The Slaugham Archives

Laundry at Lower Ashfold, Slaugham
The Slaugham Archive
Laundry at Lower Ashfold, Slaugham

Today it is hard to believe that in the early part of the last century Lower Ashfold, located just above the Furnace Pond in Coos Lane, Slaugham, was the location of a busy laundry. Passers-by would notice many clothes posts in the garden with wires criss-crossing them supporting rows of washing.
The photograph shows the two large coppers, one for boiling the clothes and one for heating the hot water to transfer to three large wooden tubs where the clothes were washed by hand. The stove inset on the left was used for heating up to 30 irons supported in racks around the outside. No steam irons in those days!
Captain E. C. Eric Smith lived there with his wife, Helen, from 1917 until he died in 1950. I can find no trace of the laundress, Mrs Stiles, living there and cannot be certain when this photograph was taken.
The accompanying newspaper article can be seen by clicking on Large Version.

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Picture added on 24 October 2014 at 11:50
This picture is in the following groups
Roads - Slaugham
It has been recorded that a Mr Comber lived in a cottage on the Slaugham Common and that this was originally part of the building we now know as Lower Ashfold. The 1851 Census indicates that two families lived in unnamed residences on the Common, and that one of these was occupied by 31-year-old John Comber with his two sisters, a brother, and a niece. His 29-year-old sister, Eliza, is described as being a “housekeeper and laundress”, which seems to concur with the story of the laundry being operated there.
It has been said that his name was abbreviated to “Coo”, and this lead to the road to Handcross being named Coos Lane.

Added by Barry Ray on 15 April 2015
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