Original stair covering in a 1950s council house?

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What material would have been used originally to cover the stairs in a council house built around 1950?
MM
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The council probably would not have supplied any covering.
The tenant would have probably used Lino or if they had a few quid maybe carpet - but not fitted to width. It was normal to only fit carpet to within four inches of the sides and the rest would be painted. Hinged type carpet retainers would be used to hold carpet in place.
Why do you ask anyway?

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wrote:

Partly just out of interest, but because I'm redecorating and am deciding how to treat the stairs, e.g. full carpet, or paint alone, or paint + carpet runner and rods, or vinyl etc. Plus, if I decided to put laminate down upstairs, i.e. bedrooms and landing, there is the little problem of how the laminate should finish and blend in safely with the top tread nose, as one could not just leave a ledge.
Decisions, decisions!
I'm open to all suggestions for treating the stairs, providing they are clean.
MM
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Mike Mitchell wrote:

It depends on whether you want to recreate a 50's look and feel, in which case (real?) lino and rugs is more the atmosphere than fitted carpets. This was teh era of Marley tiles, pine floorboards, and a few very threadbare, but highly patterned, rugs.
If you are laminating the landing, I'd simply use fiotted carpet, and finish with a small strip of carpet a tread width wide at teh top, with a threshold bar to neatend the join...but seriously, Id' carpet the landing as well.
Having grown up in a 50's house, I have no desire to repeat either the style, or the physical labour and lack of comfort of it.

Well I hope you washed the dried blood off first anyway.
My overriding memory of the 50's is of cold, damp, and endless filling of coal buckets to heat maybe a 2" bath of hot water, and, if you were lucky, one room. Hot water bottles, thremal underwear, and a vest, shirt, Gilet style setwer and jacket, all needed to be worn indoors to stay warm. Flooring of cold tiles on solid concrete, or thin rugs on wooden floors, iron beds, 'horse' blankets and feather pillows all of which gave me alarming asthma, to be finally finished when I went to colege in the late 60's and discovered that with central heating, and frequently laundered bedding, nearly all of the effects vanished...I am no great fan of fitted carpets, but they are a lot better than cold lino. Likewise I am no great fan of radiators, but they beat no central heating.
Try and imagine life without refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, central heating, or indeed oil, vacuum cleaners, where the standard window was an ill fitting sash or crttall style steel frame with single glazing, and meat was something you hoped to get in more or less pure form only once a week. And a car was something the Doctor had, or maybe the bank manager, but certainly not you. There was only one radio in the house, and usually no means to play recorded music - possibly a clockwork gramophone - and certainly no TV.
The only thing one could say that busses and trains did run, more or less, and were not much more dangerous or uncomfortable than they are today. And the post did work, with two genuine dliveries a day, and was pretty cheap.
Oh, and no speed limits outside of towns. But it was rare to exceed 45mph anyway.
Most of the population were very quiet, still pretty shell shocked. Rationing of food ended in 1954 I believe. The urban landscape was dotted with bombsites, and polio, german measles, scarlet fever, measles and mumps as well as smallpox were regular childhood ailments, sometimes fatal or crippling. You got more or less serious food poisoning at least once a year.
In winter the air stank of coal smoke. A good wage was 1000 a year, if you were lucky. 500 was more like it.
Thats the era your house comes from: Think long and hard about whether you really want to re-create the grimy misery of it, or whether ist better to just take the tired old shell, and make a decent warm and comfortable dwelling out of it.

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wrote:

Retro is in! In any case, I already have central heating and the house is as warm as bread that has been out of the oven for an hour. I also think your recall of the 1950s is rather doom-laden. I'm from the 1940s meself, and I certainly don't remember life being as bad as you claim. I, too, grew up without central heating and "only" a real fire in a real grate to get warm by. In the winter, which even in the south invariably brought us six to eight inches of snow, I regularly awoke with ice on the INSIDE of the panes. But I didn't go hungry, I went to school, I could play anywhere, and actually learned to read and write, something which seems to have failed a good many school leavers today. I retained the Crittall windows, because nothing looks worse than a house with white PVC replacement windows. I like the slim, clean lines of metal-framed windows and am prepared to invest in a dehumidifier, if necessary, to deal with condensation in winter.
MM
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??? Our house wasn't grimy and miserable! It was large and airy and clean, far superior to the scullery 2 bed back to back house we exchanged it for. And it was warm and comfortable.

Did you ever make holes in it with wwarm pennies?
Kids today don't know what they're missing - and I'm not being silly, it was magical!

Hear hear!

Hear Hear again.
Mary
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On Thu, 27 Nov 2003 22:10:34 +0000, Mike Mitchell

Oh dear.

In many houses of that vintage that equates to a temperature of about -3 deg.

Nope. Taking a bath (once a week) involved going on a course on how to drive a gas geyser and meteorology. If the wind was from the east you didn't dare light the thing or the CO level went from its normal 10% to about 80%.

Your memory has grown rose tinted spectacles.

The spawn of the devil.

Many things can those disgusting devices be accused of but clean is not one of them. Slime I would agree with - whole swathes of Darwinian fungi grew, evolved and died on those foul appurtenances
They were probably a French invention.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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wrote:

Don't be so ridiculous. This is not a political group. Metal-framed windows are installed in countless modern buildings. PVC windows are horrid, cheap and nasty scammy products with only one purpose, which is to make their scammy manufacturers nice and rich while great swathes of Britain become contaminated with their ugliness - and that of the windows, too!
MM
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I couldn't have put it better.
Mary

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On Fri, 28 Nov 2003 00:06:25 +0000, Mike Mitchell

What have politics got to do with it?

Critall windows are not. I'm talking about the nasty cheap things produced by the thousand for corporation housing. They have no redeeming features whatsoever. They are draughty, get covered with condensation the minute the outside air temperature drops a degree, rust, grow slime and are woefully insecure. The only people who like them are the lamebrains of the National Trust and English Heritage, for whom nothing is too mediocre to "preserve" so long as someone other than them has to live in it.

But at least they don't grow slime and let in cold air. Windows should be functional first and decorative second.
--
Peter Parry.
http://www.wpp.ltd.uk/
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The prime function of windows is to let in light.
PVC windows cut down the ammount of light let into a building compared with any other glass paned window I can think of except perhaps stone mullioned ones.
I wouldn't have them if I were offered a fortune.
Mary

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No, the prime function of a window is to keep weather out, otherwise all that is needed is a hole in the wall !
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I never thought I'd think of any of your posts as silly, Peter.
Perhaps it was a joke.
Mary
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I'm with Peter on this one, even though I'm not all that old myself. People look back with fondness, then compare those images with today. All that's different today is that your life is better in every measurable way now. ;-) However, thanks to the wonders of technology, all the bad things that happen in the world get fed to us from all directions, and the world seems like a dark, dangerous place. Parents worry about their kids to the point of driving them to school, despite the fact that child safety as improved pretty much consistently since the 50s. It's crazy.
We seem to have some bizarre fascination with the morbid side of life. Much like slowing down at an accident for a peek, we watch the news night after night to hear of a bus crash in Germany, 15 dead, War, Famine, Disease and so on. Media outlets know this, so they give us as much as we can take. The bottom line is ratings/copies to them, and this is what gets us watching/reading. They should call it "The _Bad_ News".
And as such, a lot of people have a bleak outlook on the world. But if you look at it, there's never been a better time to be around than now. We are getting to witness one of the biggest changes in civilisation ever, the information age, a global civilisation. Smile people!!
F./
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Fraser wrote:

I can only partly agree.
The one thing that has got worse, and worse - due partly to teh fact that other things, like death and disease have got better, is the total overcrowded over regulated over managed over monirored nature of the place.
In the 60;'s you could, if you had a resaonable amount of cash, or s decent screwdriver and alligator clips, acquire an E type jaguar and belt up the roads to wherever at infeasibly high speeds, and, if you killed yourself it was your own damned affair. Now its not even the concern of those who live along main rods, its a matter for 'public concern'.
Frankly, the public ought to naff off and set its own house in order before peering into its neighbours. The government, ought, if it had any sense, to remoive all speed limits, reduce tobacco tax, and give out free smack, to help reduce the population levels to the point where it was possible to actually live in the country without interference.

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Mike Mitchell wrote:

Perhaops your parents had the money. I just remember being ill, and feeling like I was growing up in a prison...:-)

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PJO wrote:

That tracks with my memory of (non council) houses of that era.
a narrow 'stair carpet' (fitted carpets were not in use much till the 60's) held in place with (in our case) rods and little brackets with screws to hold teh rods in. These were screwed to teh angle between the risers and treads. The carpet was moved up or down a few inches very few years to equalise wear. The pine treads were painted at the edges. Floral pattern carpets were more commoin than plain IIRC.

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I seem to remember the stair carpet being of a cord weave, about 1/8" thick, which was probably for the hard wear that it was expected to carry.
--
Gavin Gillespie
Giltbrook
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On Thu, 27 Nov 2003 21:46:52 -0000, "Gavin Gillespie"

Any idea whether this is still available, and if so, where?
Thanks!
MM
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They didn't in our house.

Not necessarily - we had brass stair rods.
Mary
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