About two weeks ago, I noticed this posting on a Facebook page called Chandler’s Ford Neighbours:
“Having a big clear out and I’ve found my Nan’s old freezer book! The first entry was July 1973 and the last was Feb 2006!
She kept her freezer so organised!
It’s fascinating looking at the prices of things over the years!”
I was so intrigued by ‘Nan’s old freezer book’, and contacted Claire Bennett, who shares that her nan recorded in fine details about her freezer.
This is the first page of Iris’ freezer book:
From 1973, each page contains 7 columns: Date Purchase, Product, Amount Purchase, Date Used Up, Use By, Amount Use, and Cost.
From around 1977, each page contains 6 columns: Date, Product, Amount Bought, Amount Used, Use By, and Cost.
Who’s Iris Patricia Stubbington (Loveridge)?
The amazing lady behind the freezer books (there are actually two of them spanning over 33 years) was Claire’s nan, Iris Patricia Stubbington (Loveridge), born 04/01/1924, and died on 26/06/2013. Iris was married to Frederick Stubbington.
Iris’s parents Emily and Gilbert Loveridge married in 1920.
Her brother Gill Loveridge, lost without trace during WW2 (gun aimer), worked in Causton’s. A road has now been named after him in Eastleigh (Loveridge Way).
Iris was the second eldest of 6 children: 3 girls, 3 boys.
Iris had 2 sons – Michael and John, 4 grandchildren, 2 step grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.
Iris and Fred lived with Iris’ parents until 1947 when they moved to The Hundred.
Woodpecker Way and Fryern Hill
They moved to Woodpecker Way in the early 50’s.
She went to The Crescent School from the age of 5 and then Chamberlayne Road girls school from age 11-14.
Iris met her husband on the bend of Oakmount Road (there was a search light there and he was in search light duty).
Iris later lived in Fryern Hill care home and her room looked out onto the area where they met.
Claire Bennett sharing Iris’ freezer books
In order to find out the stories of the freezer books, I went to look for Claire at the Fryern Funtasia on the 6th of May 2019 at the Fryern Recreation Ground.
Claire had told me she was fundraising for Cancer Research, so armed with this piece of information, I went to find Claire and ask her about Iris’ freezer books.
The following week, I contacted Claire and ‘borrowed’ Iris’ first freezer book from her. Claire said she has got this first book (July 1973 till Feb 2006), but the second book (from 2006) might still be with her uncle.
Holding the book, I felt like holding a great piece of history in my hands.
I asked Claire what Iris’ freezer looked like? Clair found me this photo and said the freezer looked like this:
When did Iris defrost her freezer?
Claire told me Iris managed her shopping and her housekeeping like a military operation. Iris knew exactly what was inside the freezer.
Claire said, “She’s even marked in the book when she defrosted it! One year she defrosted it on my birthday so we obviously didn’t have a big party that year! 😂”
On this page, on this day, 22nd of April in 1975, Iris noted: DEFROSTED FREEZER. FROZE THICK CLOTH TO WRAP FOOD IN. ONLY TOOK 1/2 HR.
Claire’s mum, Marilyn Stubbington, said, she had her first chest freezer in 1970 and her mother-in-law Iris followed in 1973.
Recording for more than 33 years until Iris went into a nursing home
Marilyn said, “She taught me how to log everything in and out. I did it for about three years but she did it for more than 33 years until she went into a nursing home. “
“Not only did she buy half a pig or lamb, she would also buy fresh peas, runner beans, sprouts and carrots etc, blanch them, then weigh them into individual bags for two people and freeze them down. “
There are more details about Iris, her family, and her freezer books.
We’ll share more in the second article.
What’s your feeling reading about Iris’ Freezer Books? Do you know of other people who also keep a Freezer Book?
Feel free to leave a comment and share your thought about Iris’ incredible freezer books.