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Other Vintage Household Electrical or Electromechanical Items For discussions about other vintage (over 25 years old) electrical and electromechanical household items. See the sticky thread for details.

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Old 15th Oct 2020, 6:55 pm   #21
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 653
Default Re: Belling electric fire, all three bars work.

Originally Posted by kirstyd View Post
belling fires are bomb proof .I have a belling Zephyr [think thats spelt wrong ] two bars and a convector in one unit bought new in 1961 and still in use today .here it is some 18 months ago .Just moved into this house that has no central heating so the fire is a god send
back in the 60s [when i was a boy]i stuck one of mums knitting needles in the fire and got electrocuted [also got a clip off my dad] the needle was welded to the bar .Back then the fire had a 15 amp round pin plug on it [no fuse] The fire kept on working with the needle sticking out of it .My dad used to touch cigarettes on the bars to light them
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Old 15th Oct 2020, 7:58 pm   #22
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, UK.
Posts: 1,819
Default Re: Belling electric fire, all three bars work.


Back in the 1970s we had a late 1960s Belling electric fire of the type which incorporated a surround and shelves. It had 2 bar elements of open spiral construction 'protected' by an horizontal wire guard. Rising heat from two "fireglow" filament bulbs drove rotating aluminium blades to give the glowing coal effect. I quite liked that fire until I had an incident with it.

Being an inquisitive youngster at the time, I wanted to find out how quickly the element heated up from cold. I kind of figured it was dangerous to put my fingers through the guard and onto the element but thought that if I briefly touched the element on the neutral side then I should be OK. The trouble was I tapped my fingers on to the live side. My hand flew out of that fire at about 100mph. It felt like someone had hit my arm with a large hammer and was aching for about three hours after.
Needless to say I didn't try that again!

That was at a time when the only protective devices were the plug and consumer unit fuses, no RCD protection. I luckily got away with that seeing my other hand was connected to earth via the fire's casing.
Ah yes, like G6Tanuki's cat, I also recall our cat had, shall we say, a close encounter with the Belling and will never forget the aroma of cinged fur.
Quite a lethal thing really but could easily have been made safe with enclosed elements and a guard with smaller wire spacings.


Last edited by Philips210; 15th Oct 2020 at 8:11 pm.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 1:49 am   #23
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Nijmegen, Netherlands
Posts: 142
Default Re: Belling electric fire, all three bars work.

I have to wonder how your generation managed to survive into the 21st century with deathtraps like these, outdoor toilets and the level of hygiene implied by the phrase "bath night".

Those gory public safety videos must have really worked.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 11:26 am   #24
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Worksop, Nottinghamshire, UK.
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Default Re: Belling electric fire, all three bars work.

The answer to that is that people just developed strong immune systems or died. There were still quite a few houses with only one outside loo when I was young. Next door to us they had an inside bathroom fitted and left the outside loo still in working order. Anyone that got too fat to fit in a tin bath could not get clean easily. The pipes remain in working order in our back garden although the loo itself was demolished long ago.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 12:38 pm   #25
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brentwood, Essex, UK.
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Default Re: Belling electric fire, all three bars work.

It helped your lateral thinking too. Although we dud have an inside WC, for baths we had the tin bath that dad used to have to carry upstairs on bath night. Mum used to fill with it water from the gas boiler, and emptying was bailing out using a large saucepan. After I learned about the syphon in physics at school, I used to empty it using the garden hose as a syphon, running it out of the window to discharge in the outside drain. My first practical application of science!
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 2:23 pm   #26
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 9,180
Default Re: Belling electric fire, all three bars work.

We appear to have lost interest in the fire, and as there can't be much more to be said about it anyway, time to switch it off.
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