I FOUND Ian Steedman’s letter (Friday) about tin baths very interesting.

I can easily remember tin baths and all sorts of things.

When I was born, we lived with my maternal grandparents as my dad was in the Air Force in World War II. Our house was a two up, two down with an outside toilet.

Yes, we also had cut up newspaper. The Izal toilet paper was awful as it was so shiny and probably expensive.

The tin baths were kept in the garden shed. A large one for the grown-ups and a smaller one for the children. My dan would fill the gas-operated washing copper with cold water and pour it in the bath when hot enough. After the baths, most of the water would be poured down the sink with a dipper (a big dish with a handle ) and then the rest of the water would be tipped out of the back door and down the back steps.

As Ian said, no one wanted to go out in the dark and cold to go to the toilet in the night so we had "guzzunders" under the beds, which were emptied and washed each morning.

When my nan did her ironing, she used irons made of iron, which were heated on the gas stove. One being heated while the other was being used. All the sheets were pure cotton in those days and they smelt lovely when ironed. When she did the washing on a Monday, I could never understand how the washing never came out blue after the blue "dolly bag" was put in the water.

I lost count of the amount of times my fingers went through the huge wooden rollers on the mangle which was used to squeeze out as much water as possible. I would forget to let go of the corners of the sheets and towels.

As I got older, I was allowed to help to clean the gas mantles with a little brush every two weeks or so.

When my nan died in December 1969, she still didn’t have any hot running water. The miserly old witch of a landlady had installed electric light up and down stairs with one power point downstairs.

It did make ironing a lot easier but the sheets never smelt the same.

Toast always tasted so nice as my grandad would do it on the end of a long metal fork over the open fire.

We had toasted crumpets on a Sunday for tea.

Every thing was bought fresh each day as there were no fridges and freezers, electric toasters, washing machines or vacuum cleaners.

In June 1950, when I was five and three quarters, my mum, dad, two brothers and myself moved to a three-bedroom house in Hollingbury. It was akin to living in Buckingham Palace. We had running hot water, gas and electricity, a bathroom and an upstairs and downstairs toilet.

All of which were under cover.

I remember that we used to get a lot of power cuts in those days.

In the winter we would get snow 6ft deep but somehow the milkman nearly always delivered our milk.

We rarely had a day off school because of the bad weather. I think we were all a lot tougher in those days.

Now that I am in my late 70s and have slowed down a lot, I often think of times past and how much my husband and I have to be grateful for. Automatic washing machine, toaster, electric kettle, microwave, central heating, shower, vacuum cleaner and television.

Christine Luffman

Rotherfield Crescent