My radiators are covered with items of clothing at various stages of drying. It’s not that I am stingy about using the the tumble-dryer and using fuel; it is that my consciousness has been assaulted with being economic with the earth’s resources. I work much like the local farmers do, observing weather patterns, waiting to quickly take and use any windows of opportunity. In my case, I wait for half decent weather so I can peg out the washing to dry in what nature can provide for the purpose. As the season changes the opportunities to dry the washing outside will contract.

I am almost wistful for bygone days when rooms in houses were large enough to sustain a wooden dryer fixed with a pulley, which rose to the ceiling. We had one, when I was young, and it settled in a high area in line with the rising heat from the coal range, mostly used for heating. Those were the days of city smog. I would not wish that back. With the thought in mind, I have been eying up any spaces that might accommodate a pulley dryer/airer. The obvious one would be our utility area, but that is far too narrow.

Damp is another issue to think about. These days, with smaller room sizes and the encouragement to insulate houses well, ventilation is more restricted. On the other hand if a house is heated with dry heat, a little moisture might balance things off a bit. The correct balances could be difficult to achieve.

Increasing heating costs focus the mind and the purse. Where I live, there are very limited periods when the heating is completely off during the year. The thinking cap will have to go on again. Meantime, the airers over the radiators and the radiators themselves will have to do their best to support the ecological argument on the basis that every little helps it, and also, every little helps to support the domestic economy drive.



  1. It is indeed fast approaching the festooned radiator season. Like you, I limit the use of the tumble drier my reasons include ecologocical, financial and practical ones (i.e. I think that too much tumbling in the drier doesn’t do clothes any good) I enjoyed your reminiscences about the wooden airers.

  2. I was delighted in my recent Scottish holiday to discover one of those pulley-operated racks in the room with the boiler. Very useful! Haven’t seen one of those for 20 years. I’ve used the ones that you nail on to one wall and can pull out and fix to the other – used to have one of those in the kitchen.

  3. A friend has a wooden pulley dryer in her utility-cum-boiler room. It and the laundry, benefit from the warmth from the boiler during the Winter and at other times, they just dry over the racks.

  4. It’s gettingt harder and harder to dry clothes here too. I don’t have a tumble dryer, but I do have a tornado dryer – a kind of airer, really, which is great for finishing off drying things that the line can’t quite manage. It’s cheaper to run than a tumble drier and leaves the clothes very soft. But like you, Menhir, I keep an eye on the weather and try to make use of whatever nature sends my way. mr Penry is doing his bit too – he says he won’t change his clothes until April…..

  5. A tornado dryer….is it an actual machine plugged into a socket, or mother nature whirring round a whirligig clothes line when in a fury?

    :)) Mr Penry is thoughtful and versatile; does he also have a habitable out house?

    It is hard to deal with damp and wet clothing. I managed to get towels and bedding done today outside, catching all at the beginning of the unceasing rainfall for the next few hours. The remaining stuff from earlier washes is reducing from the backs of chairs as space becomes available on the radiators and their airers.

    C’est la vie. :**:

  6. Interested… The clothes wash in the machine then spin 1500. It will be less water. The clothes hang on the airer dyer standing. It will be dry eventually. It save the money. I like The tumble dryer but it could damage some fabrics.

  7. Ah yes…I spin the really heavy washing at the highest spin on my machine, to squeeze out as much water as possible, the more delicate items are spun at a lower speed.

    Thank you for your thoughts.

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