Sunday, 26 August 2012

Molly and the washer and the Howden beadle

This has been a busy week for family history with visits to both the archives at Beverley and the Borthwick Institute at York.

Whilst at Beverley I looked at the Howden vestry minute book  [PE 121/63] which is full of fascinating information about the highways and the poor.

I was interested to read that Howden had a beadle in 1780. Samuel South was chosen in place of Matthew Iveson. He had to provide his own utensils - wheelbarrow, spade, cowl rake, besoms etc and use them to clean the causeys [causeways - which could refer to either streets or footpaths] including St Hellin's Square, Northolmby Causey, Langton's Causey and Pinfold Causey.

A beadle was a parish official with several duties, as mentioned in Oliver Twist, although in Howden one of his major roles seems to have been street cleaning.

Today our quite new Hotpoint washer made a strange whirring noise and came to a halt in the middle of washing a load of clothes. It refused to pump out and we could not open the door. The chances of summoning an engineer to arrive on a Bank Holiday seemed low.

So we read the troubleshooting guide which came with the washer and found there was a filter we could examine at the front of the machine. It said 'a  little water may leak out'. In fact a lot of water poured out all over the floor. Then eventually, after a little more research on the internet, we found that we should check something called the impeller which should rotate freely. It did not.

We could see something caught in it and using a pair of pliers we extracted a small piece of cane. It had been chewed off the log basket near the washer by Molly. How it had got into the washer is a mystery. But the washer returned to life and is now recovered.

We love Molly dearly but since she also recently managed to cut off the power we are waiting, possibly vainly, for her to realise she is no longer a puppy!!

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