Sunday, 4 September 2016

Living without Mod Cons part 5

For most of their time in Winnipeg, Harold Chambers worked as an accountant for the White Star Line. With the severe contraction of the economy during the Depression, business dropped off and by July of 1934 Harold was on a ship back to England. His wife and daughter followed in October of that year.  

For Harold it was a return to the country of his birth, for his wife and daughter it would have been a brand new experience. To make life more complicated, jobs were hard to come by and some of the modern conveniences they had been used to in Canada were not widely available in Britain. It must have been more difficult for my grandmother, May, than most. In later life I know she was a stickler for the way things should be done. When they got to England her husband became a newsagent with his own shop which shared its address with their residence. How did May feel about living above the shop?

180 Shooter's Hill Road, Blackheath in 2015

At least it would have been handy to the shops where she would have needed to buy daily provisions because there would have been no refrigerator. It is most likely that May had a gas cooker and a sink with running water in the kitchen. Hot water would have come from a coal or coke fueled boiler and heat would have been provided by fireplaces were coke was also burnt.  It is unlikely that many improvements would have been possible to their home above the shop on Shooter’s Hill Road as they lived there from 1935 to 1948; from the poverty of the depression to the make do and mend era of WWII. 

There is still a newsagent at 180 Shooter's Hill Road



Wikipedia, The 1940's House

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