Friday, March 24

Dirty Linen

Hatchers Laundry in Melbourne was founded in 1850. At that time Australia was still receiving transported criminals from England mainly for petty thefts and the total white population was only 267,000. The Aboriginal remnant was thought to be far less in number.

A year later gold was discovered in Victoria and the rapid population increase led to demand for laundry services which swelled the coffers. At the turn of the century the demand for linen services continued and the company grew quickly to be one of the larger employers of workers in Melbourne.

It adapted its services over the ensuing years to offer hire and sale of industrial garments, dust mats and washroom services and later Roller Towels.

As the decline of manufacturing continued it reverted back to its original roots as primarily a linen hire company.

I drove past the establishment yesterday and decided on a post with a poem outlining its interesting history.

Hatchers Laundry

New age of cleanliness in Florence Nightingales time
Nurses needed clean linen as patients wait in a line
Hatchers Laundry was built under Melbourne Gas lights
To wash dirty linen until it's spotlessly white

The demands for clean linen the Laundry then met
200 tonnes a week which was a mean feat
Horse drawn deliveries were to larger estates
God help any driver who happened to be late

Demands continued with new fashions to start
Boots for hire were boots that would last
Overalls and Roller Towels, for healthy work place
In Vans to customers replaced horse driven carts

Batch Washer purchased for needs that mount
Programmed to deliver increased loads by their route
Uniforms ablaze with clients colours and name
Individually delivered to garment lockers so named

Mood changed as they closed up the garment shop
Uniforms were too costly so payments did stop
Computers had replaced all that dirt and that grime
Hatchers Laundry still delivered it’s linen on time


VB said...

more interesting poetry - you are creating your own genre - I love it!! I also love the article on age - a very good starting point is gorgeous Alice

Lindsay Lobe said...

such great grandchidren encourage that "Young at heart" feeling.

Best wishes

Graham said...

this is really interesting poetry have you approached publishers? History and heart in one poem. Things get lost and forgotten but with people like you to help the washroom services Nottingham history will not be forgotten in austrailia's history.