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Looks harmless enough, but is there a cauldron of evil-smelling broth bubbling away in the kitchen?

A 47-year-old telecommunications service engineer has told a the Whitechapel Whelk that his heart sank when he was told to repair a fault on the line of an elderly subscriber as he knew that he would be assailed by the smell of soup or stew simmering on the stovetop as soon as he entered the house

Toby Dell, a father of 4 from Whitechapel in East London, said: “As soon as the boss told me to check out this old girl’s line problem my heart sank like a stone.

“It’s bad enough when you have to listen to them droning on about their late husband or the war, but when you’ve got the stench of some kind of stew up your hooter the whole time it gets a bit much to bear.

“Some of these old dears must cook soup 24/7 every bloody day of the year.

“I’ve never yet attended a call-out to a woman over 60 that didn’t involve inhaling the stench of a stew of some description.

“I mean to say, what do they do with it for God’s sake?

“Don’t they ever bloody eat it?”

It is estimated that at any one time throughout the London area, over 4 million old ladies have a large saucepan containing soup or stew simmering on the stovetop. Some with butter beans and dumplings.