An evocation of people — 7 Comments

  1. It’s a really interesting photo for want of a better word to describe it. You can imagine the kettle boiling away on the range to heat water for all manner of things. You can imagine the lady of the house sitting beside the fire perhaps with a radio on doing some needlework of some kind or other. It actually reminded me of the two dogs that sat on Nan’s mantlepiece. Yes, interesting in its best sense is perhaps the right word.

  2. It’s been a long time since I saw a bellows.

    We had one in my family home, in the days before firelighters and firelogs came into vogue.

    And it worked brilliantly – that is until the leather perished and it sprung an air leak!

    If I had an open fire in my house, I’d definitely go searching around the antique shops to find a bellows. You can’t beat them for getting a fire going 😀

  3. Great photo and with an interest in photography myself, Idont find it prosaic at all but very warm and informative. It looks like a typically Irish cottage (not that I’d know) I have a very stark blue and white house punctuated with old curiosities, one of which is my Grandad’s writing desk. On top of it, all the little curious of no value but great importance from a little Dubai camel to a miner’s lamp. I loves little things that have a story to tell!

  4. At about the same time the picture was taken a chemists shop in Crewkerne was boarded up as the owner had died, It was opened up about 60 or so years later when the then owner died. The contents were bought up by ‘Flambards Park’ in Cornwall and are on permanent display, its worth a look if you’re in the area, cobwebs and all!!!

  5. Paula,

    Did everyone of that generation have those heirlooms?


    Bellows were great – you could blow ash all around the place!


    Thass not Ireland! Thass Somerset, me dear!

    I agree with you that it’s not at all prosaic – but you can order the picture from RIBA under the title ‘fireplaces’. They even have the date wrong – they have it as 1953.


    Can you imagine what a lively place some of those towns must have been to have had a foundry that could make such fireplaces?

  6. I think that the old kitchen ranges were works of art. There used to be one at my Mothers but it was replaced with a Rayburn when I was about 2, I do remember having a’copper’ in the kitchen where the washing of clothes was done.

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