Cooking and everyday life

Most people kept a pig or two which would be reared, killed, then salted down and stored in a meat safe, ready to cook and eat over the coming weeks. Carole Worrall (Woolbright) recalls how, living at Briar Cottage in Carpenter’s Lane, the large Barnes family: kept a pig and used to kill it, cut it up and salt it down.

There were no fridges, just a larder and meat safe on the outside wall. In wartime, Myrtle Lewis remembers how: Just before Christmas my father would go out with the bicycle and a large basket on the handle bars and come back when it was quite dark with a pig’s head. Someone in the village had killed a pig and shared out the parts. My mother would make brawn, she would press the tongue and we even had the brains on toast! Chickens were in most back yards, they provided fresh eggs and the occasional chicken dinner. Carole recalls: Gran used to do the gleaning after the harvest. She’d pick all the straw up in the field and bring it all in for the chickens. I remember sitting in the back scullery listening to the clucking of the chickens all around us. After plucking a chicken they would burn off the remaining feather stumps with a candle.  Occasionally people kept goats which supplied them with milk.