I’ve just been to the launderette with ‘B’ to dry the washed clothes. She won’t use our drier because she’s afraid that it will catch fire. Heard that on the tele!!! Of course, I ridiculed her but, one day, we tried it and, to my surprise, the ruddy thing got just soooo hot that we had to terminate the operation. Dead dodgy!
Anyway, there we went! And, boy, did it take me back!!! The first time that I had an encounter with automatic washing-machines was when I was a young, single cop. Probably about 1962. I was then based at Shepherd’s Bush, at the old station in Askew Road. It was just a small house, used as a police station, in a quiet area. So, one night, when I was on night-duty, I took my ‘wash’ into a new launderette in Askew Road. I was on duty but – it didn’t matter, really, ‘cos it was the middle of the night and there was absolutely nobody around!
I diligently read the instructions on the machine and duly placed my wash therein, put my money in, and resumed my patrol. Seemed easy enough! In due course I returned and took out my washing. Oh my God!! What a mess! In those days, we mostly wore the old ‘Y’ Front white pants but – all mine were now PINK! In fact, the whole bloody wash was pink! Except, of course, my red jumper!
Oh lor’! BUT….help was at hand. A man entered the launderette, to service the machines. He nearly laughed when he saw my pink wash but…..something warned him not to! Instead, he came over, looked at my ghastly mess, and said, “You never put a red jumper in with that lot, surely?”
“Well, because…..” and he pointed to my mess.
I looked all around, but, as I pointed out to him, nowhere did it say not to! I think that at that juncture, he decided that it was not worth arguing, so he put my pink stuff back in the machine and washed it again. In fact, he washed it several times. It was still pink, though a lighter shade of pink.
I thanked him, and bid a last farewell to launderettes.