Nan’s Kitchen

an overhead maiden
a drowsy mangle
a veteran bucket

sixties’ washing day


My Nan lived in a dreary block of flats in Liverpool when I was a child. Her kitchen was cold and dark and dank and she kept her milk in water in a metal bucket on her shadowed concrete balcony. She didn’t own a fridge until she was in her sixties (in the 1970s).

I have a strong memory of her putting washing through a mangle in her kitchen, then hanging it on an overhead wooden, slatted maiden. It must have dripped onto the solid wooden table beneath, but I don’t remember that.

Nothing as fancy as this, of course.