Helen Harmer remembers her childhood home in Penninghame.

Helen Harmer interviewed by Kirsty Robertson Newton Stewart.

  • Interviewed: 17 July 2012.
  • Ref: DG10/1/1/2.
  • © European Ethnological Research Centre.

Helen remembers moving to a council house in Penninghame as a child.

HH: We went to, we went to Penninghame school. It, we had a new, we were given a new council house which was fantastic. It only had 4 rooms but, an there was 6 of us all together in the family. But ah remember that kitchen because it had 2 sinks, and it had a clothes boiler in the corner of the kitchen which you could light the fire on the wash-day to boil the clothes. And it had a bathroom – which we’d never had before, it was always an outside toilet – a dry toilet if you know what ah mean?

KR: So you did the washing as well as the cooking in the kitchen, obviously, yeah?

HH: Oh Yes, uhuh. We had a gas cooker in the kitchen as well.

KR: And where would that …

HH: It was very modern in these days.

KR: So what kind of time would that be?

HH: Nineteen – ah wis born in ‘22 …

KR: So it’d be in the 1930s?

HH: Yes, uhm.

KR: Yes, in the 1930s. And did you help your mum in the kitchen?

HH: Oh no. Well, we were allowed to, if she was bakin we were allowed to help. So that we could learn to bake.

KR: What kind of things did she bake?

HH: Oh soda scones, pancakes and rock buns and things for puddings, ye know, tarts and things like that.