I subscribe to two Freecycle groups and enjoy seeing what people are chucking out and more amazingly what people ask for. People actually specify the make and model of baby buggy that they are looking for. Remember this is not to buy, this is for someone to give to them. I don’t know, young people these days are so ungrateful .. mutter..mutter..rant rant. When we were first “expecting” we caught a train to buy a McClaren carrycot/pram/buggy from someone for £18. Believe it or not I think the buggy part might actually be lurking in my garage somewhere. This was back in 1982 when shoulder-pads were the height of fashion and buggies were either blue and white stripes or red and white stripes and had hooks for handles to hang several tons (should that be metric tonnes?) of shopping on, against which you used your offspring as counterweight. Anyway, none of this nonsense about cross-country, cross-trainer, 3 wheeled, 4×4 vehicles that babies aspire to these days.
Talking of going cross-country, I have wondered offtrack here. I was about to announce that I had acquired something from a freecycler who lives a stones’s throw away from the Rugby Stadium at Twickenham where last night the Police were giving a concert. The freecycler suggested that I came to his house whilst the Police fans were safely inside the stadium having their eardrums perforated. What is it, I hear you ask. Well, it’s a sewing machine. Haven’t you’ve already got one?
Yes .. but …this is a HAND sewing machine.
There is no electrical power, and consequently no handy lamp placed strategically above the needle to aid elderly eyes with the threading. The other design feature not yet incorporated when this lovely object was manufactured, probably in the 1930s, is REVERSE. It took me a few minutes to work out that all you have to do is to leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot and rotate the fabric so that it faces in the opposite direction. Does that make sense?
My machine is a Jones, even though it says “Kildare” on it. I have been told that these were made for Whiteleys, London’s first department store when it opened in 1863. According to UK Travel Search, London, “Hitler was particularly taken with Whiteley’s during a visit and vowed to make it his headquarters after Britain was brought under the yoke of the Third Reich.”