“It was called ‘no furniture’ hill”. I asked why.
Just after the war, (WW2) there were few houses available, what houses there were would be overcrowded by today’s standards. Work was hard to find. The people had no furniture and no money with which to buy any. Some might get poor relief, with vouchers to buy a cooker and a bed, but that was it.
The explanation went on. People who got a bit of casual work, crowded in at house sales and auctions and bought, if they could, any seat or item of furniture that would be of use to them.
Looking at me, the speaker warming further to his theme, and no doubt thinking I was ignorant of how it was, stated that “People today have no idea how communities had to live then”.
I thought about my ‘rescue’ furniture; my 1930’s beige moquette covered three piece suite had been thrown out to survive all weathers. It was stuffed with horse hair, and in its day, would have been luxury furnishing. I got the beechwood the frame tightened up and saved up and bought some velveteen stretch covers for it. When I could afford it, the suite was re-upholstered. It lived with me, moved with me, for another lifetime. All my essential furniture, for my first unfurnished home, including my bulbous fridge, was either being discarded or obtained from second-hand shops.
Yes, I think I did have more than an idea about how those communities lived. Like a lot of people today, I grew up at the same time, when rationing was still imposed, when there was not so much to be had, when people had to live frugally, in every sense of the word. There are young people today who are growing up in deprived circumstances, not as many I guess, as in yesteryear, but that blanket statement that people do not understand how communities lived then, is blatantly incorrect.