Friday, August 19, 2011

Laundrette Chronicles - Wey Hey! It's Weymouth

Welcome to (literally) sunny Weymouth, home to a floral fountain...

...sand and sandals...

...and an unfeasibly large ice cream.

Weymouth looks like many English seaside resorts with little hotels, pubs and boarding houses ('within easy reach of the sea') proliferating.

Natch, there is an amusement arcade and a gift shop...

...with added Chinese restaurant appeal to entice the peckinsh punter.

Round the side is the tradesmen's entrance. They appear to have had some problems with stuff getting broken when being delivered and have taken high-tech precautions to prevent claims that they broke it themselves. 

It seems a little paranoid to me, but then I do not own a gift shop (or a Chinese restaurant).

I could not be arsed to take any more pictures of the town’s many attractions but I am sure you can find some on the Wey Hey! It’s Weymouth web site

 Weymouth is also home to the Twirl n Whirl launderette.

I don’t suppose there is a truly correct spelling of launderette. Some spell it Launderette and some Laundrette. The one I grew up with in Carshalton, south London, was a ‘real’ Launderette

And that is (almost) how they spell it at the Twirl n Whirl

I would not be surprised to hear that Launderette™ has sued some establishments for huge sums infringement of copyright - took them to the cleaners, as it were - so they changed the spelling.

Anyway, the T&W is much like any other coin-operated fabric washing service (no duvets or dyeing please) and includes those little bits of personalisation that differentiate independents from fast food outlets and the other ubiquitous chains which make out high streets so confusingly similar. There are times when I don’t know where I am until I pass a sign saying “Thank You for visiting [name of town]” on the way out.

It has some fish related d├ęcor…

OK, whales and dolphins are not fish, but you get the idea.

Other elements of personalisation include a small collection of laundrette-related photographs...

…a very reasonably priced drinks and snack service…

 …advice on how not to blow the place to smithereens…
…and  they close early for Carnival...

Which is all very considerate except maybe for the odd passing clown, who, having spilled jelly down his trousers while entertaining carnival crowds, is looking to clean up before his next gig. It wasn’t carnival day when I was there so this is just a hypothesis.

Talking of clowns, there is also an invitation to drop your pants…


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Lost Property - Glastonbury Festival 2011

I lost my Canon Ixus75 digital camera at Glastonbury this year. I had taken the precaution of sticking a label with my email address and mobile number on the battery and was surisingly optimistic that I would get it back. But to increase the chances I thought I might as well report it to the good people toiling in The Wagonshed lost property office.

And several days later it was handed in which says a lot for the honesty of someone, or else they didn't want an old digital camera with no memory card and only 7.1 mega pixels, but I prefer the honesty thing...

A picture of me taking a picture of me....

...taking a picture of me taking a picture of my camera.
So that's all right then - and many thanks to the Wagonshed Folk (sorry guys, you'll have to wait until 2013 for the chocolate)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Laundrette Chronicles

The Big Chill area is blessed with a couple of laundrettes. The Malvern offering, presumably run by a Mr. Patel, is called the Patel Laundrette. According to the Big Chill information service the Ledbury facility is less decisive:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cambridge Folk Festival - Part 3 – It's a clean machine

The Cambridge Folk Festival is in Cherry Hinton Hall close by the suburb for which the hall is named. Despite sounding like location from an Agatha Christie murder mystery, Cherry Hinton is a pleasant enough environment and, despite the quaint name, most of it looks like it was built since the 1960s. I was not really paying attention but my impression is that the high street comprises a pub, some shops and a few local amenities (well, they look like amenities in as much as they are not Tesco or fast food outlets). One of the more useful establishments for those of us who travel without washing machines is the launderette.  It is called the clean machine (not capitalised)

It is as clean as its name suggests and has a couple of notable features. Rather than have coin slots in each individual washer and dryer there is a CENTRAL PAYPOINT (which is capitalised). The advantage is that you only need one quality security lock on the CENTRAL PAYPOINT rather than one flimsy lock on each machine which the manufacturers of coin-operated laundry equipment usually install and which are invariably retro-fitted with some clumsy upgrade adapted from a warehouse roller shutter or Sercuricor van, which makes the place look as thought the owner doesn't trust you.


You stick your cash in the slot and then press the button corresponding to the number on the machine you are using. The unwary, or excessively clumsy, can easily add a few extra minutes to someone else’s drying time. 

The Central Paypoint has a clock attached which, the label says, is one hour and two minutes slow…

This precision is admirable, or would be if it were accurate.  The picture above was taken at 07:47. The clock reads 00:46, if this was indeed one hour and two minutes slow the real time would be 01:49 - even I can think of better things to do at Silly O'Clock in the morning. 

Besides which, the clean machine (not capitalised) would be closed as indicated by a notice on the door which proudly proclaims that it is open from 7am until 8pm and that there is an automatic lock on the door. They suggest therefore, that you do not start a new wash after 7pm. "A-ha!", you may think, "I can just wedge the door open thus defeating the fiendish automatic operation of the latch and happily launder away all night". But further reading of the notice reveals that the water is automatically turned off at closing time, so that particular subterfuge is scuppered.

Usually this sign would mean that the machine in question includes a cash box.


But there is a CENTRAL PAYPOINT, so I assume that the tumble dryers are actually in some distress.

Being a semi-rural area the proprietor has identified a problem with which city dwellers are unlikely to be acquainted, namely the washing of Horse Rugs is not permitted.

Fortunately, they suggest an alternative - and only a tenner, bargain! I don’t know how much horse blankets cost, nor how fussy horses are about the cleanliness of their  bedding, but this seems like a service for the more discerning and wealthier horse-person. I wonder when they will catch up with a trend which has developed over the last few decades and offer a horse duvet cleaning service? 

Despite there being no toilet or shower facilities, they do appear to offer a related service, but I have yet to see anyone using it: