4:25pm Monday 28th October 2013
COULD this be the oldest working fridge in Wales?
An appeal by Caerphilly council to find the county borough’s oldest fridge has unearthed a 1950s classic.
The EE Liverpool Refrigerator, affectionately known by her owners as “Big Bertha”, is believed to be 59 years old and is one of the outstanding candidates for this year’s competition.
The applicant to Caerphilly council with the oldest fridge is to be given a brand new, top of the range, energy and money saving Electrolux fridge freezer as part of the council’s initiative to encourage residents to be more energy-efficient.
Although a new fridge would be welcomed, Lisa and Hilmar Jay, of Ystrad Mynach, said the possibility of displacing their household’s prized possession would be unthinkable.
Mrs Jay, 42, said: “She (Big Bertha) is a bit of a retro classic at the minute. They are quite sought-after if you look online.
“She looks like one of those big Smeg fridges so a lot of people are refurbishing them and doing them up. Bertha has been in the family for years – my husband is one of those people who keeps hanging on to old things.”
Big Bertha was initially bought as a second-hand fridge by Mr Jay’s mother in Blackburn in 1975, but recently moved to the Caerphilly area.
Mrs Jay, who has a nine-year-old son named Iolo with her husband, added: “She was pushed along the street in Blackburn after my mother-in-law bought her from an elderly woman down the street in 1975. She was second-hand even back then. But she travelled all the way down the M5 in the back of a car and ended up here a few years ago.
“I’m not sure where the name comes from – I think my father-in-law thought it was quite big!”
Mrs Jay added: “Big Bertha is still chuntering away – I can’t see us getting rid of her anytime soon.”
Residents who think their ancient fridge or freezer could be the oldest in the county borough should call 01495 235944 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The closing date for the competition is tomorrow (Thur).
BLOB In 2010, newspapers reported that retired piano teacher Doris Stogdale’s fridge was still going strong after 58 years.
It had been in continuous use since it was bought in Malaysia in 1952 and has never required any maintenance – nor a single replacement part aside from the odd light bulb.
Mrs Stogdale,of Oxford, bought the General Electric fridge when she lived in what is now Malaysia with her family – and it has since followed them around the world.
The GE Refrigerator was purchased from the Universal Electric Engineering Company for 1,090 ringgits, or Malay dollars, which was around £135 at the time.
The Stogdales, who had three children, David, 59, Valerie, 55 and Annie, 52, and eight grandchildren, returned to the UK in 1959, settling in Oxford, and shipped the refrigerator with their belongings.
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