Building a New Home Together

Building a New Home Together

Looking back at our household appliances things have certainly moved on a pace since we bought our first home.

Back in those days, girls would have a 'bottom-drawer' but these days the concept of a 'bottom drawer' means nothing. Mind you ticking things off the wedding present list and then putting one of those almost walk-in sized fridge freezers in a drawer would be impossible.

Having bought our new house back in those days there was none of this taking your wife's wage into consideration when applying for a mortgage. Paying an enormous £88 a month gave us a few sleepless nights in the early days.

Having got the mortgage and then getting your new home ready, unlike today when most newlyweds seem to have everything ready to walk into, how things have changed. I am sure many readers will be able to identify with those thoughts from when you set up your first home.

Did you have a carpet – hmm, only in the best room? That brings back even more memories going further back in time. Can you remember when your grandparents had a 'best room'? It was only ever used for funerals, no heating, not a cushion out of place and the strong smell of mothballs. The door was rarely if ever opened, and as children, you were never allowed in unless you were accompanied.

We had no carpet, but we had a three-piece suite which the shop had stored away for over 18 months for us, and an old black and white TV which we had given. We like most young couples of 47 years or so ago had little to nothing to start with. Just the hopes it would all come right eventually.

A big day came when we got a new colour TV from Granada which as many readers will recall was on Commercial Street. It was one of those all-around sound models it was fantastic, but it did cost just over £14 a month. But, looking back it was a nice piece of furniture as well as a TV, something Mrs H always kept polished and sparkling. Did you have your own radio or did you like many others visit Radio Rentals and pay the weekly rent for one. 

Radio Rentals was a company that was started in 1932 in Brighton and grew to have over 500 shops throughout the UK. It gradually joined the new TV boom and later the must-have video craze. In 1968 it was bought by Thorn Electrical Industries and merged with DER, another household name familiar to town centre shoppers from those days. In 1968 it was bought by Granada and of course, we saw the Commercial Street branch of Granada appear. 

TV finished at midnight and if you were at your grandparents standing up for the national anthem as the TV closed down for the night was mandatory. As it was at the cinema unless you could run out before it came on.

In those days you had to save up which was the attitude drummed in by your parents – save up for it or do without until you can afford to buy it.

Our featured photograph was taken in the Brighouse Labour Rooms in December 1952. The memories that I have raised this week will have been everyday life for all these people. 

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