Thursday, 17 November 2016

Painting that house in Eltham for just £4 12s 6d ............

Now I don’t do nostalgia and I am very quick to always point out that prices in the past must always be compared to take home pay.

But that said I have to admit paying £4 and a bit for having the outside of your house painted does seem eye watering.

The figure comes from a short extract taken from The Woolwich Story, which was published in 1970.

It is an excellent book containing heaps of information about the history of Woolwich including this short extract about Eltham at the beginning of the 1930s.

“This period saw the disappearance of the ‘Cinder Path’, the rough short cut to the older houses in Grangehill and Westmount Roads, before Westmount Road was connected to Well Hall Road.
Houses here and on the Castlewood Estate were being sold for £700.  Unlike most Eltham property these were freehold.  My own house near the Catholic Church of the Martyrs cost £650. 

 I arranged a mortgage under the Small Dwellings Acquisition Act and borrowed the balance. Today [1970] it is worth at least £3000.

In 1930 I paid £4 12s 6d for a highly satisfactory exterior decoration which would cost £48 today. Hence the popularity of ‘Do it yourself’.

In 1931a man varnished our front door for 3sand our baby’s pram cots£5. 5s. 0d

My post pinhead suit for the christening was made to measure for £4 10s.0d and just before the second war came along, we bought a 14½ square yard Axminster carpet for £9 9s.0d."

In 1930 the average wage for a timework labourer in the engineering field was just under a shilling per hour; it dipped in 1933-4, then climbed again to around 1s 2d by 1938.

Most workers in heavy industry and agriculture, who were male, were paid proportionately more than female workers in the same or other sectors.

 In October 1938, the average hourly wage for adult males was just under 1s 6d, nearly double the average hourly wage for women, which was 9d. **

Location; Eltham in the 1930s

Picture; cover, The Woolwich Story, 1970

*The Woolwich Story, E.F.E. Jefferson, 1970

**Wages in the 1930s, http://www.ehow.co.uk/info_12269131_wages-1930s.html


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