The Laundry and Linen

In 1901 over 180,000 women were recorded in the census as working in laundries as washerwomen, ironers and manglers.

See I is for Ironer on Amanda Wilkinson’s Victorian Occupations 

The Trematon Laundry at Normansfield

Factory Act, 1st January 1908

Notice to be affixed showing:

  • The number of young persons who may be employed in each room
  • Copy of report of Boiler Insurance
  •  Notice of accidents to be sent to Inspectors and certifying surgeon
  •  Time Table Hours of Employment
  •  Times of Meals

Accident Report(s)

19/1/1951 (29980) Henry Hughes.Preparing to blow the Laundry boiler down. Lifted boiler plate and dropped it, striking his big toe of right foot. Has not ceased work.

24/5/1951 (32135) H. Hughes. (11.30) Cut forefinger of left hand while cutting grass. 2 stitches put in by Dr. Langdon –Down

21/2/1949 (29653) Henry Fredk Reynolds. Cut top of left thumb while cutting up bar of soap in Laundry.

5/6/1950  (29971) Herbert Wm. Lawrence (at 10.15) He was dipping a bucket into a soap tank and the bottom of the bucket caught the edge of the tank and tipped hot liquid soap into his wellington boot. Injury – scalded right leg between knee and ankle.

Holidays in 1908

Whole Holidays: Good Friday, Christmas Day

Half Holidays (From 1pm): Easter Monday, Friday May 1st, Whit Monday, Friday June 19th, August 3rd, Friday August 14th, Friday December 18th, December 26th

A note for Dec 14th: I thought I had better let you know that the Laundry will be closed at 1 o’clock on Friday 18th and all day 25th and 26th. Laundry Matron.

Letter from L . Skrimshire to  Mrs Langdon-Down

December 15th

Dear Mrs Langdon-Down,

Thanks for your note.

It is about the Boiler I wished to know. As Allman says, Dr. Langdon-Down agreed there should be no fire in the boiler on Xmas Day. And if that is so, we could not possibly have the morning wash, washed and dried by 1 o’clock on Saturday.

Could I see Dr. Langdon-Down about it?

I am so sorry to trouble you when I know you are so busy but I should like the matter settled before next week if possible.

Yours truly

L . Skrimshire

Laundry Staff

Males           Under 18 Above 18
Jan           none 3
Apr           none 3
July           none 3
Oct           none 3
Females           Under 18 Above 18
Jan           none 13
Apr           none 13
July           none 12
Oct           none 13
Salaried person 1

From Submission to Factory Inspectors

Dr R J Langdon-Down, Normansfield


Laundry attached to Institution for Backward and Feebleminded

For 12 months ended Dec 31st 1907

Kind of work

We have no customers but wash for 313 persons estimating to the value of work done@ £4 per head per annum £1252

Repairs to machinery plant £13

Estimate to purchased material used in year £225

Coal     170 tons

Coke       26 tons

Two Staff in the Laundry

Kate Ellen Holton, Linen/Laundry Maid

Born 1874 Hampton Wick

Mother Fanny Holton

She had 4 sisters and 1 brother

Census 1881 Ellen (aged 7) is at 3 Trinity Cottages, Manor Road with her grandparents Henry  & Mary Davenport

Father James Holton (aged 32) died March 1881 (Kingston)

A sister (also called Fanny)  born in the summer 1881

Census 1891 (aged 17) Working at Normansfield

Census 1901 (aged 27) Working at Normansfield

Census 1901 Maud (sister of Kate Ellen) is also working at Normansfield

Census 1911 Maud is now working as an Assistant Nurse at the Hackney Union Workhouse, Homerton

1905  Kate married Robert Burton (Kingston)

1908 Birth of son George William Burton (Teddington)

Census 1911 The Burton family are living at 107a Longley Road, Wandsworth.

Kate Ellen is listed as a sewing machinist working outside the home. Her husband Robert is listed as a Male Attendant. (Where? Tooting Bec Hospital is not very far from Longley Road or maybe Normansfield.

Brother James Henry Holton born 25th July 1880. Signed up here 8th June 1900 (aged 19). Later signed up in Australia to 9th Battalion Australian Infantry. 7th March 1915 died and buried at Alexandria

Amy Trigg, Laundry Maid

Date of entry 31/12/1900 (aged 16). Date left 24/12/1907

Married 11/07/1908 Cornelius Richard Stedman (aged 25)

Daughter  Amy Selina born 1910 (Teddington)

1911 Census – Family living at 1 Lavender Sweep, Battersea