6 thoughts on “Victorian Street, Preston Park Museum

  1. The smells from the past are something we can’t imagine – even if we wanted to. Museums do give a cleaned up picture of how things were. In our deoderant times, we’d be shocked at how normal people smelled too!
    Something for museums maybe….stench blowers


    • Ken, they tried that in York at the Yorvic Museum, I think they had to tone it down. I remember those smells when every Coal man, milk man, Carters for the railways, fish merchants and even ice cream vendors had horses. the market gardeners on the Stockton market had horses, the mess when the market closed at night was the biggest mess ever. My father had horses and we worked with horses on the Farm, not every cart had the bucket and shovel hanging on the back to clean up after the horse. With one cold water tap per house and “ye olde tinny baff” it was quite true some people washed all week and Bathed on Friday. Unlike us most houses did not have a big coke fired water boiler in a wash house, a kettle of hot water did not go far in a bath with often four or five people to wash plus the dog and cat, no I am not kidding.
      Very few houses had bathrooms until they started a big building programme of council houses and private, Kendrew the Builder built most of the houses around Norton Green and down Beaconsfield Road as it became it had been a cart track to the top of Beaconsfield Street when my Dad lived down there.
      At school Norton Board where we sat two to a desk the old fashioned type you lifted the lid on, some pupils objected to sitting next to others saying they stink, no punches pulled there then. We had nitty nurses in the school and they were needed, one boy sat on his own you could see the wild life on him, in my mothers words “you could grow potato’s on his neck”.
      Life was grim for so many people until the war started then believe it or not the good times began for many, strange no, men and women were back in work or the forces, money was flowing again, you could not buy much but you could spend it for enjoyment as many did.
      The clean streets and sweet smells came in the 1950’s, new housing with Bathrooms fancy soaps instead of sunlight and all those fancy after shaves that burned your skin off.


      • Frank, Brugge in Belgium do not have problems with their horse as there are many being used to carry sightseers around the City. They have shoot attached to the horse and the buggy which trapped the mess.


    • I seem to remember they tried smells of the 19th century in the exhibition in the Hartlepool Nuclear power station exhibition. The school children we took were aghast at such a smell but we adults thought it to be a pale imitation of the real thing!


  2. It all seems to lovely and nice. No one having to plough through horse manure or swat away the hordes of blue bottles and flies. Even I can remember, right up to the late fifties, seeing each of the living rooms of every house festooned with flypaper.


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