As I remember them, the majority of houses in Stanley did all their cooking in large iron ovens using coal as fuel. These ovens were, on average, two cubic feet in size within a steel frame. In this frame was a recess for the fire-grate which was alongside the oven. A 4" space was left under the base of the oven which led to the main flue and chimney and this acted as a heating and ventilation duct. The heat from the fire was sufficient to raise the temperature within the oven to the levels required for the cooking of various foods. There were no automatic temperature controls as there are in 1994. The correct cooking temperature depended on the skill of the cook in having the fire giving out the correct heat in the heating duct and surrounding fireplace. There was no formula - just 'experience'.
In spaces within this cooking range were large kettles for boiling water. These were made of copper and, along with the range, were regularly polished and looked very good. One of the few to survive in Stanley is at 'The Thatched House', Aberford Road. Pictured below (see end of book for pictures), it is not in use but an attractive showpiece.
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