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Gas Lit Houses

(84 Posts)
CaroDane Mon 12-Aug-19 17:01:36

Is there anyone else here old enough to remember houses lit by gas ? In the early fifties we visited a great aunt in Lancaster whose house was still gas lit. The house was untouched by time and furnished exactly as it had been when it was her father's family home. A lot of china, and very heavy furniture !
Also i can remember as a child watching a chap on a bicycle with a ladder climbing up and lighting the gas lamp outside our house. He came at roughly the same time every evening. I can also remember caravan holidays with horrible hissing gas lamps. I've always been terrified of gas appliances !

Callistemon Mon 12-Aug-19 17:04:35

We viewed an old cottage when we were house-hunting in the late 1960s which still had gas lighting.

Callistemon Mon 12-Aug-19 17:05:56

And ye, I remember caravan holidays and that 'pop' as the gas lamp was lit.

eazybee Mon 12-Aug-19 17:06:52

The Rex cinema in Wareham, Dorset, had gas lighting, supplemented by electricity, until recently.

BBbevan Mon 12-Aug-19 17:07:07

My grandma had a gas lit house. I also remember gas lit caravans in the 50s. I loved the soft light and the gentle hiss.

Marydoll Mon 12-Aug-19 17:08:23

Our tenement close was lit by gas lighting.
I remember the old lady who lived on the ground floor had a black range, heated by anything she could find to burn in it.
Her walls had gas light fittings, that was 1959, when I was four.

Maybelle Mon 12-Aug-19 17:08:34

I have not lived in a gas lit house, but I nearly brought one that still had it's gas lamps, plus some.( Not many) electric lights. It also had a well for drinking water.
Now I like the idea of a project, a house to update and put our own stamp on but . . .

This was in the 1980s by the way !

Lazigirl Mon 12-Aug-19 17:11:04

My granny had gas lights in her cottage. You had to replace the gas mantle periodically, and it started off with a bright light when new but got progressively duller. Must have been awful to read by. Some pubs still have gas lights, more of a gimmick than necessity I assume. I can think of two.

CaroDane Mon 12-Aug-19 17:12:52

BBbevan you're right they did give out a beautiful soft light. A sort of brighter candlelit effect - it was very flattering to the skin. Maybe I should overcome my fear and have the electric light uninstalled, it might make my wrinkles less obvious !

Lazigirl Mon 12-Aug-19 17:13:51

Love the pic Marydoll. Was that in a house or museum?

Gonegirl Mon 12-Aug-19 17:14:01

Yes. The downstairs of our (very old - falling down old) house was lit by gaslight downstairs. No such luxury upstairs. Oil lamp or candles up there.

I would love to go back in time, just for a little while.

Gonegirl Mon 12-Aug-19 17:15:38

Yes, the mantles were a nightmare. You just had to touch it so lightly with the match and it had a hole in it.

Gonegirl Mon 12-Aug-19 17:16:26

I remember the smell of the gas mantles. Such a comforting smell.

Gonegirl Mon 12-Aug-19 17:19:12

Yes, we had a cast iron range and fireplace like the one in Marydoll's picture. Don't remember them cooking with it though. We had a very early gas stove.

That upright fire was so good for making toast. And for just looking.

CaroDane Mon 12-Aug-19 17:23:53

Gonegirl Nothing tastes as nice as toast made on a toasting fork and then covered in butter ! Unfortunately my mother was easily distracted and frequently the bread was black and found to be on fire !

ninathenana Mon 12-Aug-19 17:25:09

My nan still lived in a gas lit house with outside privy until mid '60s. The council then housed her in a lovely modern flat, tore down the pair of grand Victorian semis and built a town bypass in their place.

annsixty Mon 12-Aug-19 17:26:58

I lived in a house just lit by gas until I was in my teens.
It was just what I knew so it didnt seem odd.
We had two open fires , one was a range with two ovens and trivets which swung over the fire for a kettle and saucepans.
It also had a boiler at the back for the hot water. Strangely I don't remember the gas lights in the bedrooms although there must have been.
It seems so very primitive now.
Just remembered that of course, we ironed using flat irons which were heated on a solitary gas ring.

Gonegirl Mon 12-Aug-19 17:30:05

annsixty they heated the flat irons in front of the fire with us. Can still remember the scorched smell of the cotton iron-holders.

CaroDane Mon 12-Aug-19 17:36:11

Yes I remember the irons. Later on we had a big piece of ASBESTOS we used to rest it on. And yet here we are, at a ripe old age !

Greyduster Mon 12-Aug-19 17:47:51

I grew up in a house that had gas mantles and open fireplaces in the bedrooms. I don’t remember the gas mantles ever being used - we had electric lighting - but the fireplaces were used in the wintertime. My mother cooked on a Yorkshire range for years until the linings failed in on the oven, and then she graduate to a gas cooker but always complained it didn’t cook bread or Yorkshire puddings properly!

annsixty Mon 12-Aug-19 17:48:24

Oh I had forgotten the holders
I think ours were made of flannel or pieces of old blanket which were stitched together to be thick enough.
Youngsters have no idea have they?

Gonegirl Mon 12-Aug-19 17:49:53

Oh, we had a cast iron stand for our flat iron! I remember the clang when the ironer paused to turn the garment.

M0nica Mon 12-Aug-19 17:50:45

Asbestos, is a natural mineral and has been around in the atmosphere since time began, and while all asbestos is carcinogenic, those who develop asbestos related cancer, have usually had prolonged contact with abestos, especially blue asbestos dust, either through handling it in building construction and drilling or hammering it, or spouses washing and ironing the clothes of men working with asbestos in this manner or people working near asbestos factories or other situations where there was a lot of dust in the atmosphere.

I do not think there has been a case of cancer caused by those sheets of asbestos on ironing boards. The amount of asbestos in them was relatively low.

Our integral garage has an asbestos board ceiling, I think a building regulation requirement when it was put in, in the 1960s. We just put two thick coats of ceiling paint on it when we moved in and have not touched it since.

Gonegirl Mon 12-Aug-19 17:51:13

Well, ironing boards had asbestos for a long while didn't they? shock (And it used to wear away)

Septimia Mon 12-Aug-19 17:59:13

We had the remains of the gas light fittings on the walls of the house I lived in when I was a child.

One of the churches in our group still has gas lighting. With candles and an open fire, it's very atmospheric at Christmas.

I've still got my mum's ironing board, complete with asbestos.