Prior to 1936 there was no electricity in the
Parish of Ash and it was not until 1952 that electricity came to
Ridley. There is no main gas in either Parish. Just over 20 years ago,
in all the houses and cottages, cooking was done in the old fashioned
kitchen ranges or else by oil cooker. In 1935 the first advertisement
for Calor Gas (gas in cylinders) appeared in this vicinity, and one or
two people decided to try it and brought the appropriate gas cooker.
By the end of the next year electricity was in Ash and electric
cookers made their appearance. As it is an overhead electric system it
is more liable to get damaged than underground cables would be, and
people found that it was necessary to have an alternative for cooking
and so Calor Gas stoves became quite popular. Water is heated by a
separate solid fuel burning boiler or by an electric immersion heater.
A few houses have an open fire with a boiler behind it. Most of the
old cottages, and even one or two of the larger houses have no hot
water system. The ĎAgaí stoves for cooking and water heating, and
similar makes of solid fuel burning stoves are also seen in several of
the houses. A few houses are still using oil for the cooking
alternative and some of the older cottages still have the old kitchen
Before the days of electricity oil lamps or candles
the only form of lighting. There are still a few
cottages in both Parishes using oil for lighting.
The heating of houses in the Villages has been
revolutionised in the last 20 years. Apart from electric fires, many
new types of solid fuel burning stoves have been introduced.
Electric apparatus of all kinds, from refrigerators and
washing machines down to hair driers may be found in many of the
houses, and all these gadgets can now be supplied also by the Calor
Practically every house and cottage has now got itís
electric wireless set and many have television.
Main water was laid on in Ash in 1903. Before this all
the water was obtained from wells.
For information on wells see article on "Odd
incidents and stories".
There is no Main Drainage yet in the Parishes. Most of
the houses and cottages have the usual water closet and a cesspool in
the garden to take all waste water. This has to be emptied by the
D.R.D.C. periodically by specially made apparatus into a closed
tank-like cart which is emptied on suitable sites away from
habitations. There are still quite a few places with very primitive