A Warm December Wind: Book One of the Wellesmere Chronicles

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The museum hopes to restore some of these The pictures below show what is left of Porter's Row. Porter's were the men who worked on the docks moving cargo between the boats and the warehouses. In twelve members of the Grimes family lived at number twelve; six members of the Harrison family lived at number eight; six members of the Thomson family lived at number ten Porter's row. Census records indicate that by blacksmiths, shipwrights and watermen were also living amongst the Porter's in the row houses.

In gas works were built on the nearby docks for the company and the Porter's houses were the first to be lit with gas lights. In the Manchester Ship Canal company takes over and employees living in Porter's Row have rent deducted from their pay. In row houses are demolished to make way for a garage. Number ten was lived in continually until when the Museum purchased the building for restoration. After speaking with those whose families lived in them, the museum has restored the cottages in its care to accurately reflect how they looked between and furnished to provide a look at domestic life in Porter's Row.

The interiors--from gas lamps to wall paper were carefully researched and chosen for accuracy. Information courtesy of the National Waterways Museum, Above, a view from outside the rows. Around the back was a neat kitchen garden, a shed to house animals such as chickens and rabbits, and a communal outhouse and laundry room. Below, standing in the kitchen doorway of the 's house, looking outside at Ellesmere lower Basin. Below we are standing in the doorway of the 's Row house which opens into the front room. Beyond the baby pram is the door to the kitchen.

That is the extent of the first floor space. A small set of steep steps off the kitchen led up to two rooms upstairs for sleeping quarters.

It is hard to believe families of six to ten or more crammed themselves into such tiny living spaces! Below we are standing in the kitchen doorway looking into the Victorian front parlour as it was known then. And below, inside the Victorian kitchen with its wonderful cast iron stove and oven. There are no spacious counters on which to work up a loaf of bread or a meal for a family of ten--just a small table cluttered with the tools of a wife and mother's trade in home economics, while the iron sits warming near the flames. The drying rack hangs from pulleys attached to the kitchen ceiling, allowing one to pull it down to load with wet laundry and hoist it up again where the heat from the kitchen fire bakes everything dry.

Stepping through the back door of the kitchen one comes to the communal laundry shed. For those who've never set eyes on such a sight, the item directly left is called a mangle. One feeds the wet clothes through it after washing and rinsing and it wrings out the clothes.

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The stick standing up in the large barrel is actually a wooden plunger with dowels at the bottom which turn the wet, soapy clothes. This is a manual tumbler! Imagine the upper arm muscles a woman would develop! A fire was lit underneath the white brick square to the right and it would heat the water in the large copper bowl which sits under the round wooden lid. It's easy to understand why Monday was wash day--and laundry literally took all day to complete. Tuesday followed as ironing day!

Remember the iron warming on the kitchen hearth, two pictures up?!! After touring Porter's Row and the Museum with its exhibits of all the parts of working boats, the canals and wharfs, we went outside and looked into the living space of a typical working narrow boat, below.

A man and woman and all their children would live in this tiny hold! A wood cook stove provided heat and a place to fix meals. Opposite is a built in bench with storage.

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The curtain provided a modicum of modesty and privacy. Beyond, another cupboard opened out of the wall, and another wooden section dropped down to connect with the bench opposite creating a bed the width of today's single beds. Mum and Da slept there; children slept on the kitchen bench or floor near the stove. A boat wife had to heat water for washing up, laundry, and bathing in this tiny space, as well as store, prepare and serve meals, and get a gaggle of children asleep every night. It makes the cramped quarters of Porter's Row look quite spacious by comparison!

After lunch back on NB Valerie me and Les discussed what to do and where to go next. We didn't want to stay in Ellesmere if we couldn't go down in the basin overnight--teen vandals are notorious in the area for cutting boat ropes and lobbing rocks and other crap at boats moored up top.

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The tide on the Mersey headed out; the skies opened up and poured. Les slipped into his rain gear and winded NB Valerie. We motored back to our spot at bridge near Chester zoo. It is quiet here and peaceful.

As soon as Les moored up--it quit raining! That's okay--the forecast for evening was black clouds with heavy rain and wind gusts to twenty eight miles an hour at points. We brought in wood and coal yesterday morning so we could have a lovely warm fire. Dinner was Tuna Noodle casserole and salad.

Les put up the wind genny as we decided stay here until Sunday or Monday and then cruise back in to Chester for a short foray into the city before heading for the Middlewich arm and eventually the Anderton boat lift. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom. Supermercados Profesional. Agent at bud crawley real estate. Operations Agent at Qantas V. More Resumes More Professions. More Organization Records More Business Records Mary Esther Gonzalez. Mary Ann Gonzalez. Mary J Gonzalez. Mary Gonzalez. Mary Magdalena Gonzalez.

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