A working oven, dubbed Britain’s oldest, is finally retiring after 67 years – and it’s so old that the loyal owner was cooking on rations when she first used it.
When bought by newlyweds Ida and Bob Stevely in 1954 – the year the rationing ended – the Belling worked flawlessly and was state of the art.
But now caregivers at his home in Acklam, Middlesbrough, are bewildered by the old electric device and it’s being replaced by a more modern hob.
It served 92-year-old mum-of-two Ida well and she used it regularly to scramble scones for the family, stubbornly refusing to give it up for a new model, TeessideLive reports.
She even uses the cookbook and drip pan that came with it.
Daughter-in-law Elza laughed when she phoned the manufacturer to inform them of the potentially record-breaking device and was presented with an automated option to squeeze if the oven was “still under warranty.”
She said, “Ida never used this stove, while raising her family.
“Caregivers aren’t used to working with such an old model, so we’re finally getting rid of it.
“It’s this whole make and fix philosophy – I’ve always known it to be like that.
“You don’t have to teach an older person how to reduce, reuse, recycle.
“They lived like this long before they became buzzwords.”
Ida, who was born in 1928 and raised in Eston, married Bob and the couple lived in the village of Linthorpe before moving to Acklam.
She worked for the Water Board and Middlesbrough City Council, in accounting services.
When she first purchased the Furnace, the Queen had only just been crowned, while JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings was about to be released.
Elza added, “At first Ida prepared meals using stovetop rations which is mind blowing.”
“She had two kids, it must have been really modern and wonderful when she first had her.
“But over the years she just hasn’t been tempted to get something more modern.
“We’ve been saying for years that she should have something new, but she wouldn’t have it.
“She doesn’t have much of her memory now.
“But she always used to make pretty scones when she knew I was coming, until the late 80s that was her signature.”
“I called the company – Belling – to tell them about it.
“The automated system would say ‘press two if the device is still under warranty’ – which made me laugh.
“We hate the idea of going to the landfill or wasting.”