Oldham Historical Research Group

'Oldham Stories'

     'Oldham Stories'
by Mary Dickinson


My mother never had a salt cellar, she kept it in a big brown dish. She bought it from the Rag-Man. He used to come round nearly every day with rubbing stones for the floor and yellow stones for the steps. He also had Yorkshire stones, donkey stones and white stones, which were called Idle Back. On his cart were big blocks of salt, Which were not even covered up. My mother used to buy a block about 2ft long and lft wide. When she got it home she put a big sheet of newspaper on the table and scraped all the sides with a big knife till it was pure white. She put all the dirty salt down the grid, then she got a rolling pin and began to roll out the block of salt into grains. She put all the clean salt into a mug ready for use. That would have cost her about 2d. No one loved salt more than my mother and it never did her any harm, she lived till she was nearly ninety.


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