Appeal for pictures of historic Sutton laundry for memory board

An appeal has gone out for old pictures and memories of an historic Sutton laundry destroyed in a blaze

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 5:58 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th August 2021, 5:58 pm

Kirsty Ratcliffe, who runs the New Cross laundry, is calling for nostalgic images and written memories for a display on the wooden boards which have been placed over the buildings fire damaged windows.

The historic laundry was devastated when flames ripped through the Lime Street building in the early hours of July 31.

The popular launderette had served the needs of Sutton Central and New Cross for around half a century and had a long reputation for helping its community.

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Haylea Williams, Michael Ratcliffe and Kirsty Ratcliffe at the temporary laundry at the Bowne Street Salvation Army.

It hit the headlines during the miners’ strike, back in the 1980s, when it offered free washing and ironing to struggling families.

It has also been at the heart of community activities and involved with numerous fundraising and activities, including the town’s annual shoe box appeal where boxes were filled with Christmas gifts for the elderly.

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The business was initially built up by Bob Hoole, now 77, and is now run by his daughter Kirsty Ratcliffe.

Fire damage to the New Cross launderette following the blaze.

Kirsty said: “We thought while the boards were over the windows, until we rebuild, it would be a great place to do a sort of ‘memory board,’ display all about the history of the laundry.

"Lots of people have fond memories of coming to it over the years, and they remember my dad starting the business, we’d love to hear from people who have pictures or their memories and stories about it.

"It would be great to try and track down some of the pictures from the days of the miners’ strike. I am sure people remember those times.”

The laundry has been helped by the community recently, as the Salvation Army on Bowne Street stepped in to offer it a temporary venue so that laundry can keep running, although in a limited capacity, to help the people who need its services.

It has recently appealed for the donation of washers, dryers, and washing equipment including clothes horses and washing baskets.

Contact Kirsty if you have old pictures and memories for the memory board or can donate a washer or dryer.

To book a wash at the laundry’s Salvation Army pop up venue call 07960 272448.

A Go Fund Me page collecting donations to help the laundry is at https://uk.gofundme.com/f/newcross-launderette-fire

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