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History of Ash and Ridley from Earliest Records to 1957
                    
Compiled by Dorothy G. Meager on behalf of Ash and Ridley Women's Institute           Page 66

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Domestic Amenities

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 range.
   Before the days of electricity oil lamps or candles were 

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 Gas Company.
   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 sanitary conditions.

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