Home/Blog & More/Oral Histories



How people in industrialised countries get and use energy at home changed massively over the past century. WWE asked older people in Sweden and the UK to describe their energy journeys. Why not come along?

Thanks to peat, there is heat

By |2021-12-27T20:02:42+00:0028 Sep 2021|Categories: Blog & More, Oral Histories|

Arnie* and Astrid,* Sweden “It was very cold. The house was in bad shape — but that’s just how it was.”

Arnie and Astrid refer to being statare, which refers to contract-workers in Swedish agriculture who, contrary to other farmhands, were expected to be married, and were provided with a simple dwelling for their family. Instead of eating at the servants’ table, they were often paid in kind with foodstuff.

‘Piggy-backing’ for heat and hot water

By |2021-12-27T20:03:58+00:0028 May 2021|Categories: Blog & More, Oral Histories|

John, UK : “I’ve never again been in that situation where I’ve had a piece of kit that cantankerous.”

Q: Do you remember your house being cold or warm as a child?

A: We could get by without the central heating as we lived in a fairly warm part of Northern Ireland. There was virtually no frost … a very mild climate in which you can lift spuds in February and March.

Also, with our […]

A dirty chore for a young girl

By |2021-12-27T20:04:13+00:0019 May 2021|Categories: Blog & More, Oral Histories|

Elaine, UK : “Even at 8 years old, my job was to shovel coal dumped in the yard into the basement; usually, the delivery was 1 metric tonne.”

Q: Were you directly involved in ‘managing’ household energy?

A: When I was about 8 years old, If I got home from school when the coal had been dropped, I had to get it into the coalhouse before mum and dad got home from work. […]

Remembering morning chills

By |2021-12-27T20:04:20+00:0004 May 2021|Categories: Blog & More, Oral Histories|

David, UK: “Every single morning, the curtains would be dripping with condensation and puddles would form on the windowsill.”

Q: Did your family keep the house warm?

A: I’m not sure that they tried to keep it is warm as possible; actually, I don’t think they did.

Q: Was it a question of not being able to afford to?

A: You don’t really know the family finances are when you’re that age, but I doubt it […]

Go to Top