Saturday, 1 April 2017

Looking for our lost launderettes, no 1 ........... Manchester Road

Now most of us like looking at old pictures and trying to spot the changes from then till now.

For me it was always preferable to those photographs in the Sunday newspapers where you had to spot the missing ball in a football game.

And here Andy Robertson has come up with three which are just a decade apart.

At first glance not a lot has changed from January 2002 and December 2012 on that stretch of Manchester Road from the Library.

This was Hastings Buildings which were put up sometime between 1908 and 1910.

Back then it had the familiar range of shops from a newsagents, grocer, butcher, and confectioners to a chip shop which always at the turn of a century was described as a fried fish dealer.

So here were all the shops a small community might need with the added bonus of the business of Misses Annie and Sarah Poyser who were baby linen dealers.

And nestling in the middle was the Wing Sam & Co laundry which was still trading as Tam Bing We Laundry a full 58 years later in 1969.

Moreover when the Chinese laundry shut up shop I think this became a launderette.  Certainly Andy remembers machines in there when he moved to Chorlton in 1980.

Back in the middle of the last century the launderette pretty much did for the old fashioned laundry and now the cheap washing machine has done the same for the launderette, all of which is why Andy rose to the challenge to look and record our missing washateria.

There are few left, one I know at the Quadrant and another in Stretford, but they are passing away.

Soon that Sunday afternoon meeting place for the young and single wile have gone completely and with it the one place you could wash your king size duvet.

That said the home brew shop which replaced the launderette and laundry has gone too.

I leave you to compare the pictures and decide what else had gone from Hastings Buildings in ten short years, and just who and what was traded for the end shop.

Pictures, Hastings Buildings, Manchester Road, 2002, 2012 from the collection of Andy Robertson


  1. Sometimes when Mother was ill, I had to take our washing to the Chinese laundry - always hot and steamy inside. In the 1950s, I used to buy nylons for my Mother from one of those shops - possibly the Poyser sisters, but no memory of the shop name. The end shop - originally a pet shop - was at one stage (1970s?) occupied by K-Style before they bought out Mogford's and had 2 shops (the diagonal striped sign mimics a barber's pole). Incidentally, only last week I visited K-Style intrigued to notice their barber's chairs were the same ones that I had sat in - with a plank across the arms to have my haircut 65 years ago.

  2. I used to have a paper round at Kays newsagents...many many moons ago, and my Mother (God rest her soul) used to work in the launderette every Sunday, the both barbers and end property are still owned by Ronny, and yep, its like a time machine, nothing has changed inside and everything works now as it did then.

  3. I seem to remember a Chinese Laundry being next to Kays Newsagents in the 1960's.

  4. Yes Lorna and it may well be the one that was thre in 1911