make him squirm.

Father never did tell us, what the outcome was,
Told us we're to young, to understand the cause,
Always looked after uncle Dan, right up to the end,
Buried in Bradley church yard now, his courage we commend.


It is with our passions, as it is with fire and water, they are good sevants but bad masters.Aesop (620 BC - 560 BC)

No comments:

Post a Comment