Thursday, 15 January 2009

The Lune

Do you know what this number (E22b) is on the corner of a tablecloth? I suspect many folk of the younger generations do not. It is a laundry mark. Each week the laundry would be collected from the house by a laundry firm like The Lune and every household had its own laundry mark so that the items could be identified when they came out of the wash. Some of the laundry marks were on tags whilst others were written in indelible ink in the corner of the item. Both Mum and Nana used The Lune.

Stan Kelly’s Liverpool Lullaby – as sung by The Spinners - celebrates The Lune in this verse –

"Although you have no silver spoon,
Better days are coming soon,
Our Nelly's working at the Lune,
And she gets paid on Friday."

The Lune Laundry was on the north side of Lawrence Road, Wavertree, beside the railway embankment. It was demolished in 1987 to make way for the Rose Court housing development.


  1. I'm unfortunately too young to remember this, I would have loved (despite a drastic change of living conditions) to have been around then.

    However, I've read "L'Assommoir" by Émile Zola, which is essentially the tale of a laundress and her endeavors through life. Also, the laundry shop in "Le secret de la Licorne" (one of the Tintin adventures, I do not know if you read them nor what the English title is) marked a jacket with a number in thread. I suppose it could count...

    What I do remember, though, is going through a trunk of my father's old school clothes and bedding in my grandmother's attic and finding name tags in red fabric.

  2. You reminded me that some of my grandmpthers pillow cases had her name in red stitching on them. (Not the fancy embroidery naming but a simple surname in the corner) almost certainly as per Tintin. Yes, we do have the Adventures of Tintin but it's one of those series that reads much better in the original than the translation.

  3. Intriguing post, I am quite drawn to the B&W image.

    I thank you for being part of the playing field at A Diva's Hammer. It is a pleasure to meet you.

  4. The mark above is more likely to be made by the Salisbury Laundry - situated on Smithdown/Salisbury Road - the Line Laundry had an invisible system which was viewed under a blue light. I know this as I worked there in the sixties in the enquiries dept. This was short for - go round the works and find all the lost items that customers ring up about - most of the time it was fun but sometimes it was frustrating as the items had been put in the wrong parcel and could have landed anywhere.