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Rushden Steam Laundry Co. Ltd.
Proprietor J Mepham

A postcard showing The Green & Church Parade with the
Rushden Steam Laundry wagon standing outside the church c1910

The old Steam Laundry building
Rushden Echo, 14th February 1908

The Rushden Steam Laundry
Allen Road
Under Entirely New Management

Lace Curtains Cleaned, Dyed & Dressed Equal to New
(with dust resisting surface)

Under 2½ yards 6d per pair - Over 3 yards 9d per pair

Gulpure, Swiss and Madras Muslin Curtains, from 1/- per pair

Frilled Muslin Curtains in First-class Style, price as per Labour

All other Laundry Work undertaken, and correct despatch
All communications to Manager will receive
prompt and careful attention.

Rushden Steam Laundry building, in 2011, is now used with
the old Chapman's Box factory opposite, by S C Packaging.

The earliest record we have is that Frank Newman was the secretary, and the works were in Allen Road in 1897. In 1903 George S Mason was the secretary, and E A Law the manager. In September 1906 Albert James Jeffries took on the laundry, after having previously been taken on to run it for the liquidators. But in June the following year he was declared a bankrupt.

Mr J Mepham was the proprietor of the Rushden Steam Laundry when the postcard above was produced in about 1910. John Richard Mepham was born in 1868 in Marylebone, and married Clara Jane. In 1893 their son Alfred Archibald was born in Burton-on-Trent and daughter Rhoda Amelia in 1896. John had established a laundry business in Rugby St Andrews by 1901, and another son Albert Richard was born in 1904 at Hove in Sussex.

John and Clara brought their family to Rushden in 1908 and first lived at 148 Queen Street and operated the business from the premises in Allen Road. By 1911 he was living at 103 Portland Road. As well as laundry services, he also offered carpet beating. Archie was the carman, collecting and delivering the laundry, and his sister Rhoda was assisting her parents in the laundry. John's sister-in-law Elsie Jeffries was packing and sorting the laundry, and his niece Lydia Wheeler was the ironer.

The Argus, 23rd March 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Owing to the War, The RUSHDEN STEAM LAUNDRY

Will discontinue carrying on business at Allen-road Works, and until further premises are fitted for occupation the work will be taken in at the usual receiving stations—103 Portland-road; Mr. Macdonald’s, Church-parade; and Mrs. Collins’, Wellingborough-road. In making these alterations Mrs. Mepham wishes to thank all patrons for past favours, and respectfully solicits a continuance of the same.

John died in 1943 and his wife Clara died in 1948, and they are buried in Rushden Cemetery grave F.588. Their son Archie fell in the Great War, and his name is inscribed on the Rushden War Memorial.


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