Repton Steam Laundry

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Here you will find a description of the RVHG, including a brief outline of the activities of the group and details of many of the interesting historical facts associated with this ancient community.

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Repton Steam Laundry  

 Rosalind (Ros) Hudson left Repton for a new home in the South of England late in June 2005. Her departure was another break with the past as she was born in Repton 90 years ago. In the archives we have a photograph of the Repton Laundry so I was grateful that before she left, she told me some interesting facts about the business that her family were involved with. 

In 1898, Henry Frederick Meyer of Repton sold the Tanyard buildings in Tanners Lane to Henry Kidd of Lowood, Melrose, Roxburgh and the Repton Steam Laundry was established there. Mr Kidd’s two sisters lived in Repton. One was married to Mr Gurney, a Repton schoolmaster who ran Priory House and the other sister lived with them. 

In the early 1900’s Ros’s father (W.A. Daniel), an auditor and a member of the same London Club as Mr Kidd was asked to come to Repton for 3 months to examine the laundry’s accounts as the profits were very poor. He solved the problems and was asked to remain as the Manager. In 1909 he purchased the business. 

Ros recalled that when she was young there were three horse drawn drays to collect and deliver laundry in Burton, Melbourne and Ashby as well as the surrounding villages. Mr Marriot, Mr Wellsby and Mr Press were the three drivers. The winter months were very difficult for the horses as there was no gritting of icy roads at that time. 

When Ros had friends staying at the family home, Laurel Hill, her father would let them go on the dray to Melbourne starting at 8am with plenty of food and drinks and sitting among the laundry baskets, returning to Repton at about 4pm. 

Their family hand-made Christening gown had to be specially laundered and Maggie Adams was the only person who could do it. She had to use a “goffering iron” and it would take a whole morning to do. 

The laundry was demolished in 1973. 

The following appeared in the “Burton Directory” in 1933. 

“Burtonians are efficiently served by the New Repton District Laundry Co. Ltd whose steam laundry at Repton is ideally suited and where there is a pure and abundant supply of spring water (so essential to the proper cleaning of fabrics) and spacious open-air drying grounds far from the smoke and dust of the town. The works are equipped with the very latest machinery for the efficient handling of all classes of fabrics, from blankets to delicate lace and silks.”

A. Kimber

August 2005