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The Hungerford Sanitary Laundry Co. Ltd. was established c.1908, and took over the large building that had previously been Platt's Manor Brewery. (Mr Arnold Billington, Upper Cross, Wood Speen, Boxford – interviewed 22.4.1992 said that his uncle and a partner had bought the brewery and set up the laundry business in the late 1890s? There was a deep well in front of the brewery, but insufficient water, so his uncle and business partner started the Hungerford waterworks in Salisbury Road.
Once the purchase was complete, the latest equipment was installed by Messrs Thomas Bradford & Co of London and Manchester, and the firm enjoyed an excellent reputation for the high quality of its work.
The Board of Directors were Edmund Parfitt, George Edmind Platt, Edward Robert Portal, JP (Eddington House), Arthur William Lawrence (Kintbury) and Rev H.D. Butler (Inkpen). Mr H. D'O Astley was Company Secretary.
A report on a visit to the laundry states: 'After inspecting this establishment, I can honestly certify that from the receiving room to the despatch room every detail has been carefully studied, and no expense has been spared to make it a thoroughly up-to-date sanitary laundry, and the motto of the company has been carried out to the letter, viz.: Cleanliness, Efficiency, and Sanitation'. The price list includes ladies bodice (3d.); silk stockings (3d.); doyley (1¼d.); ladies' knickers (3½d. to 6d.); whilst maids' knickers were only 2½d!
The 1911 Kelly's Directory records that William Capern Hidden was the manager; in 1916, the Cosburn Directory recorded that Miss Nye was the manageress, and in 1939 Blacket's Directory records it was run by Mr A E Mayne, manager.
In 1938 the Kelly's Directory records its telephone number as 134.
In 1959 Arnold Billington bought the road and other old buildings (from James' Mill and Dr Kennedy's kitchen garden and tennis court in Manor House).
In the 1950s the laundry company closed, and was bought by Mr John Turner (son of Geoffrey Turner of Hungerford Park, famous in shipping company world) and Mr. ??? Smith (wife was Doris Smith), they called it the "Rose of Hungerford Laundry".
In the late 1950s it was bought by Brooks Cleaners of Bristol.
The laundry closed in December 1966 after several changes of ownership, having been renamed The Rose of Hungerford Laundry in the 1950s.
Loheat started in 1946 behind Norman's Garage in Charnham Street.
It was later to become Loheat engineering.
10 Dec 1966: The site was bought by Arnold Billington (born in Inkpen, married, lived in Woodspeen for 40 yrs).
The brickwork of the old building (built c1832-1837) was ruined by steam. The house was used as offices – very old part.
c1990 Loheat Loheat was sold to Stratford Property Co. (They had sold the laundry building c1989)
Loheat was still operating in April 1992.
In 1999, the laundry building and all adjacent buildings were demolished, the site cleared, and Somerfield supermarket and car-park was built, later replaced by Tesco Supermarket.
- The Laundry brochure. Click here to download the full brochure as pdf
- The Laundry, 1908. The exterior of the main building, 96 feet long, 70 feet wide.
- The ironing room
- The packing room
- Corner of the Washhouse where the Hand Work is done
- A large team of men and horses was required to collect and deliver laundry around the area
- Some of the Permanent Staff
- Tutti Day, 1912. The Tuttimen visit the Laundry. Not surprisingly, the standard of dress here was very high, with all the ladies wearing flowers in their hair. [Albert Parsons]
- Tutti Day, 1913. [Albert Parsons]
- Tutti Day, 1915. [Albert Parsons]
- More of the staff