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hilldweller

Don't Forget To Donkey Stone Your Front Steps.

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Thinking about the recent thread about Rag Men, got my mind remembering Donkey Stone. This was usually obtained from the Rag Man in exchange for rags.

For those of us not around in the 40's and 50's, Donkey Stone was a block of material made apparently from coloured or white powdered stone, bleach and cement, and used to whiten the steps leading up to a home.

Any "respectable" housewife would ensure that her front and back stone steps were scrubbed with bleach and then either just the front leading edges or sometimes the entire steps were whitened with Donkey Stone. Most women used white stone but one woman on our street used a light brown stone to be different.

The name came from a donkey logo on stones produced by one manufacturer.

Woe betide any child who stepped on the whitening and smudged it.

Towards the end of the fifties some housewives started using white paint or something called Mansion White Polish as a more permanent solution.

If you look carefully at steps on old houses you can sometimes still see traces of whitening or paint.

HD

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Most women used white stone but one woman on our street used a light brown stone to be different.

HD

The "brown" one was called Cardinal Red.

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Best picture I can find.

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Thinking about the recent thread about Rag Men, got my mind remembering Donkey Stone. This was usually obtained from the Rag Man in exchange for rags.

For those of us not around in the 40's and 50's, Donkey Stone was a block of material made apparently from coloured or white powdered stone, bleach and cement, and used to whiten the steps leading up to a home.

Any "respectable" housewife would ensure that her front and back stone steps were scrubbed with bleach and then either just the front leading edges or sometimes the entire steps were whitened with Donkey Stone. Most women used white stone but one woman on our street used a light brown stone to be different.

The name came from a donkey logo on stones produced by one manufacturer.

Woe betide any child who stepped on the whitening and smudged it.

Towards the end of the fifties some housewives started using white paint or something called Mansion White Polish as a more permanent solution.

If you look carefully at steps on old houses you can sometimes still see traces of whitening or paint.

HD

The last company to make Donkey stone was Eli Whalley

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Whilst "Black Leading" my grate

I found this

Black leading your grate!!!! :blink:

Have you got a grate? (No) When was the last time you "black leaded" one? :unsure:

Come to that when was the last time you had to "red lead" the underside of a car? <_<

I think you once did it in the 1970's to the underside of your Mk III Ford Cortina

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The last company to make Donkey stone was Eli Whalley

So there has been no commercially produced donkey stone since early 1979 then.

No wonder our front steps have looked a mess for the last 32 years! lol

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This brought back some memories, I can remember our front step at Norfolk Road having the "white line" around the edge. What precision this must have taken, perfectly straight line and thicker corners. Talk about making a rod for your own back, I feel sorry for the poor housewives in those days. I also remember the Cardinal Red but can´t think where this was used, unless it was the back door. Rubber soled plimsoles did leave a nasty mark on the undried white line, woe be to me the clumsy child :blink:

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The "brown" one was called Cardinal Red.

Thanks for that Vox, it was Cardinal not Mansion that I was thinking of. Easy mistake to make, well Cardinals live in Mansions don't they ! :huh:

HD

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CAPTAIN CAT : Careful now, she swabs the front glassy. Every step's like a bar of soap. Mind your size twelveses. That old Bessie would beeswax the lawn to make the birds slip.

from "Under Milk Wood" by Dylan Thomas

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Thanks for that Vox, it was Cardinal not Mansion that I was thinking of. Easy mistake to make, well Cardinals live in Mansions don't they ! :huh:

HD

According to these, It looks like mice used to live in mansions in those days.

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According to these, It looks like mice used to live in mansions in those days.

And rabbits as well !

:)

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And rabbits as well !

:)

But interestingly NOT donkeys! :P

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And rabbits as well !

:)

Fancy not noticing the length of their tails.

C minus in the "Cartoon animal recognition" exam

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Best picture I can find.

We used to put cardinal on our white plimsols as teenagers, it was great stuff .

I had a tin of that for years and years until the tin went rusty. I don't know why I

saved it , memories I suppose. :(

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Fancy not noticing the length of their tails.

C minus in the "Cartoon animal recognition" exam

If the donkey didn't have a tail you could always get someone blindfolded to try and pin a tail on it! lol

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http://www.pittdixon.go-plus.net/donkey-stones/donkey-stones.htm has details of the manufacture of donkey stones.

This too will bring back memories of washdays etc. http://washday.ukhomefront.co.uk/3.html

Lyn

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