Last wash cycle for City Road Launderette as technology hangs firm out to dry

The City Road Launderette and Dry Cleaning Centre at Arbourthorne closes tomorrow after more than 30 years
The City Road Launderette and Dry Cleaning Centre at Arbourthorne closes tomorrow after more than 30 years
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Technology advancements and the lack of spare parts for malfunctioning machines are contributing factors to the closure of an enduring Sheffield business, staff say.

The City Road Launderette and Dry Cleaning Centre at Arbourthorne will close its doors tomorrow. It will be the last cycles after more than 30 years.

Just five of the firm's 12 Ipso washing machines were functioning by the end, and only four of seven dryers were working.

According to manager Janice Gregory, parts to fix broken machines had become impossible to get.

"They're that old, they had never been changed, just had parts replaced," Janice said.

According to Janice, new timers for the machines were just too hard to get.

The previous owner had an engineer who worked on the machines for the company.

"He's gone and got another job years ago," Janice said.

Janice is worried where the next pay cheque will come from after she departs the launderette for the last time.

Janice has worked at the business for more than 20 years, and has managed it for the past eight.

The 61-year-old's husband Roland is retired, and the soon-to-be unemployed Janice is concerned about the pressure it will put on the couple.

"No idea, no idea," she said when asked what she would do next.

"I only have people skills. I don't have IT skills or anything like that."

She has fond memories of a fantastic work place with great clients who came back time and again to wash their clothes at the business.

"We had some really loyal customers," Janice said.

A few had some quirks, like the punters who wouldn't let the staff touch their washing.

"If we had to take it out of the washer, if we needed it or something, they would wash it again because we touched it," Janice said.

Like the old advert for Levis 501 jeans, people have been known to come in and wash even the trousers they were wearing on the day.

"They would literally sit in their underpants and wash what they were wearing," Janice said.

The demise of the launderette leaves just a handful of similar businesses in Sheffield.

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