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  • Writer's picturePaul Rees

November 26, 1954, is this your birthday?

This newspaper advertisement from 1954 was discovered in an early-1800s townhouse that Rural Properties is buying in Central Portugal.

The 'complete washing machine' from Servis looks like it has some sort of built-in mangle, very à la mode....

Servis was founded in 1929 in the UK's West Midlands but floundered in the 1980s, being sold to the Italian SpA, Antonio Merloni in 1991; a company that itself went bust in 2008. The Servis brand was bought by Vestel from Turkey which finished it off in 2020.

How anyone in Central Portugal could afford an imported washing machine in the 1950s is a mystery but this part of the Central region, in the Pedrógão Grande and Sertã municipal area, did have pockets of wealth, as reflected in many of the long-abandoned classic buildings that now stand ready for redevelopment.

It's the current generation of owners that have held on to inherited assets for decades. Now aging themselves, reluctant sales are trickling through from families finally agreeing that the prices of their property assets are in danger of falling rather than rising, as water drips through cracks in the roof and walls start to disintegrate.

This newly realised cash, derived from finally selling family assets rather than witnessing their collapse, can be used to buy several new washing machines as the growth in the rural property market sees wealth seeping back into local current accounts.


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