September 2021

Do you remember the time when Monday was always washing day and the best way to get the water out of your washing was to put it through the mangle, and the way to dry your clothes on a wet day was to use a clothes horse, not a tumble-dryer. Those were the days!

Here's an amusing poem about other people’s clotheslines and what we can learn from them!

The clothesline

A clothesline was a news forecast to neighbours passing by,
There were no secrets you could keep when clothes were hung to dry.

It also was a friendly link for neighbours always knew
if company had stopped on by to spend a night or two
For then you’d see the ‘fancy sheets’ and towels upon the line:
you’d see the ‘company table cloths’ with intricate designs.

The line announced a baby’s birth, from folks who lived inside
as brand new infant clothes were hung so carefully with pride!
The ages of the children could so readily be known
by watching how the sizes changed, you’d know how much they’d grown!

It also told when illness struck, as extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes and a bathrobe too, haphazardly were strung.

It also said ‘on holiday now’ when lines hung limp and bare
It told ‘we’re back now!’ when full lines sagged with not an inch to spare!

New folks in town were scorned upon if wash was dingy and grey
As neighbours carefully raised their brows, and looked the other way.

But clotheslines now are of the past, for dryers make work much less
Now what goes on inside a house is anybody’s guess!
I really miss that way of life, it was a friendly sign
when neighbours knew each other best … by what hung on the line.