1 FEBRUARY 1963, Page 14


SIR,—When Mr. People buys his ten bulbs he should also buy a thermometer. He will then find Mrs. People and I right and his theories wrong. If he wishes to be even more economical he can buy a 1,000-watt heater spiral element for two bob and wrap it round an old brick. Whilst basking in the glare of his ten bulbs he can reflect that the light is the result of heating the filament and that if he is content to regard the bulbs as heaters he is getting the light free. But the total heat from 1,000 watts will still he the same whether from his ten bulbs, the old brick or a pile of fake logs.

In this unreasonable weather many are cold and quite a few frozen and the remedy is either an addi- tional fire or a larger one—not a so-called more efficient one. Anybody of limited means buying an electric fire who thinks of the latest 'efficient' con- trivance at £20 will be far better off by buying any of the excellent electric fires around £2 and putting the other £18 in the meter. Many ordinary people are confused rather than enlightened by all the ham hokum of 'advice' sheets and 'domestic consultants,' and in beating will save far more by consulting a Member of the Institution of Heating and Ventilating Engineers and paying his fee I' the rough guide I gave is not good enough.

Mrs. People's idea of using lamps for heat is quite sound, if not appreciated by Mr. People—or many men for that matter. Apart from the heat they eive, a well-lighted room always seems warmer than a dingy one, particularly to girls. As with artificial-coal fires this is 'psychological warmth.' If the room is deemed too bright, pink-tinted or colour-sprayed bulbs will reduce the intensity, keep the heat and possibly make the setting more romantic. and who knows what it may lead to!

Mr. Wynn Hamel may be forgiven. As a steam locomotive man, open fires keep him young by reminding him of fire-boxes. Were he a diesel man he'd want a built-in engine-room throb as a naval type 1 know has in his favourite room. Having seen apparently sane people in superheated ships sitting before heatless artificial-log fires set in mock fire- places hold their hands out to the logs. I guess I'm wasting my time with facts and should be making reproduction locomotive fire-boxes for the Wynn Harnels, throbbing and hissing fake fires for the naval types, and data-decorated 'efficient appliances' for the be-Whiched, bothered and bewildered who will never be sure they are warm until they have it confirmed in their latest copy of 'Whither'—or 'The Plain Woman's Guide to Mediocrity.'