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28th January 2021
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Is this Britain's oldest working fridge?
Made in England around the time of WWII, this remarkable fridge, owned by Jim Williamson of Hope Valley, Derbyshire, has been in constant use keeping food fresh ever since.
The previous claim to the oldest fridge was a 1958 Electrolux L460. This new find, the Electrolux L380, was made in England between 1934-1941 - before or around the start of WWII! The manufacturer believes it to be the oldest working fridge in the UK.
Michelle Bates, Customer Care Manager at Electrolux says: "We were so excited to hear about the fridge, it really is amazing that any appliance with working parts that was made so long ago - possibly before WWII - is still in use today."
The story behind the discovery is that Mr Williamson is selling his remote Derbyshire bungalow where the fridge has been in constant use and wanted to find it a good home, possibly in a museum, although he would be happy to leave it in the bungalow if any prospective buyer would like to keep it!
"My aunt, Kathleen (Kay) Wilson used to work for the Electricity Board in London," he says. "She put her name on the waiting list for two fridges, one for herself, one for my mother, Betty Williamson. This fridge was in my parents' house until the early 1960s, when they started renting a bungalow in Derbyshire and moved the fridge there. I inherited the bungalow and my wife and I planned to retire there but have now decided that it is too remote 'to grow old in'. As a result, the bungalow is up for auction.
"We would like to find a suitable home for the fridge, so if any organisation or museum is interested in having it I am more than happy to give the fridge to them."
Electrolux has been in touch with the Imperial War Museum London, which may be interested in it.
Electrolux's company historian has confirmed that the fridge, which has a volume of 109 litres, is free standing and 'heat driven'. It is 1304 mm high, 634 mm wide and 638 mm deep.
Old for new - differences between Mr Williamson's old fridge and today's modern fridge (of equivalent capacity):
A drop in his electricity bills! This old model uses over 900kWh per annum. Compare this with a fridge of today - like the AEG S71700TSWO - this has 50% more capacity that the old L380 at 155litres, but uses just 94kWh per annum. So it uses around 10% of the electricity needed for the L380.
If a kWh costs £0.125, you would spend £11.75 a year on electricity to run today's energy efficient fridge instead of £112.50! This is the main reason why it is better to dispose of appliances which are 10 years older or more. Even taking into account the cost in electricity to build a new one, you are still making significant savings in terms of CO2 emissions over its lifetime.
T: 08445 613613
16th December 2011