Spinning Stories


Sunday at Home article by cqualmann
July 4, 2009, 8:45 pm
Filed under: Historic Launderettes and Laundrys

At Bancroft Road Local History Library I read this article – photocopied from the ‘Sunday at Home’ magazine. It’s a feature about The Women’s settlements of London, and the bit about St Hilda’s East Settlement includes a description of the newly built Boundary Estate:

“Baths and washhouses have been provided. No washing is allowed to be done in the tenements and it is difficult to understand how any housewife could desire to do so in view of the facilities provided at the splendidly equipped central laundry in the middle of the estate. There the occupation hated most by many women, and most dreaded in many hones, is exalted into a luxury and a fine art. The laundry is a spacious, lofty, well ventilated building. The various troughs are supplied with every possible convenience; screens separate the various sections; to the rear part of the trough cold water is furnished; for the back compartment there is an abundant supply of hot, while by the turn of a small wheel, steam is forced in so that the clothes will boil in a few minutes. Hydraulic revolving whizzes are available, and a heated drying rack is allotted to each woman; and in another room there are mangles, both box and roller, all of which are worked by steam power; facilities for ironing are also provided. Thus the whole process of washing and finishing clothes can be done in a pure and warm atmosphere, with the minimum of labour. A charge of 3 half pence per hour is made to the tenants on the estate and this includes the use of all the various appliances.”

The laundry building still stands, but has been converted into flats, it seems that the bath annexe has been demolished.

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