Ageing household appliances: They just don’t make them like they used to

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Cara Sandys still watches her 46-year-old television (Image: Daily Echo/Solent News)

THEY built things to last in the past – last week we published the story of Val Marks and her Hoover Junior vacuum cleaner which she bought in 1965 and is still using. Today theatre usher Cara Sandys, 58, from Southampton, shows off the 1972 globe-shaped black and white JVC Videosphere TV she won in a slogan competition when she was 12 and which she still loves watching. They are not the only people with prized vintage appliances still in use. Our readers were eager to show off household goods which, with care, have stood the test of time.

JILL FLEETWOOD, 82, FROM NOTTINGHAM 

HAND BLENDER, SLOW COOKER, JUICER AND OTHER ITEMS 

A visit to the Fleetwoods’ home is like stepping into a museum for ancient appliances.

Jill and her husband Peter, 84, have rarely needed to replace their kitchen equipment from the 1950s and 1960s because their original gadgets are still going strong.

“I have a hand blender called a Bat Mix which cost £6 in the Sixties, along with a Tower slow cooker, Moulinex juicer and Moulinex blender,” she says.

“It was the original Nutribullet and even had an attachment to grind coffee beans.

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Jill Fleetwood still uses a hand blender called a Bat Mix which cost £6 in the Sixties (Image: Bill Williams)

“All my pans were wedding gifts 63 years ago and they still clean up beautifully.”

Jill, right, believes that items were not only better quality when she got married but also people looked after their posses-sions and used them carefully.

“We had to save up for everything that we wanted. It was a great embarrassment to buy things on the never-never.”

Careful former bank manager Jill even has an old-fashioned manual spin dryer that she keeps in her conservatory.

“It cost £21 and it really did the job,” she says. “We only got a washing machine in 2005, just because I was ill with cancer. I bought more modern appliances but they are rubbish and never last.”

BRIAN MORLEY, 81, FROM CHECKLEY, STAFFORDSHIRE 

HOOVER JUNIOR VACUUM CLEANER 

When Brian spotted our story about Val Marks’ old Hoover Junior 1334A, he suspected his 1334 model might be even older and contacted the company’s head office in Merthyr Tydfil. “They were very excited to hear from me and said it was manufactured between 1950 and 1955,” he says.

“I can’t be sure of the exact date it was bought as it belonged to my in-laws originally. We inherited it 52 years ago, after they had both passed away.”

Brian and his wife Anne, 74, bottom left, keep their sturdy Hoover upstairs and have a more modern Panasonic vacuum for cleaning downstairs.

“It gets used most weeks and we’ve only had to replace the brushes once, which was a long time ago,” says the grandfather of two. “It’s a quality item.”

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Brian Morley and his wife Anne keep their sturdy Hoover upstairs (Image: NC)

GEORGE THORPE, 86, FROM COVENTRY 

BUSH RADIO 

Retired motor factory engineer George used his marriage tax allowance to treat his new wife to a Bush radio in 1958.

“We didn’t have a telly in those days so we would sit and listen to Radio Luxembourg or Tony Blackburn on Radio Caroline,” he says.

“My wife was a real music lover so I let her have her say on what we listened to.”

The radio has only ever had one valve replaced and is still in perfect working condition. “I don’t use it as much as I used to as it only has MW or LW. I bought a newer Bush radio on offer in Sainsbury’s last year and that has DAB and an alarm,” says George.

“I keep the old one for sentimental reasons really, as it holds happy memories of my wife. She passed away five years ago due to a brain tumour.”

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Michael Venn and his wife Joy bought their mixer in 1958 (Image: Albanpix.com)

MICHAEL VENN, 85, FROM WORLINGHAM, SUFFOLK 

KENWOOD MIXER 

When Michael and his wife Joy, 86, bought their mixer in 1958, it came with a booklet containing a Christmas cake recipe.

tor The retired insurance inspector has made it every year since, recently enjoying the 60th successful bake.

“It’s quite a boozy recipe and we give quite a lot of it away,” he says.

“We bought the mixer in our first year of marriage because we belonged to the tennis club in Ilford, Essex, and the wives would make cakes for the Sunday afternoon tea.”

The couple, above, purchased their appliance from the Eastern Electrical Board, paying for it in quarterly instalments on their electric bill.

“I can’t remember the exact price but it was £30-40,” Michael says. “It was a fantastic buy. All the parts are original and we have both got lots of use out of it.”

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DIY fan Barrie Marklew is planning to leave his trusty drill to his son-in-law (Image: Darren Casey/DCimaging)

BARRIE MARKLEW, 78, FROM BEVERLEY, EAST YORKSHIRE 

BLACK AND DECKER ELECTRIC DRILL 

DIY fan Barry is planning to leave his trusty drill to his son-in-law as he expects the sturdy tool to keep going longer than him.

The appliance was passed to him by his first wife in 1968 after they married. It had originally belonged to her late father, who might have bought it as far back as 1950.

When the couple split after 15 years and both remarried, they remained friends and Barry, left, kept the family heirloom.

He said: “I’ve never had a single problem with it. It’s helped me put up countless pictures and shelves. You just put the drill bit in the chuck, plug it in and go. Things were built to last back then.”



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