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Annie’s Story
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Kitchen of Back-to-Back House 1960

This interior view shows an original kitchen or scullery in a back-to-back house, probably built between 1870-1900, to house workers. The maximum number of dwellings would be built on the site, facilities were basic. On the left is a set-pot, this was used to boil water. A tank was in the middle of the brick shell, water was added and a fire lit underneath. Clothes could also be boiled in it. The large enamel mug was perhaps used to scoop water out. A shallow stone sink is served by a cold water tap attached to the wall above. There was no other water supply in the house. Toilets were located outside and were for communal use. On the left side of the sink is a gas hob with two burners. The gas supply is coming from a flexible tube attached to the window frame. It would have been 'town gas' which was toxic. This precarious and dangerous device would be an alternative to cooking on an open coal fire or range. By the 1960s many people living in this type of house had replaced basic fittings with a hot water supply, modern cookers etc.

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