Eliza, Ellen and I are up about 5.30 as usual. The kitchen's often
full of drying washing so I'm glad to be out of it.
goes out later to the factory school. The youngsters today have
all kinds of opportunities we never had. No such thing as school
for working folk when I was his age. I got my education at the factory
night school. You learn about lace and woodworking there, as well
as reading and writing and arithmetic. John Heathcoat wanted all
his workers to be able to read and write so he opened the school.
It was the first factory school in the whole of the West Country.
You have to do a test now before you start in the factory. There's
extra wages for passing the night school exams too, a couple of
shillings a week. That's a lot to a machine lad.
You might work your way up to being a lace twist hand like me though
you don't always get the chance. The lads do the graphiting to keep
the machines running. It's a dirty job.You can't use oil you see.
It would stain the silk.
I finish the laundry on Tuesdays. Hopefully it's mostly dry and
ready to iron. I use 2 flat irons, one heating on the range while
I'm ironing with the other.
try to get all the clothes ironed in the morning. The frills on
the girls' pinafores take a bit of time, as do their Sunday best
When Alice comes home she'll go to get the shopping for me and
take Edwin with her. She'll get some mutton chops for supper to
go with potatoes and greens from the garden. This gives me a chance
to get all the sheets ironed.
try to be finished with everything folded and put away before Frank
gets home from school. We pay 2d a week for him to go to school
and he learns reading, writing, arithmetic, geography, grammar,
history, general knowledge and scripture. What a clever lad.
he gets home he'll go out to play in the street, if it's fine, marbles
or whip and top, while I cook supper. I look forward to meeting
my friends at the sisterhood meeting at chapel in the evening, if