Tuesday 4 June 2013

The 1939 house, even more photo's

I see from the comments on the previous posts that you are enjoying the photo's from the 1939 house, there are plenty more. This is Joanna. I spoke to her on the phone last night, (she has a mobile), because there was one or two points which I wanted to confirm with her, and also ask her a couple of questions which came up in the comments.
Her interest in the thirties and forties started when she was a little girl visiting her grandmother. She always felt safe and happy in the house. As she grew up she loved watching old films and listening to old records. She always wanted a house like her grandmothers, and now she says she is living her dream.
She lives in the house just as it is. Yes, she does use the dolly tub and mangle to do her washing. Wash day is a Monday, she likes to get it all done in one day. The water is heated on the range, and she also cooks her meals on it. There is only one cold tap in the house, over the kitchen sink. She has a tin bath, and she lives exactly as they did in 1939.
Joanna works three days a week at a local supermarket, and cycles the five miles to work, and back, in sun, rain, wind and snow. She got a puncture once and had to walk to the bike shop to get it repaired. 
The corner of her front parlour.

Do you recognise Joanna in this photo.
A trip down memory lane, family photo's.
A beautiful old record player.

Patterns to make your own clothes.

This is a friend, who likes to dress the part.
More memorabilia on the sideboard and table.
A hand embroidered table cloth.

Doesn't it look cosy. I can vouch that the sofa is as comfy as it looks.
There are a few more photo's left for tomorrow. Joanna would love more visitors to her house as she enjoys talking about how she lives. There has been mention of television programmes of people living in this era, more of an experiment to see how they cope, Joanna lives this way all the time.

Sunny day again, I'm off out. Back later to catch up on any comments. Toodle pip. 


  1. Nice to "meet" Joanna. She has created a really lovely and interesting home. It must be fun to be always on the lookout for things that come from the right period.

  2. Sad to say, I can remember a lot of this at home years ago. Our neighbour upstairs had a gramaphone just like that and we only had a wind up one. lol
    I remember playing 'There was a boy, a strange enchanted boy' on it. Do you remember that song Ilona?

  3. Wow! Reading your previous posts on the house I imagined someone older. She looks fabulous in her period style. How lovely for her to have found her 'niche'. I don't think I could do without my washing machine though, but I do love that record player. I can't remember if you mentioned it previously but does she have a (modern) tv?

    Anyway I really enjoyed your posts on this amazing house - looking forward to the rest of the photos.

    Linda xx

  4. Wow, I am impressed and that she has managed to get all this stuff together. My ex Mother in Law used to have a sideboard like that and a table with legs like a semicircle, although I think her furniture came from a later era. I wish I lived closer as I'd love to look around her house.

  5. How interesting! I love when I see people who are living exactly the way they want to live. I don't think most of us get a chance to do this. She looks to happy! The families living in another time for a TV program look absolutely miserable.

  6. I love the wallpaper in the parlour and how Joanna made use of that little nook by the sofa. Does she really use the fireplaces? The rooms must be tiny but people didn't have stuff like we do now. Kudos to Joanna for chosing her own path in todays chaotic world. Anne from Pennsylvania

  7. Hi Ilona, That is really something that she actually lives just like back in 1939. It's actually fascinating to me to think that she copes with washing her clothes like that and also heating up the water every time she needs hot water. I guess you get used to it. We are all so spoiled by having hot water when we want it and household chores made easier by washing machines and all our other appliances. I think I would like to try living like that for awhile to see how it actually would be. Not for too long though! She looks like such a sweet person. I hope she gets more people interested in her home so she can show it. If I lived in England, I'd be very interested in seeing it.

  8. wow I don't think I could live like that but it looks amazing

  9. This is fascinating-love the pictures!

  10. I think everyone should be brave enough to live their dreams... If I was on my own I would have a Victorian house and would be quite happy to do things the Victorian way. Because I have other people to consider we have compromised, a simpler lifestyle but without giving up too much in the way of comfort. I admire Joanna hugely for this and I find it fascinating.

  11. Great pictures! I particulary like the old enameled fire place with its slightly art deco style. I`m sure it took alot of guts for Joanna to forego all mod-cons of today and to stick to the origional way of the 1939 style of living. Good for her. I admire that determination and gutsiness! I hope her house gets loads more interest, now that you have made it more public through your exposure here on your blog.

  12. I've so loved your posts and photos on the 1939 house. Isn't Joanna an absolutely amazing woman (gorgeous as well). I was going to ask whether she used a tin bath and today's post confirmed she does:) I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven leaving Manchester aged 12 to a brand new house with inside toilet, bathroom, under floor heating, what a contrast to the old terraced house with outside loo, tin bath, no heating. I so admire Joanna for living her dream. I'm too soft these days and couldn't live (by choice) without my mod cons.

  13. Great photos! What a gorgeous house! And she is happy living like that! Good for her! She has some lovely things! Very interesting, thank you for sharing!

  14. I am impressed! I would never voluntarily wash by hand/ dollytub and mangle and, as I said I have done so. I expect she has good health, which I don't have; it's impossible for me to live like Joanna; if it was 1939 I really couldn't cope. Fascinating though; thanks Ilona and Joanna!

  15. I've just watched Time Warp Wives on YouTube (as mentioned by Heleng yesterday) absolutely brilliant. I would highly recommend watching this as it's so interesting and gives an insight into why people want to turn back time and live in a different era.

  16. These posts have been so interesting. My mother's side of the family were from the UK, emigrated to New Zealand and Australia in the early 1920's, Joanna's home reminds me so much of my Grandparents home in New Zealand, it always felt warm and cosy and welcoming.
    I've been researching my family tree this past three years and these posts have brought back many memories of that time and lifestyle.
    Thank you both for sharing so much history with us Ilona.

  17. Her home reminds me of my grandma's and I also loved grandma's house and helped with the wringer washer ...grandma had no bathtub and water was boiled and put in a metal tub in the middle of the kitchen floor! It looks so welcoming and comfortable there.

  18. Thanks for sharing this lovely house with us all. Full of admiration for Joanna for truly living her dream. I like my mod cons too much I'm afraid!
    Cheers Judy xx

  19. I grew up in a house like this, so much of what is here is familiar, including the wind up gramophone, the one cold tap over the sink, most of the furniture... I had a lovely childhood, so anyone who still lives like this isn't hard done by. Thanks Ilona for the memories and the gat pictures!


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