The Washing Copper.
Seventy odd years ago I can remember that the wood fired washing copper was quite well known in village and most families had one to be able to boil the whites in on a Monday morning, which by tradition was called wash day. Of course some of the big houses sent their wash to Thistle Hand Laundry, which was located next to the Pinder Hall. Or on the other hand it would be sent to the Maidenhead and District Laundry, which located in Furze Platt.
What actually triggered my mind about the Wash Day Copper, was the fact that in October my mother would make her Christmas Puddings, usually 12 to 14 in total. The whole mixture being stirred in a large china wash hand basin. The mixture was made and the white china pudding basins were filled with wax paper over the top and a cloth with butchers string around the rim and then tied back over the top to make a handle.
The copper fire was lit at 5.00 a.m. and would be boiling by six. The puddings were then put into the copper and the water topped of from a boiling kettle from the kitchen. This topping off of water went on all day, and so did the stoking of the fire.
The puddings were deemed to by well cooked by 10.00 P.M. The fire was allowed to burn out and the puddings were removed and set on the bench by the copper to cool. The next morning the puddings were put away in the cupboard to mature ready for Christmas.