Lil Burnett, Lillian Murell, Margaret Kippin, Barbara Rowland

By Pam Schweitzer

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Lil Burnett, Lillian Murell, Margaret Kippin, Barbara Rowland' page

If you would like to read the whole interview transcript, please follow the download link at the bottom of the page.

6.10.95 Rib Davis interviewing Lillian Burnett, Lil Murell, and Margeret Kippin.

RD: So the first thing is actually keeping warm in the house. How did you go about keeping warm in the house in winter?

MK: Well we didn't keep really warm. It was very cold. I mean, imagine getting out of bed in the morning and getting onto cold lino. We didn't have fires in our bedrooms. But it was coal fires, wasn't it. Great big coal fires. It was alright if you were sitting round the fire, but then you'd have a cold back.

LM: The rest of the room would be freezing.

MK: I think Larry Grayson? got the same from "Shut that door!", because ... "Shut that door, and keep the draught out!". You'd have it bawled at you. And later on, when I had coal fires and my children were little, we said the same thing, "Shut the door".

RD: Did you have things to keep the draughts out?

MK: Heavy curtains. And chenille??, or a dog -a stuffed snake or something, or even a stocking filled with ....

LM: You'd use any old rags to fill it up with and stick it along the bottom of the door.

MK: But talking about keeping the draughts out, my daughter told me, when she was quite old, she said, "You know mum, it used to frighten me", because she thought a draught was some big thing -dark person -that was going to come in the room. And it just shows how careful you have to be with ....

RD: So when you said, "Keep the draught out" ...

MK: ...She thought it was something awful that might come in to the room ... or an animal. But she never told me as a child, you see.

RD: Could you always afford coal? Was there always a fire when you were a child?

MK: Well when I was a child, yes, coal was quite cheap actually. I can't remember us ever being without coal.

RD: But you only had the one fire?

MK: One fire only. You didn't have a fire in your bedroom. Even if you were ill, you'd be brought downstairs and put on a settee. Well, we were anyway.

LB?: Yes, in the room that had a fire.

LM: My sisters always used to say to me, "You've had your turn!", because we always used to have turns. "You've had your turn!", and I'd say, "No, I haven't!", I used to love it like mad.

MK: Did you fight over who had the crust?

LM: You would never throw the crust away. 

This page was added by Pam Schweitzer on 31/03/2014.