Saturday, 1 October 2022

The Heat Is On


 I’ve just sent in my electricity reading on line. Trelawnyd has no piped gas, so heating is generally oil fired or from gas cylinders. As you all know my central heating and thermal store is fuelled by kiln dried logs and prices for these haven’t risen drastically as yet. 
The Community Association has a fuel expert on its committee in the shape of Gwawr . I have a feeling her ear is going to be bent double in the months to come.
When did central heating become standard ? I suspect it was the early 1970s after the fuel strikes and power cuts ? Am I right? 
Only last week I had a conversation with a young nurse about the downsides of no central heating. She couldn’t quite get her head around how freezing it was behind the couch once the front had been heated by the coal fire 
Hot water bottles and eiderdowns so heavy you almost struggled to breathe underneath them were the norm, and thickly cut white bread with strawberry jam was a treat after it was toasted in the fire with a long fork. 
I wore a vest then 
With baggy bottoms 
And bathrooms were small then too, and filled with great clouds of immersion heated water and steam , overseen with a cosmic zeal by a father who paid the bills. 

Bwthyn y llan has 18 inch walls of limestone which finally keep the heat in once the place is eventually heated up ( which takes an age) and the new windows I had put in  are double glazed and draught proof . My only extravagance being my new electric shower…blissful and glorious on a cold winters morning

I’m ready for winter
Ps….last night just before bed the “unthinkable “ happened
Dorothy cuddled up to Roger in front of the fire
Thank fuck for that
The silent war is over







44 comments:

  1. It's still 32 here all week and next week too. How I miss a bit of cold and gray skies.

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  2. From 1949 till 1972 we lived in a terraced house with no central heating. Such a thing wasn't even heard of until around the early 60s. Growing up with a frigid attic bedroom and only a hot water bottle at nights for comfort may have 'toughened' us up (we four brothers, one sister) but we didn't complain about the cold but rather just accepted that that was how things were as we didn't know any different. How it must be today for those homeless sleeping rough I can't bear to think.

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  3. Anonymous6:23 am

    The addition of central heating to housing had no connection with power strikes.

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  4. I remember scraping ice off the inside of windows. The frames were made of iron and needed the rust scraping off them and repainted every year. A horrible job I was given as part of my household duties. The house I am in now is the first one I have ever had central heating in. It didn't work for the first three years. I am bracing myself for the next heating bill.

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  5. I remember heating an old penny in front of the electric fire to place on the inside of the bedroom window to make a peep-hole in the ice. Several blankets and an eiderdown on the bed. Oh, yes, vests and long knickers. Happy (but cold) days! Glad the doggy truce has been called. Onwards and upwards! xx

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  6. Such a wonderful moment when the various animals in the house learn to live with each other in harmony.
    I remember ice on the inside of the windows in winter and just a fire in the living room. Maybe an electric fire in the bedroom to get undressed in front of if it was really cold!!

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  7. Back boiler behind the coal fire, tank in the bedroom (unlagged) often bubbled with heat - my sister and I were warm enough. We'd moved into that house in town just before the 62/63 winter, when the snow was three-quarters up the back door!

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    1. Ah, yes, the winter of 62/63! I was living on a Sussex farm then and we were fine as we had coal fires. However, some of the "posh" houses nearby had the luxury of oil-fired central heating and they were seriously struggling as the weather was cold enough to freeze the oil in the outside tanks. The lane to the farm had snow and ice on it from Boxing Day 62 until March 63.

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  8. I am in the fortunate position to have locked into a fixed rate energy deal until 2024 so I can still afford to heat my home. I do remember having central heating fitted in my childhood home back in the 70s and never having the pleasure of Jack Frost visiting in the night and leaving his footprints on the insides of the windows. Back then we wore pyjamas, dressing gowns and slippers and sat under blankets to keep warm.

    It's lovely to see a pack bonding x

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  9. We bought a Wimpy new-build in 1975 and it came with no heating as standard except for an electric heater in the lounge and an immersion heater for hot water. As an option you could get electric ducted warm air central heating, but this was pretty hopeless in practice. Single glazing as standard too. The big push then wasn't for gas central heating but for Economy 7 individual electric storage heaters.

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  10. The first centrally heated house I lived in was when I was eleven years old in 1968. In those days you were considered 'posh', if, when it snowed, your roof stayed clear, it proved that your house was warm. No such thing as loft insulation back then!
    Until then we'd had houses with coal fires in the 'back' and 'front' rooms, (the 'front' room was only used if we had visitors), and a paraffin heater in the bathroom.
    I well remember scraping ice from the inside of the kitchen
    window, but as my bedroom was directly above the 'back' room' and the chimney breast ran past my bed, it was fairly warm in there if the fire was lit downstairs.
    I had a pink satin topped eiderdown, and absolutely loved it. In warmer weather it was replaced with a yellow candlewick bedspread that I destroyed by 'picking' at it!
    Do you remember being 'tucked in' to bed so tightly that you couldn't turn over?

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  11. Don't forget ice on the inside of our windows on cold winter mornings and the bitterly cold linoleum on our bedroom floors that made getting up to get dressed for school a kind of torture. A lot of people will be suffering this wintertime. Maybe we will never get back to the way things were for the past fifty years.

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  12. The first central heating we had was when we moved into a brand-new council house in 1973, prior to that it was a single gas fire in the living room/kitchen and an open fire on Christmas Day in the room my brother and I shared ... so we would stay in there and play no doubt while Mum made the dinner. We had a couple of Army blankets on our beds, with a crocheted woollen throw on top that that my Gran had made by hand for our Christmas presents one year.

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  13. Central heating is addictive. I had it once but I am glad I do not now. When I visit anyone who has it turned on I feel like opening all the windows.

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  14. I have never lived in a house without central heating. My mother grew up on a farm, with wood/coal stoves. My father's family moved into a house when he was about 5 that had coal fired central heat (with an automatic stoked, a machine that fed crushed coal into the furnace.) In the late 1940's my grandfather put central heat in the farmhouse so his parents could live out their lives there when they became too frail to tend the wood stoves.

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  15. My grandmother had a storage heater in the room my younger sister and I stayed in. I don't know that it was ever used.
    We were given one of her ceramic hot water bottles which warmed the bed clothes before we got into bed, but we slept on folding sunbeds and it got dreadfully cold with just a thin piece of material underneath us. I don't think the adults really realised why we complained so much of the cold.
    I was listening to a streamer the other day. He lives in Denmark and said they are starting community heating today. I am trying to find out more about it.

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  16. Anonymous12:49 pm

    Maybe Dorothy was chilly and Roger's fuzzy back felt comforting? Whatever it takes!

    ceci

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  17. Dad would get up early and build the one fire in the living room. There was a paraffin heater in the outside toilet which kept the pipes from freezing, but also made it the warmest place to be. Sometimes I would do my homework in there, accompanied by the cat 😃

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  18. I do not know how people stand such cold. Sounds like you'll be toasty enough, though, this winter. The sight of Dorothy and Roger sleeping next to each other says "trust" to me. Mostly- they trust you, I think, to love them all.

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  19. Arghh! Don't remind me. Our heating oil was $2.74/gal. last year. Now it's $4.47.

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  20. Had the first wood fire last night - but no heating yet - I'm waiting a while - My various terriers have reacted to what seems cruel to me when one of their siblings are poorly- thatch is reactive even in the dead of night if tich licks himself too much and wretches - I jump to attention and stop it before it starts x 🐿

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  21. Anonymous2:33 pm

    When I was a district nurse in Cumbria 30 yrs ago I found 90 yr old Mary with her hat and coat on in bed and so cold because she had a chest infection and could not light her fire . I will never forget how her face lit up when I said I was getting her in to the Community hospital for Christmas . So many old people will be cold this Winter . Xx Bernie

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  22. Barbara Anne2:40 pm

    I was born in 1951, and every house I've lived in had central heating and it is bliss. Two houses had attic fans so with windows up, the outside air was pulled in - unless it was too hot or too cold.
    Hope the peace beterrn Dorothy and Roger continues after they wake up!

    Hugs!

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  23. All the homes I've lived in were heated with oil. Over time, prices have gone up and down. Right now prices are among the highest. Many years ago, to offset high oil prices, I installed heat pumps and can heat (or cool) using heat pumps. When building the house, we faced it sun south. On a sunny day when it is freezing outside the house heats up to 80 degrees F. When it is cloudy and no sunshine, oil and/or heat pumps do the job. Dorothy and Roger have a wonderful truce. No more under her breath growling? The warmth of the fire helped bring them together.

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  24. Maternal instinct coming out.

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  25. Anonymous2:59 pm

    In my childhood (before 1969) we had a ducted oil furnace, but my mother was terrified of fire so shut it down every night when she went to bed. Piles of blankets, flannel PJs. I once put a glass of water on the floor next to my bed, and it was solidly frozen by morning when she re-lit the furnace. I still like sleeping in a cold room.

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  26. My American POV is central heating [and air-conditioning] arrive via dialing a thermostat, NO logs needed. Where I grew up we had gas furnace as many if not most US homes do [no clue how the central \air worked]---here I have baseboard electric, as I live on a small barrier island w no piped in gas. Maybe the more efficient temp control is bec we have both hotter and much colder weather here?
    Your cottage w its ancient 18" walls sounds fascinating, those walls must have weathered many a storm.

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  27. There's nothing better than being cozy in the winter.

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  28. I wish I was back in my house in Garn Dolbenmaen....an oil fired Rayburn, but needed no other heating...or the house in Nantlle, with a woodfired Bosky in the kitchen and a Morsø Squirrel in the living room.....
    Central heating has some advantages, but paying for it is not one!!
    Great to see Dorothy and Roger enjoying the fire, and company. Xx

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  29. Dorothy seems to be enjoying the company and heat. Good for all of you.

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  30. I remember running downstairs in my flannel pyjama where I was allowed to dress in front of the cole stove before going to school. Nobody had eiderdowns but at sometime in the fall gypsies would knock on doors to sell warm woolen blankets which, together with flanel sheets and hot water bottles kept us fairly warm. Those were the days!

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  31. You have never lived until you have lived with a bathroom that has metal windows, no heating and the only warmth is from the steam from a hot bath, not too much water as yer' mother will tell you off for using all the hot water in the immersion heater?
    No clue what this was, but baths were a quick dip becore the water went cold, not a luxurious soak in bubbles up to the top, like in the films.
    Moving on, many years later....having paid a fortune for a Period Victorian Bathroon Suite from a Reclaimation Yard, a Surveyor descibed it as ' old mis-matching sanitary ware, that could do with re-placing'. Thankfully our buyers took no notice and laughed at the Philistine! How times change! Tess x

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  32. Anonymous7:21 pm

    You have reminded me that today is October 1st so today's tasks need to include vacuuming out the floor furnaces and checking the pilot lights.

    Will Jay

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  33. My parents installed central heating sometime during the 1960s. I remember they had it before I left home in 1969. Before that it was a coal fire in the living room and paraffin heaters in the bedrooms.

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  34. What were you doing with a young nurse behind the sofa?!!😅

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  35. Anonymous9:13 pm

    Few homes in 1940s and '50s and even '60s in the UK had immersion heaters. The water for bathnight, usually a Sunday, was heated by a wood or coal fired boiler and one bath full was used for bathing by the whole family. Up until the 60s this was usually a tin bath in front of the fire.

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  36. I’ve got home late and have read through the comments which are more interesting than the blog itself
    No time to reply to:all individually but thank u x

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  37. I didn't live in a home with central heating until 1995 when I was 35 years old. I remember sleeping in bed in a fur coat and hat when I lived in a very cold flat in Bath in the early 1980's. I also vividly remember peeling the net curtains off the frozen windows when I was child - the only heat in the house was a fire in the living room and a paraffin heater in the bathroom. I'm not looking forward to this coming winter as I'm hoping to keep the heating off completely, unless we get something like another Beast from the East and then I might have to cave in!!

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  38. My paternal grandfather was very wealthy, and built a beautiful house in 1930, complete with coal-fired central heating, and even a room inside the house for the storage of coal so the servants didn't have to go outside in the worst of the weather. I saw photos when it was on the market 10 years ago, and the large pale green enamel vent was still one the wall in the main bathroom - but I doubt it was used as an active vent any more.

    We've put central heating into every house we've owned since the 1980s, and our Wedding present to our son and DIL was ... central heating!!

    On another important topic - have you replaced the plug on the vacuum cleaner John!! Damn puppy!! I'm so glad they're all settling down together. I hope Albert hasn't had any more vestibular incidents? Distressing for him, and you all.

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  39. Like many, we are not putting the heating on until really necessary. Last year we used it hardly at all. We too sent the electricity meter reading in.

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  40. Dogs that turn their backs on each other are feeling comfortable

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  41. You can have all my heat. It's still near 37C and no sign yet of dropping.

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  42. Anonymous7:34 pm

    Glad the war is over. Cold weather always brought my cats together in the rocker, dark and light they made a ying-yang.

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