When Local fridge salesman Jonathan Kerry came across the 1930s Electrolux he ‘found it like it was the Tutankhamun – it was a look of amazement on his face’
The oldest working fridge in the UK is still in use more than 80 years after it was made.
The 1930s Electrolux is owned by a family who bought it in 1949 and said it was an “heirloom” that will be passed down generations.
The man, who asked to known as Robert, 81, a retired railway worker, said the fridge – around 2ft wide and 3ft tall is going strong in the couple’s garage.
He said: “It’s an old workhorse. It definitely deserves a long service medal.
“We use it a Christmas when we need extra space or for storing apples in the summer. It’s been very well behaved.
“We’re quite happy to be its guardians for years to come.”
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Robert and his wife were forced to rely on the ancient appliance last week when their modern fridge and freezer broke due to the recent heatwave.
Local fridge salesman Jonathan Kerry was astonished when he came across the old fridge while visiting the couple’s home to install a replacement fridge-freezer.
Robert said: “It was just somewhere in Gloucestershire and he found it like it was the Tutankhamun – like all was revealed. It was a look of amazement on his face.”
Robert’s wife’s parents bought the fridge in 1949 – a time when owning a refrigerator was very rare.
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He said: “So unusual was owning a fridge in those days that they were often reffered to as ‘the people with the fridge’”.
The couple adopted the fridge from Robert’s wife’s parents and took it with them to Sussex, where they lived for 40 years, before returning to Gloucestershire in 2006.
Robert added: “It’s a family heirloom. We will hopefully pass it down.“
It came to light after staff from a local business visited the home.
The sturdy appliance is owned by a couple in their 70s from Stonehouse, Glos, who wish to remain anonymous.
Locals praised the fridge’s ultra-low carbon footprint.
One said: “Wow, they certainly don’t make them like that today.”
A spokesman said: “The customer’s parents paid £49 for it second-hand in 1949. They even had the receipt. It is in their garage, it still works and they still use it.”
Another added: “I’m so pleased they didn’t get rid of it. It’s a beauty.”
The unnamed couple appear to have dethroned Prince Charles as the owner of Britain’s oldest working fridge after it was revealed their appliance is more than 15 years older.
The Prince of Wales owns a towering 5ft 8in Frigidaire at his Castle of Mey residence in Scotland. The unit was bought new by the Queen Mother in 1954.
In 2010, it was thought Mrs Doris Stogdale, then 89 and living in Oxford, could lay claim to
owning the country’s oldest working fridge.
She bought the General Electric model in 1952 in Malaysia before bringing it back to England.
…As modern models can’t take heat
More than 100 makes and models of fridge-freezers are failing to chill food properly in the heatwave, says Which?
The consumer group found many did not function efficiently when the kitchen temperature went above 30C.
Warmer fridges and freezers can lead to harmful bacteria, a risk in particular to meat.
Which? said: “If the beers are a tad more tepid than you’d hoped and the ice cream is a little soft, it might be time for a new fridge-freezer.