135 years of LCN11 February 2021
It is a strange year to be celebrating anything but we couldn’t let the opportunity past to look back on the world of textile care. Kathy Bowry has been ferreting in the archives
In this celebration of the longest running textile care journal, I decided to focus on the past 35 years since the centenary jollifications in 1985. I was was struck by how many familiar names have survived since then and even turned up an advertisement from a supplier who first paid for a slot in1885 and is still prospering today. Armstrong only changed its name to Washco very recently, so I feel I can say that. It was interesting, too, to discover that our cover sponsor for this issue, Cherry Tree, was founded a few years before us!For me, it is a heart stirring tug to look at the ‘cast list’ for LCN in 1985 as I knew all the LCN staff then – Nicholas Marshall, editor; Gavin Blanchard, associate editor; production sub-editor, Richard Norman; news editor, Maurice Mulcahey; advertisment manager, Chris Shepherd; and classified advertisement manager Malcolm Cameron. In those days I was production/ new prodcts editor on Electrical Trader magazine and we were were all part of Reed Business Publishing at Quadrant House in Sutton, Surrey.
Contributor Ancliffe Prince who joined one of LCN’s previous manifestations of Power Laundry and Cleaning News in the 1920s had a big input into the 1985 anniverary issue.
He wrote that a publication called The Laundry News was actually started, along with an exhibition, in London before Laundry Journal but folded when it appears the founder started quarreling with the the newly inaugurated National Laundry Proprietor’s Association. The association prompltly banned him and the Laundry News from meetings and started its own exhibition. Laundry Journal was started in direct competition to Laundry News and is still here today as LCN./LCNi. We don’t know who the original editor was but Prince thought it was somebody nominated by the association. “Clearly these varied sets of events appertiaining to British laundries in the 1880s mark this era as the one that gave birth to the modern frabric care industry,” wrote Prince.
Thirty fve years go, Milnor took our front cover, Cherry Tree delivered its 10-module CBW to Ipswich General Hospital and Thomas Broadbent was awarded a £170,000 contract by Leeds City Council for a laundry with Broadbent washer extractor, Passat tumble dryers, a Voss 2-roll ironer, a flatwork folder, tunnel finisher and presses.
Johnson Group Cleaners benefited from a rainy sumer which turned in record profits for the group. For the first half of 1985 th groups profits rose 41% to £,85m up £119,000.
Richard Albers was named marking director at Pellerin Milnor. Jensen Corporation merged with UK company Neil and Spencer Holdings,
Things were hotting up in the NHS as competitive tendering from outside threatened in-house laundries. At a Society of Hospital Linen Managers (SHLMS) meeting Bob Murrell, outgoing chairman of the London region said: “We’re well able to cope with the competiton” adding that a far more realistic viewpoint was emanating from the private sector when having to contend with hospital laundry work “which is, in fact, a bulk domestic service – much to their surprise!”.
Meanwhile, Dr Mike Kalli of Industrial Detergents (UK) Ltd, now Ideal Manufacturing, was happy that he had developed a tailor-made dosing system for all makes and types of industrial washer.
Looking back, some ads were just fun – you can see one from PHS (Powles Hunt & Sons). Ecolab bought PHS commercial laundry business from Quill Group in 2006. The Kreussler advertisement is just bizarre in today’s world. I feature both simply because they made me smile.
I have enjoyed my quick trip through the LCN archive for 1985. I hope you have too.