Why we love our old mixers, cookers and drills - from the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s!

PUBLISHED: 19:00 05 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:46 08 November 2019

Sandra Gage's 100-year-old mixing bowls, pastry blender and honey/jam dish Picture: SANDRA GAGE

Sandra Gage's 100-year-old mixing bowls, pastry blender and honey/jam dish Picture: SANDRA GAGE

Sandra Gage

What’s the oldest gadget or household appliance you still use? Since we asked the question, your answers have been pouring in.

Julie Kemp still uses her trusty Kenwood mini chef mixer from 1980. Picture: JULIE KEMPJulie Kemp still uses her trusty Kenwood mini chef mixer from 1980. Picture: JULIE KEMP

Julie Kemp, from Burgh, near Woodbridge, told us about two household items dating from the early 1980s. She said: "We still regularly use my Kenwood mini chef mixer, which my husband bought for me as an engagement present in 1980. We are still married, but I should have known then what he wanted me for!

"We also still regularly use our Philips fan heater, bought as a wedding present in 1982. They certainly don't make things to last like this any more!"

Wendy Jane Barnes, a member of the Ipswich Remembers Facebook group, also definitely prefers older mixers, She said: "I have a good mixer which was a wedding present from my sister in 1968, still used regularly to this day. I dread the day it packs up - new ones don't seem to have the same power that this one does, even if it is 51 years old! I've used ones far newer than mine, and they just don't have the same power speed - useless."

Colin Reeve, of Wetheringsett near Stowmarket, said: "We have an electric clothes airing cabinet that dates to the mid to late 1950s. My mother also had one until she died a few months ago.

"Unfortunately, when we moved into a house without an airing cupboard many years ago, we struggled to get our laundry properly aired. I mentioned it to Mum, (hoping she'd offer me hers!) but instead she told me that her brother had bought one when he married in the 1950s, and she thought he probably still had it in his loft. Happily, he did, and he was very willing for us to have it.

"We've been using it every week for 10 years or more and, despite a couple of minor breakdowns, it's still going strong. It is such simple 'technology' that I've been able to fix it myself when it has let us down and we'd not be without it. I doubt it'd be anywhere near able to meet modern safety standards, but for us it has been a Godsend."

READ MORE - What's the oldest item you still use?

Brenda Ferguson, from Saxmundham, still regularly uses a 'Spong National' mincer given to her mother as a wedding present in 1938. She said: "It works perfectly and I prefer it to the modern electric equivalent."

And Gabrielle Green, who lives near Hadleigh, wouldn't be without her 39-year-old Hotpoint tumble dryer. She said: "It works as good as the first day I got it. I bet the modern ones won't work as well or last as long."

Julie Kemp still uses this fan heater, which was a wedding present in 1982.Julie Kemp still uses this fan heater, which was a wedding present in 1982.

Kathryn Darby said on Facebook: "I have my parents' tumble dryer which they got in 1978. We had to get a new belt for it, but apart from that, it's still going strong 41 years later!"

From classic cookers to mixing bowls

In an age of smart and digital kitchen appliances, some of us still stick by the tried and tested. Jenny Gibbs said: "Our Creda Cavalier cooker was bought new in February 1964 by my stepmother when she married my dad. They used it until they both passed away, when I inherited it, and have used it ever since.

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"It still stands proudly in our kitchen and I am, indeed, very proud of it. To my eye, it still looks like new and cooks perfectly. Sadly, I don't have the receipt for the purchase, but can clearly remember my stepmother buying it in 1964 (when I was 21) and my dad saying to her 'What do you need a new cooker for'!"

Mixing bowls are another favourite. Sandra Gage, of Ipswich, said: "My mixing bowls, pastry blender and honey/jam dish, now used as a butter dish, are all about 100 years old and all in regular use.

"I'll be making my Christmas cakes (I make for family and friends) in my grandmothers' mixing bowls this weekend!"

Linda Tricker, a member of the Ipswich Remembers Facebook group, said: "My 54-year-old mixing bowl was given me for a wedding gift by my mum's old neighbour. Forever in service, used most weeks... I love it."

Richard Ward uses this 90-year-old drill for building models Picture: RICHARD WARDRichard Ward uses this 90-year-old drill for building models Picture: RICHARD WARD

Another group member, Harry Taylor has a toasting fork from his parents' wedding in 1938, and said: "It was first used by me at the age of five, that being 1948. I still use it regularly now."

Sewing machine from the 1920s works perfectly

But it's not just kitchen machinery that has stood the test of time. Charles Whitfield King said: "Mum's sewing machine from the 1920s still works perfectly."

Old furniture is also in daily use for many of us. On Facebook, Susan Battle said: "I have an old school teacher's beech desk. I use it as a dining table, and it must be very old. I've had it 40 years and it was second-hand when I bought it.

"And I have a walnut bedroom suite, donkeys years old, and a Victorian bed, slept in every night, so comfy."

Any old irons? Some of us have those too, or at least the ironing boards. Doreen Ralph of Ipswich Remembers said: "My ironing board was a wedding present 65 years ago. It came with an iron, but that went years ago."

Also, if you thought drills needed to be electric and brand new, think again. Richard Ward uses a 90-year-old drill for building model locomotives and other model-building projects too. He said: "Compared with an electric contemporary, it is easily portable, and if the alignment of the drill to the work goes off, unlike an electric drill it is able to stop instantly.

"I have recently fitted new ball bearings into it, as almost three quarters of the originals had worn away to the point of falling out."

Some old items can be of limited use, though, due to changing times. Karina King commented on Facebook: "As I'm a mobile hairdresser, I have the hose that fits onto taps. Nowadays, though, the new taps don't fit!"

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