The long road named Lawrence Road, where the Lune Laundry was situated, becomes Earle Road which eventually meets Lodge Lane, Tunnel Road, Smithdown Road and Upper Parliament Street in a five-way junction. The last side road between Earle and Smithdown roads before the junction is Darrel Street, on the corner of which my parents owned a sweet and tobacco shop (now demolished) where I was born in 1923. When I was two years old the family moved about a mile away to the opposite end of Lawrence Road, fifty yards or so past the Lune Laundry, to Avondale Road where Lawrence road ended. (Avondale, Kenmare, Claremont, Barrington and Blantyre roads all ran off at right angles to Lawrence Road, on the opposite side to the LUNE).
The last house in Avondale Road, where it butts on to Lawrence Road, is number 126, and there lived Miss Douglas, Manager of the Lune Laundry. We lived at number 124 - two houses away. At one time my older sister worked at the Lune in what I believe was called the Calender Room and where, if I am correct, the clothes were finally dried on heated rollers or heated frames. There might also have been some ironing.
I remember seeing the massive new boilers being installed - probably about 1930. They had automatic coal feeders which shot the coal into the furnaces at intervals with a metallic clang. The tons of coal were delivered to a large open area between what was the Army Barracks, the side of the Lune and the railway embankment at the rear. The floor of the boiler house was slightly below road level and the immediate supply for the furnaces was brought to the boiler house and fed in via a chute which was normally closed with a heavy wooden lid - possibly six feet by three or four - heavy iron hinges and a lock. This was set back in to the line of iron railings which stood about three feet away from the wall of the Lune. It became our "den" or base when playing cowboys and Indians etc.
Lawrence Road in front of the Lune was remarkably smooth; when we were a bit older, we became expert roller skaters and played "rollerhockey" with a tennis ball and walking sticks. There was very little traffic in those days. One day we noticed a small hole in the road (about 2 inches in diameter) and could not touch the bottom when we poked a walking stick down. A Policeman happened to walk past (they did in those days) we drew his attention to it. Eventually a small gang of workmen came, put up barriers and dug up around the hole. The hole grew to about a yard square and must have been quite deep (the barriers kept us well away). Apparently it was an ancient well that had been filled in and covered with a road surface, but the filling had gradually washed away, leaving just a covering of tar and stones.
Just inside the entrance to the boiler house, a flight of stairs ran up to an upper floor. Between the side of the steps and the wall was a smooth wooden sloping edge about two feet wide and we would sneak in when we thought the boiler men were not looking, run up the stairs and slide down the smooth edge. On a lighter side we would sometimes hear the entertainment in the top floor of the newer part of the building. Among other things dances were held. The music was provided by an all female band led by someone named Ivy Benson I think.
Continued . . .