Armistice 100: When is a kitchen not a kitchen? When it's a scullery, of course...
Dateline: August 23, 1918: Fuel rationing, which came into force on August 11, was causing all manner of concerns for people in Yorkshire.
There was a debate over what constituted a “room”, for example, especially in relation to kitchens and sculleries, as depending on the definition, one would be covered by the ban and the other not.
An article in the YEP from the day recounts the debate, thus: “If a scullery is used merely as an adjunct to a kitchen for washing or cleaning purposes, it is not to be considered as a room. If it is a working kitchen with a fixed cooking stove in a which the bulk of the cooking is done, thus permitting the use of the kitchen proper as a living room, the scullery will be counted a room.”
Cinemas were also included in the new fuel and light rationing scheme, with local ‘fuel overseers’ making judgements based on seating capacity and other factors.
In Dewsbury, meanwhile, to compound matters, there was a water shortage, with the public asked to use the resource sparingly.
Alderman John McCann, chairman of the Dewsbury and Heckmondwike Water Board said there was just seven weeks’ worth of water left, adding he considered the situation “extremely disquieting”, adding he favoured “drastic methods” to conserve the present supply.
He added, however, that was very anxious the public not get into a panic “for with the exercise of great care” he believed the district would come through the crisis. He added that the situation was not at that point affecting industry but he added if the shortage continued, they would be the first to be shut down top preserve supplies.