Sutton's charitable launderette in plea for help after devastating fire destroys business

A Sutton launderette that washed and ironed for the striking miners in their 1984/85 industrial action has launched an appeal for help after a devastating fire has forced it to close.

Tuesday, 3rd August 2021, 2:40 pm

Flames tore through the popular and historic New Cross laundry on Lime Street in the early hours of Saturday, leaving the business in tatters.

Now, a ‘Go Fund Me’ page has been set up to help the wash house, that has served the Suttton and New Cross communities for over 50 years.

If the fundraising is successful, it is hoped a ‘pop up’ launderette could continue serving the area.

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Fire crew at the scene of the laundry fire on Saturday

The family business was built up by Bob Hoole, now 77, and later taken over by his daughter Kirsty Radcliffe.

It hit the headlines in 1984, offering free washing and ironing to striking miners. Since then, it has been well known for supporting good causes, including collecting for food banks before and during the Covid pandemic and helping numerous charities.

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At Christmas, the launderette launched a ‘shoebox’ appeal, filling over 200 with goodies for the community’s most vulnerable.

Broken window at the laundry

Kirsty Radcliffe said: “A huge fire has devastated our business. A lot of clothes belonging to Ashfield people have been lost in the fire. As we are a small business, we have lost our livelihood and staff have lost their jobs. We are utterly devastated.

"We are determined to get the business back up and running as soon as we can, but this is now in the hands of our insurers.

"In the meantime, we still need to provide our essential service to the community, I'm going to run what I can from home. We have received offers of replacement washing machines and other support since the fire. We are so grateful, we will be back, as soon as we can.”

The laundry after the fire

Councillor David Hennigan and Ashfield District Council is seeking a location for a ‘pop-up’ launderette.

Coun Hennigan, for Central and New Cross, said: “Our popular launderette is an institution and central to our community. They were there for struggling miners, now I am backing their cause.

"The council is doing everything it can, including investigating short-term, alternative premises. New Cross wouldn’t be the same without our launderette and we will do everything we can to get them back on their feet.”

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