Photo: RON HUNT
Item #: 24169
done quite a lot of that in my lifetime. but she seems to be doing the pavement, not the step.
Known them to be donkey brands, or rubbing stones. Got them on numerous occasions, many years ago, from the rag and bone man, in exchange for empty jam jars, or a bundle of old rags. I think the posh used mansion polish. They had red steps, and widow sills.
See link for information on Donkey Stones
It was taken in Preston, Ron.
"Mrs Sarah Alice Singleton aged 71, keeps the pavement clean outside a Preston pub".
This photo was used for both a cover and text illustration on the 1971 edition of "It's An Old Lancashire Tradition", author Sylvia Lovat Corbridge.
I remember the women in Ince donkey-stoning the steps and woe betide any of us children who stood on the newly-mopped flags in front of the houses. You could still get donkey-stones in Adams' Stores in the old Market Hall and Peter and I often see them when we go to 1940s events.
I'm sure no woman in her right mind would not have had a front doorstep whitened in years gone by..a wonderful tradition..like the Greeks painting their houses white for Easter. Great picture.
Albert, think the red steps were done with Red Cardinal polish.
The area that she is "donkey stoning" is probably the old coal or beer chute.
My mother always called the red polish red raddle. I was taught to mop steps when I was about seven or eight and be sent to clean the less mobile neighbours steps.
A tradition that is seldom if ever seen nowadays.
Grannieannie. Neighbourliness in this day,and age, seems to be nearly non-existent. It was so prevalent, a long time ago.
Albert you are so right. My mother always had a highly developed sense of neighbourliness. I remember her breaking her elbow at Christmastime and still managing, with Dad's help, to cook and serve thirteen Christmas dinners for neighbours on their own.
A.W. I've said this to you before. 'Who has a doorstep these days'?
The white stone powder used to make Donkey Stones came from a quarry in Appley Bridge
Neighbourliness was different then. In the 1950's there were at least 5 or 6 neighbours that would call in our house almost daily, without knocking. The doors were mostly unlocked in those days and friends would pop in for a chat and see if they could bring anything from the shops. I used to run errands for a lady that lived a few doors away but I always knocked when I called, she gave me half a crown every Friday.
This photo seems to show what Wigan Worlder's like to see. Interesting pics always get a good response.
Keene, half crown in the 50s was a tidy sum indeed...just to run to the shops.
It might have started off at two bob and gone up with inflation, I wasn't complaining. In the end I think it had probably gone into 1960, I remember Saturday matinee pictures was 9 old pence.