A pensioner may have Britain’s oldest working gas COOKER and has refused to upgrade because it’s the last surviving memento of her late mother.
Val Marks, 62, inherited the New World 42 appliance when her mum Grace Marks died in 1999 aged 79 – cooking up more than 20,000 meals on it in that time.
Former admin worker Val could not face getting rid of her mum’s “pride and joy” and it has followed her from house-to-house ever since.
She sees it as the last memento of her mum who purchased the vintage cooker for £38 in 1959 – the same year as the Barbie doll and the Austin Mini went on sale.
It’s understood the appliance is one of the oldest working cookers in the UK, according to experts at New World.
Val uses the vintage gas cooker – which boasts four gas rings, an oven and a top grill and all of which still work to this day – to cook all her meals on.
In all the years Val, from Rotherham, South Yorks., has owned the remarkable appliance she claims the only part which has been replaced is its thermostat – more than 20 years ago.
She said: “It’s the only thing I’ve got left of my mum’s belongings.
“People say I should get a new one but I say ‘no, it’s my memories of my mum’.
“It means so much to me because it’s my mum – you only get one.
“That’s why I look after it – it was my mum’s pride and joy and she was always cleaning it.
“My mum was a real lady and she liked everything keeping nice and polished.
“Her favourite thing to cook on it was beans on toast with a fried egg on top.
“Over the years its moved from house-to-house and from flat-to-flat all over Rotherham.”
Divorcee Val, who has no children, added: “You just can’t get a cooker as sturdy as this anymore.
“I think if you look after stuff it lasts a lot longer than stuff you can buy today.
“It’s immaculate – when the gas engineers come to service the flat they’re amazed when they look inside.”
Val cooks every single meal on the vintage device but her tastes are simple.
She makes a Sunday dinner on it every week, a big batch of dumpling stew and chips and egg is she feels like treat.
“And it’s so heavy you wouldn’t be able to move it anyway,” she added.
“It’s the oldest thing I’ve got in the house and I’m hoping it outlives me.
“If it does then I’ll donate it to Clifton Park Museum in Rotherham.”