View Full Version : Does anyone remember 'The Blue Bag'


sweetdexter
11-02-2005, 22:51
Along with 'Donkey Stone' & Black Lead' Does anyone remember 'The Blue Bag or 'Beckits Blue'
What promted this line of thought was an ad on tv for ceiling paint .
Goes on light blue dries white

sheffexpat
11-02-2005, 22:58
There was another "famous " blue bag.
You used to be able to only get one type of crisps---plain ! ...But... to make your life exciting , they used to put a little blue bag of salt in every packet---for those who were sophisticated enough to want salt of course.

mojoworking
11-02-2005, 23:18
Originally posted by sweetdexter
Along with 'Donkey Stone' & Black Lead' Does anyone remember 'The Blue Bag or 'Beckits Blue'
What promted this line of thought was an ad on tv for ceiling paint .
Goes on light blue dries white

I don't remember what Blue Bag was supposed to be used for (something to do with washing clothes, perhaps?), but I do recall my mum rubbing it on wasp stings and the like to take away the pain.

PopT
12-02-2005, 06:12
My old Mum used to use Blue bags in the washing. They were made by a firm called Reckits.

The substance was in a white cotton bag with a string attached, the wrapper was blue and white vertical stripes with the words Reckits Blue on it.

They certainly made a difference to my Dad's sweat towels that he wore, working on the steel furnaces.

He had to wear a fresh one everyday and they were as white as they could be.

The Donkey stone was another item we had which was used to tart up the edges of the stone door steps and window sills after she had scrubbeded all the soot and grime off them.

Mum used to get it off a Ragman in exchange for rags.

He used to push a barrow which had iron wheels through the streets shouting, 'Donkey Stone for old rags, come and get uor Donkey Stone.

I still have a block of it and a block of Carbolic Soap, don't ask me why?

Happy Days

JoeP
12-02-2005, 07:32
I remember having numerous stings from nettles being dealt with by either Dock Leaves (when I was 'in the field') or the Blue Bag (when back home).

I remember my aunt used to get regular visits on her street from the rag man. We kids were particular;y interested in the horse that pulled the cart, and a bucket was always on hand just in case some rose fertiliser was left behind!

:)

poppins
12-02-2005, 12:57
We used the "Blue Bags" to take yellow out of white lace curtains, you can still but it in liqued form now, lots of people still use it, although washing dosent seem to yellow as much in front load washers, there the best but more expensive over here, all back in style.

deecee
12-02-2005, 14:58
Originally posted by sweetdexter
Along with 'Donkey Stone' & Black Lead' Does anyone remember 'The Blue Bag or 'Beckits Blue'
What promted this line of thought was an ad on tv for ceiling paint .
Goes on light blue dries white

Hiya sweetdexter,
I remember the "Donkey Stone" and the "Blue Bag" (sometimes known as " Dolly Bags "), I also remember" Robin Starch" used to make your shirt collars stiff and my wife used it on her "net" underskirts to make them stand out.
Strangely enough PopT, I also have a block of carbolic soap saved from back then.

deecee

hazel
12-02-2005, 15:49
My dad worked in the steel works, he was a furnaceman and wore a sweat towel. which mom used to keep white with a bluebag He also rubbed soap on the insides of his socks as the floor of the works was very hot. he said it kept his feet healthy. Used to have long blocks of sunlight soap to which I used to cut up to mangable size with the shovel.
Can anyone remember the white enamel jug, in which he put his mashing of tea, with a lid that was the cup and a metal handle over the top, to carry it. He took the tea and sugar in a screwed up piece of newspaper.
They all used to have these, the sweat towel, flat cap and they swung their ? billycan.
Hazel

sweetdexter
12-02-2005, 17:55
Mashing cans were what we called them.
When I first started work in 54 .One of my jobs was to see to the mashing cans 3 times a day.
I remember the tea and sugar in the newspaper,some used to put condensed milk in as well(what a mess).
If one of the men forgot his mashing or they had ran out of tea ,I would be asked very quietly if I could 'bull' them a mashing.
This entailed taking a bit from everyone elses mashing to make one for the person without.
Once a week I would take all the cans (sometimes as many as 20) and give them a scouring in the sand pile.
At the end of the week I would go around the guys for my 'nattie money'this would often surpass the allowance I was given out of my wages by my mother.

poppins
12-02-2005, 18:26
My mother use to dip her lace doilies in sugar water to starch them, suppose it's called simple syrup now, oh! just thinking of it now, what a mess !

hazel
12-02-2005, 20:01
Thanks dexter.
I knew it was a mashing of tea and can clearly see it in my mind but couldn't recall the name of it.

My Mom had the mats Poppins and taught me how to crochet too.
Hazel

poppins
12-02-2005, 20:24
[
.

My Mom had the mats Poppins and taught me how to crochet too.
Hazel [/B][/QUOTE]

Yes Hazel, my mom taught me to crochet too but i forgot how now, i do a bit of knitting, big thing over here now is boas, small scarfs, knit up in no time, everyones knitting them, no real wool, just very very soft yarns.

PopT
13-02-2005, 07:26
Sweetdexter

You mentioned black lead in your posting.

I remember mum cleaning the yorkshire range and then finishing it off with Zebo black lead.

That cast iron oven door used to shine brightly in fact when the light shone on it, it shunkled like polished chrome.

Many years after I thought Zebo in the yellow and black packets had disapeared until we 'modernised and bought an old cast iron fireplace, as you do!

After installation it was crying out for some polish and I was amazed to find they still made Zebo polish in a black and yellow striped tube.

We still polish that fireplace every so often but we cannot get it to shunkle like the old lass did. Maybe we use enough spit on the brush?

Happy Days

Arfer Mo
09-04-2006, 20:00
Along with 'Donkey Stone' & Black Lead' Does anyone remember 'The Blue Bag or 'Beckits Blue'
What promted this line of thought was an ad on tv for ceiling paint .
Goes on light blue dries white
YesIremember my mother using all these things in fact I used to blacklead the beautiful yorkshire range in which she made those unique yorkshire puddings, I also donkey stoned the back step , the bluebag was supposed to get the clothes extra clean,, when added to the wash. Arthur.

CHAIRBOY
09-04-2006, 20:13
Along with 'Donkey Stone' & Black Lead' Does anyone remember 'The Blue Bag or 'Beckits Blue'
What prompted this line of thought was an ad on tv for ceiling paint .
Goes on light blue dries white

The product was called RECKITT'S BLUE - and was made by the Hull firm of Reckitt and Colman.

peterw
09-04-2006, 20:15
Along with 'Donkey Stone' & Black Lead' Does anyone remember 'The Blue Bag or 'Beckits Blue'
What promted this line of thought was an ad on tv for ceiling paint .
Goes on light blue dries white

It was Reckittís Blue and believe it or not Iíve got ten bags of it at home, collected over a number of years!

peterw
09-04-2006, 20:21
I have ten bags of Reckitts Blue at home, collected over the years

Applegrim
09-04-2006, 20:22
I remember a small tin, oval in shape, divided into two each end having a lid, loose tea in one end,and sugar in the other

depoix
10-04-2006, 16:17
i remember the blue bag,once it was in the tub you would get to work with the 3 legged agitator or the copper headed posh,then up into the mangle

the girls today dont know they are born,everything now is automatic :hihi: :hihi: :hihi: seriouslyy though,it was very hard work,and when you think about it,there were some big families in those days,the washing was always on mondays,but sometimes there were two or three wash days per week,

people say its better today,but i feel that personal pride and family values have suffered for the modern day, things are faster now,no one has time for any one else, the communities we grew up in have gone,you were a lot safer as a kid years ago,yes and better behaved as every one knew who your mam or dad was,people worked together and spent time together

if it wernt f rickets and blue unction, off nitty nora,i would go back, if it were only for a visit and a ride on a charrabanc to skeggy :)

Timbuck
10-04-2006, 16:40
Mashing cans were what we called them.
When I first started work in 54 .One of my jobs was to see to the mashing cans 3 times a day.
I remember the tea and sugar in the newspaper,some used to put condensed milk in as well(what a mess).
If one of the men forgot his mashing or they had ran out of tea ,I would be asked very quietly if I could 'bull' them a mashing.
This entailed taking a bit from everyone elses mashing to make one for the person without.
Once a week I would take all the cans (sometimes as many as 20) and give them a scouring in the sand pile.
At the end of the week I would go around the guys for my 'nattie money'this would often surpass the allowance I was given out of my wages by my mother.When I was working as a roofer in the 60's I also had a mashing can..I used to make tea in mine the way that the Irish lads did..I stood the can of water on two bricks heated it up with a blowlamp (or lit a fire)when it boiled i added a small handfull of tea and sugar, then swung it round my head for a few swings, then poured in a dollop of milk...Still the best way to brew tea "sweet strong and milky" and a mouthfull of tea leaves at the end...Yuck!

Falls
10-04-2006, 17:25
I know this is nothing to do with Reckitt's blue, but someone mentioned mashing cans.

I had a mashing can when I started work(1952). A lot of people in the works and steel plants did. At first, I had my tea and sugar in twist of paprer but then I noticed some people had tea/sugar tins so I went out and bought one.

These were small oval-shaped tins, with two compartments and snap-on lid on the top and the bottom. you put the sugar in one end and the tea in the other. Very useful.

While we are on the subject of tea and food at work, does anybody remember wives bringing the husband's hot lunches to works gate's or time-houses? These were usually a soup or stew in a basin. The basins in those days had a thick rim so the wife would cover the top with a cloth - usually a checked napkin- and secure it with string under the rim. Then they would bring up the four corners of the napkin, tie them together and use these as a carrying handle. This was still going in WWII, when people still lived near where they worked but the pratice died out as many families moved out on to the estates.

Then there were the lunch baskets. These were small baskets - like super small fishing basket - with a curved top and a carying handle. The usually held sandwiches, drinks,etc. but some workers used to have a pre-cooked meal, in a basin that could be reheated for lunch.

I hadn't seen a lunch basket since the late 40's but in the mid 80's, I was working in Grand Falls, Newfoundland, where they still used them. Most workers in Canada use the American-style lunch boxes but the workers at the paper mill in Grand Falls all had lunch baskets. Theirs were more like a shallow shopping basket but they had lids.

Regards

Texas
10-04-2006, 18:03
This is another digression from the original topic, but does anyone remember 'LAVA' soap? It was a rough abrasive soap, great for washing your mitts after a greasy;filthy kind of job. My Grandad used to use it way back(pre 39-45 war again). I hadn't seen it since that time, but a hardware store in Oregon had some so I bought six blocks. Guess what? I haven't seen it since.

bluebird62
10-04-2006, 18:54
All of this items you have mentioned can still be bought from a Hardware shop next door but one to sids cafe at holmfirth.
cardinol, bag of blue. bag of yellowing your nets, donkey stone, black lead, oxodel, gas mantal's, etc, etc. it is like a step into the past when you go inside this shop. we are going again in the near future so i will ask for a list.

juliediane

CHAIRBOY
10-04-2006, 19:09
I remember a washing powder called Oxydol.

sweetdexter
10-04-2006, 20:29
Another thing that came to mind.
'Kindling wood' Short pieces of wood about 6" long and 1 " in diameter not round but irregular shape ,tied with a wire in a bundle.
Altogether about 6" across

CHAIRBOY
10-04-2006, 20:41
Another thing that came to mind.
'Kindling wood' Short pieces of wood about 6" long and 1 " in diameter not round but irregular shape ,tied with a wire in a bundle.
Altogether about 6" across

My gran and grandad had a greengrocer's shop on Howard Rd/Duncombe Street, at Walkley, and they made up and sold these bound strips of wood.

depoix
10-04-2006, 21:15
Another thing that came to mind.
'Kindling wood' Short pieces of wood about 6" long and 1 " in diameter not round but irregular shape ,tied with a wire in a bundle.
Altogether about 6" across
i used to make these as a nipper from wooden tomato trays that i would scrounge from the back of woodthorpe shops

burnttoast
11-04-2006, 19:10
I have rather painful memories of the old "mashin can".As a young lad in the forge it was my job to mash the tea. Every morning the cans, complete with the "mashin" in ready for the 10am break would be placed on a shelf about head height .One morning one of the "owd sods" thought he'd do me a favour and mashed early .Me not thinkin dashed up, grabbed the handle of one of the cans....Red hot tea down my chest ,me jumpin up and down like a looney. What did I get ? "Nar look wot thas done ,tha's wasted me mashin" Still got the scars 45 years on. Sympathy was hard to get them days.:hihi:

sweetdexter
11-04-2006, 20:21
I have rather painful memories of the old "mashin can".As a young lad in the forge it was my job to mash the tea. Every morning the cans, complete with the "mashin" in ready for the 10am break would be placed on a shelf about head height .One morning one of the "owd sods" thought he'd do me a favour and mashed early .Me not thinkin dashed up, grabbed the handle of one of the cans....Red hot tea down my chest ,me jumpin up and down like a looney. What did I get ? "Nar look wot thas done ,tha's wasted me mashin" Still got the scars 45 years on. Sympathy was hard to get them days.:hihi:

The navvy who dropped his coat into the cess pit on a building site was seen to be trying to lift it out with a 4x2.
On being told his coat would be useless ,he replied "Mi bloody mashin's in pocket"

Jossman
12-04-2006, 10:27
Lots of the old steelworkers after the war used their gas mask bags as snap sacks. My father used his for years.

glen
12-04-2006, 14:52
i still have one of those dolly blue bags here in Ausie,not game to use it because of its age.Methylated spirits works just as well,one cup in with the lace curtains and they keep their whiteness.Can anyone remember the cardinal polish (red Stuff) cmon Arthur you remember that dont you?:hihi:

sweetdexter
12-04-2006, 17:29
Lots of the old steelworkers after the war used their gas mask bags as snap sacks. My father used his for years.


There used to be two stores that I know of that sold ex army paraphernalia.
One was on Exchange St and the other on the street that ran alongside the Town Hall ,where the public measuring
guide was , on the corner of Norfolk St
Nearly every manual worker used either a gas mask bag or the old small pack.
I preferred the small pack

PeterJames
12-04-2006, 20:41
I can confirm Reckitts Blue was made in Hull (or Kingston Upon Hull as my Dad insisted! - He was born in Hull but grew up in Tinsley).I can recall visiting Hull many years ago and the streets around the works coated with Ultramarine (Reckitts) Blue. The company, still based in Hull, is called Holliday Pigments - doesn't have the same ring to it does it?

Nigel Womersle
09-08-2006, 11:58
The product was called RECKITT'S BLUE - and was made by the Hull firm of Reckitt and Colman.

There was also a Reckitt's factory in Lancashire. We used to pass it on our way to Barrow In Furness, before the advent of the motorways. All the building had turned blue, so the chemicals must have got into the air

hagardriley
10-08-2006, 21:02
Mashing cans were what we called them.
When I first started work in 54 .One of my jobs was to see to the mashing cans 3 times a day.
I remember the tea and sugar in the newspaper,some used to put condensed milk in as well(what a mess).

My old feller worked in the building trade in the 1950/60s and I clearly remember him taking his 'mashings' to work exactly as described here, including the condensed milk, all wrapped in twists of newspaper.:gag:

societygirl
30-06-2007, 13:52
Sweetdexter

You mentioned black lead in your posting.

I remember mum cleaning the yorkshire range and then finishing it off with Zebo black lead.

That cast iron oven door used to shine brightly in fact when the light shone on it, it shunkled like polished chrome.

Many years after I thought Zebo in the yellow and black packets had disapeared until we 'modernised and bought an old cast iron fireplace, as you do!

After installation it was crying out for some polish and I was amazed to find they still made Zebo polish in a black and yellow striped tube.

We still polish that fireplace every so often but we cannot get it to shunkle like the old lass did. Maybe we use enough spit on the brush?

Happy Days

I think that Zebo has probably made a comeback following the current trend for cast iron stoves and fireplaces. I bought some for the huge cast iron range that came with the house, what a dirty job to apply and it did not sparkle as much after my efforts as the 'lady that does'.

lazyherbert
30-06-2007, 14:24
I can remember going to take my dads dinner as well & coming back with the tea & sugar rations they got from work.Do you remember that.

PopT
30-06-2007, 19:57
When I started work in the steelworks Mom used to pack me up with sandwiches and a couple of mashings of tea.

Tea,sugar and condensed milk were all put together in a twist of newspaper.

She used to buy the cheapest tea from the Meadow Dairy shop which was by the Hillsborough Bridge next to Timpsons Shoe shop around the corner from Baldock's Fish Shop.

You could always tell the cheap tea after it had been mashed as it had ' logs' floating on the top of it.

Happy Days!

BLITZER
30-06-2007, 21:35
I remember some of the washing powders of years ago. Restu, Oxydol, Rinso,
Persil,and Lux soap flakes.

Nigel Womersle
30-06-2007, 23:51
Easter 1965. I took my parents to my dad's sister's house in Barrow In Furness. Silly Nigel got lost and didn't know where he was. It must have been around the Lancaster area that we went through a village or small town and came across a building which straddled the road. There was a sign on it which read 'Reckitt's Blue'. Believe me it was - everything you could see was blue - building, road and verges. Workers were on the road too, and their faces matched everything else.

sirglyn
01-07-2007, 03:20
I remember some of the old uns using the term' bag of blue' as rhyming slang for someone of the semitic race.

hazel
01-07-2007, 05:57
I remember my Mom (born 1911) tellng me that she took her father's dinner to him in a bason tied up in a handkerchief when young.
She said that the tram only went as far as City Rd and she walked the rest of the way. Her Dad was a night watchman and I think it was the Manor estate being built that she must have been talking about.
hazel

BLITZER
01-07-2007, 14:44
Easter 1965. I took my parents to my dad's sister's house in Barrow In Furness. Silly Nigel got lost and didn't know where he was. It must have been around the Lancaster area that we went through a village or small town and came across a building which straddled the road. There was a sign on it which read 'Reckitt's Blue'. Believe me it was - everything you could see was blue - building, road and verges. Workers were on the road too, and their faces matched everything else.

That will be the village of Haverthwaite,not far from Ulverston in Cumbria.
As you say,the place was covered in blue due to the local works that produced the blue bags.At that time it was on the main road,but several years ago it was by-passed. The factory closed many years ago.

jiginc
02-07-2007, 10:49
That will be the village of Haverthwaite,not far from Ulverston in Cumbria.
As you say,the place was covered in blue due to the local works that produced the blue bags.At that time it was on the main road,but several years ago it was by-passed. The factory closed many years ago.


It is now a Hotel.

Barb59
07-07-2009, 00:42
I have just had a wonderful giggle thinking about the mashing as we called it, two sugar to one tea in a little newspaper parcel twisted at the top for my dads pack up.
Thanks for the memory

carosio
07-07-2009, 21:28
I remember having numerous stings from nettles being dealt with by either Dock Leaves (when I was 'in the field') or the Blue Bag (when back home).:)

My father also recommended Blue Bag for wasp and bee stings.

ryanjohn
21-05-2010, 11:40
Hi all

My mum has drove me mental looking for these blue bags...I have now managed to find some on a site called retonthenet so I got her a few to keep her quiet....lets hope she dosn't run out. ;)