Launderettes: The end of an era?

I remember loading up my iKea laundry bag filled with my student friends’ clothes and mine; I hated the journey walking down to the launderette even though it was quite short, I still hated it. However, at the end it saved me from doing all the washing at home and then having to spread them round the house on the heater. The launderette saved me a lot of stress so I didn’t mind it because it provided a washing and drying service that our student house did not have. My turn only came once a month so it wasn’t too bad.

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Due to technology and about 97 per cent of homes now each possessing a washing machine and dryer, it seems launderettes are being moved to extinction.

The first self-service coin operated launderette was opened in 1949, in Bayswater, central London and the number increased to about 12,500 according to research though the numbers have now dwindled down to 3000.

Launderettes are now seriously threatened, which means developers are racing to convert them into homes. Though the liberal democrats are calling for greater protection to prevent launderettes from being redeveloped into houses and flats. I say that’s a good thing, as I do not believe every student living in London has a washing machine and dryer.

What do you think, do you prefer launderettes or to have your own washing machine. What if you own a tiny flat how do you fit one in?

Whenever I think of launderettes, I think of Dot in Eastenders or Nick Kamen who stripped off his jeans in a launderette in the 1985 TV commercial for Levi 501’s boosting sales no end.

Nick Kamen

Does their demise sadden you? It does me.