Houses 2 (Cahersiveen NS Folklore Project)

Q: How many bedrooms were in the house?  

There were usually around two or three bedrooms in the house.

Q: Was it a two storey or a bungalow?

My house was a bungalow. It was much smaller than the bungalows that you see now though.

Q: Was there a back and front garden?

Unfortunately we had neither. My sister and I spent a lot of time playing inside with our dolls or going for walks along the road.

Q: Did you move houses when you were young?

Not until I was 25, when I got married and moved to Marian Place.

Q: When you were younger how many lived in a house together?

There were ten of us altogether, all very content in three rooms.


Q:  Did you have a dishwasher?

No, we washed our plates, glasses, and cutlery with our hands.


Q:  Did you have washing up liquid?

No, we washed our plates, glasses, and cutlery with hand soap.


Q:  How often was washing done in the house?

Every time we ate. There was no such thing as a dishwasher then, so everyone had to give a hand.


Q:  Who did all the washing?

All of us took turns with the washing.

Q:  How often did you wash the clothes?

Once a week, we washed our clothes.


Q:  Was there a washing machine?

No, we had no washing machine.

All the clothes were washed by hand.

Q:  Did you have running water?

 No we had no running water; we got the water from a pump in the town.

Q:  What did ye burn in the fire?

We burned turf and twigs.The turf was saved in the summertime.

Q: How many children lived in a house?

There were 8, 9 or 10 children in most houses at the time. People had much bigger families back then, even though the houses were much smaller. Most families had grandparents living with them also.

Q: How many double beds did ye have in the house?

We had 4 double beds in the house; 1 bed for my grand-uncles and grand-aunties, one bed for the 3 boys. The girls shared a bed also and the youngest girl shared with her parents.


Q: Did you have a dressing table to keep your jewellery and personal belongings in?

No, we only had a few bits of furniture; nothing extra.

Q: Where did you grow your vegetables?

We did not grow them, even though most families did. We had to buy them.


Q:  Did you have an open fire?

Yes, I did have an open fire. That was the only form of heating we had.


Q:  Did you have a car?

No, I did not have a car. Cars were a luxury most families could not afford.

Q: Did you have a front garden?

No, and we didn’t have swings or anything like that either.

Q: Did you have electricity?

Yes, we had electricity and we had also oil lamps.

Q: If you didn’t have a car how did you get around?

We would have to rent out a car. We rented a car once or twice a year to go to Tralee.


Q: Why did you have oil lamps and electricity?

We didn’t have oil lamps when we got electricity.


Q: What age did you go working at?

I went working at the age of 12 as a maid.

This was very common practice at that time.


Q: What did you do as a maid?

I worked in a shop. I was glad to be earning a bit of money.

Q: What did you do in the shop?

I was cleaning and I did house work.

Q: How often did ye go grocery shopping?

My parents went once a week. They usually went to the local shop.

Q: How did you bring home the food?

My parents usually carried them. Often they were very heavy but that didn’t bother them.

Q: Were the food items expensive?

Yes, they were because money was very scarce.


Q: Did you have a sofa?

No, we had a rack. It wasn’t as comfortable as the sofas we have nowadays.

Q: Did you have a toilet in your house?

No, we shared a toilet between 5 houses.

Q: What house was the toilet in?

It was outside, in the garden of the 3rd house.

Q: Did you have a fridge in the house?

No, we kept our food in the food presses.

Q: Did you have a cooker?

No, we had a range. My Grandmother would have turf in it from early morning, so it was fine and hot when it came to dinner time.


Q: Did you have a lot of neighbours?

Yes, I had a lot of neighbours. We were always calling into each other’s houses. We were great friends to one another and although we didn’t have much money, we were happy to share whatever we could!

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