A Life In Laundry

Christine's Tales Of Employment In Portslade

By Lu Pearson

Photo:Christine, second left during a reminiscence session

Christine, second left during a reminiscence session

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:WRVS volunteer Lyn Strong in the foreground, Christine in the background

WRVS volunteer Lyn Strong in the foreground, Christine in the background

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Christine tells us about her fascinating life in Portslade, particularly her working life.

Christine attended St Peter's Infant School in St Peter's Road Portslade stating "its still there and has changed".  After progressing to Benfield Junior School, she sat the 11 plus but didn't pass. Christine then went to Portslade Girls School in Chalky Road leaving at 15.

Star Laundry

"From school I went to work at the Star Laundry down the sea front in Portslade, the Star Laundry had been there for a long time 'cause my older sister worked there first. I liked working there it was nice - these great big wooden tubs, with wheels on, came in full of the wet sheets - two of us would shake out the sheets and feed them into the driers and then they would be feed into through the press.

After a while I moved on to starching the collars. I would have to wear my wellies. There were these really big tubs with the starch in. we would have to roll the collars to make the shape and if we got it wrong we would have to do it again, I also starched the front of dress shirts. People don't dress like that now days do they.

I stayed at the Star Laundry for about 7 year which was a long time for first job really. - Pay was 3 Pound One and six - which is about £3.12 1/2p.  The stairs in the Laundry were all wooden and to get to the loo you had to go up this little wooden stair case but with all the steam the stairs got all slippery and were dangerous.

Kiais Bonders

I left the Star Laundry when I got pregnant, but I lost the baby so went back to work this time for Kiais Bonders - making knickers, bras, petticoats and socking and it was bloody hard work I didn't like it cause it was so bloody hard, it was piece work - you got paid for the number you did, and I wasn't very good at it - if you got any thing wrong it would be checked by the girl and if she didn't think it  was good enough she would bring it back and you would have to unpick it all. Different girls would be doing different parts. I stay there only six months because I didn't enjoy it at all.

Flinns of Fishergate

After that I went to another dry cleaner - Flinns in Fishersgate - there I was pressing and steaming. I stay there until about 1968 when I had my son, I remember the smell of the cleaning fluid.

From then I was looking after my two kids and my father - but once the children were at school I had few jobs cleaning in nursing homes around Portslade/Hove area.

About 9 years age I started working with 'Care Watch' looking after people in their own homes - and now I am retired looking after my grand kids'.

Tea Break!

After Christine's fascinating reminiscence, the group had a tea break.  During this Rod held a small quiz about the 12 days of Christmas Song. The group all sang together and thoroughly enjoyed this! Additionally, in this session the value of Pounds, Shillings and Pence were also discussed.

Acknowledgments 

WRVS volunteer Lyn Strong facilitated this reminiscence.  Keith Mason took the accompanying photographs.

This page was added by Lu Pearson on 27/04/2009.
Comments about this page

The name of the factory where Christine made underwear etc was Kaysor Bonder. They supplied Marks and Spencers for many year.

By David Candler
On 14/04/2011

The Star Laundry was owned by Fred G.Miles who was father to the aviation pioneers Frederick & George Herbert Miles who started at Shoreham aerodrome and owned the Miles group - such as Miles Link / Miles Dufon / F.G. Miles ltd. The laundry was wound up in the 1970's but may have stopped trading earlier

By Steve
On 21/08/2012

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