Our clothes were not the latest style. Mother made clothing from used flour bags. Flour came in 100-pound cotton bags with a picture of Robin Hood which was difficult to wash out. Mother made waists for us from the bags. They were worn inside our slips and had garters to hold up our stockings.
For stockings, our mother knitted grey feet onto store-bought black leggings. It didn’t matter if the grey showed above the shoes. I remember wearing buttoned boots which needed a button-hook to fasten them.
Butter from cream
Most farmers had 12 or 15 cows, which were milked by hand. The cream was separated from the milk using a separator we turned by hand. Skimmed milk was fed to the pigs and calves. The cream was kept down in the cellar or in a well for a week or so until there was enough to churn. Then it would be kept by the kitchen stove to sour and be emptied into a churn.
Butter making was women’s work. The wooden handle and dash of the churn were pumped up and down till the butter came. Sometimes it took a long time and sometimes it came quite quickly. The glass inset on the churn cover became clear when the butter was ready. Then it just took a bit more churning to “gather” the butter.
The buttermilk was drained off. The butter was put in a tray and washed with salt. “Butter colour” was added to it. Then the butter was worked and put in one-pound pieces using a wooden print with ridges on the cover. It was wrapped in “butter paper” that was white with a picture of a cow and sometimes a building in blue. Butter was our money that we used to buy groceries.