London, January 24 (ANI): A Panasonic oven that has been in working condition for more than 40 years, and used for making over 150,000 meals, is claimed to be Britain's oldest working microwave.
Proud owner Frederick Stephens, a 78-year-old grandfather-of-four, has been using it on a daily basis ever since he bought it in the Sixties.
He paid 250 pounds for it at a time when microwaves were still "life-changing" additions to the family kitchen.
Stephens recalled that he and his wife Francis needed a demonstration on how to use it, as there were very few microwaves on the market at the time.
He said that the microwave had broken down only once in over four decades, and even then its repair only required a simple lightbulb to be replaced.
"I use it all the time to heat up ready meals and to do my Horlicks before I go to bed every night. It's marvellous really. I'm so surprised it has lasted this long. It was a real novelty when we bought it as there weren't many around in those days," the Telegraph quoted Stephens, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, as saying.
"At the time it was life-changing and since then it's become one of those everyday things you wonder now how you could ever live without," he added.
Stephens, who believes that his Panasonic NE-691 model must be the oldest in the UK still in everyday use, has revealed that the microwave has been a big help heating up his meals and nightly hot milks since he was widowed in 2005.
"It's a slice of history and is amazing to think how long it's lasted. At the time of buying it there were so few around we had to have a demonstration in the shop on how to use it and it was like looking at the future," he said.
"We must have eaten thousands of meals over the years which have been heated in it. Francis used to cook the Christmas puddings in it, and would make food in it for the kids.
"Even the shop which sold it has gone now, but the microwave itself is still going strong. We've definitely had our moneys worth.
"It's never had to have any sort of maintenance and the only thing that's ever gone on it is the lightbulb for the door, and even that only cost a couple of quid," he added. (ANI)