Washington Street was a working class area, the houses being terraced and small. No. 26 was typical. It had six rooms – two on the ground floor, two bedrooms above, and two in the basement. The basement was reached by steep, narrow stairs, with a rope instead of a banister rail. The room below the street in the basement was a dreary dungeon, with only a little light coming in through a window high on one wall, which was level with the pavement. It was here that the cooking, washing etc was done.
I would imagine that Martha, the matriarch of the family, lived in the front room on the ground floor, with Rose (Joan’s mother) having the back room at the back as a bedroom, and the boys William and Fred upstairs.
The room at the back was the living room of the house, and was more pleasant, opening onto the small garden. There was an open fire, with a mantelpiece laden with ornaments, and a large kitchen table taking up most of the room. The only water in the house would have been a cold tap in the kitchen. The WC was down a brick path at the end of the garden.
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