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Kay Collins, 2007

Express Dry Cleaners - Mr Mills


Arthur Mills' Traction Engine Arthur Mills
Arthur Mills' Traction Engine
Arthur Mills in the 1960s with his organ

The organ
This picture was taken by Arthur George, a well known photographer in Rushden.

It shows the Fairground Organ owned by Mr Mills, proprietor of the Express Dry Cleaners whose works were on Wellingborough Road. Mr Mills often took the organ to stand near the Rose & Crown and played music and carols for the crowds at Christmas time.

The steam engine that was used to take the organ to events around the area (below)

The organ in transit
A give-away contained soap leaves
An advertising gift containing soap leaves tells us there were 21 branches of the "Express Cleaners" in its heyday.

Photgraph of the organ in transit - from Clive Wood.

Soap packet from the RDHS archive.

This advertisement card was "Presented by Arthur Mills".

The caption is:

Express Cleaners
Mammoth 89 Key Gavioli Fairground Organ.

The Motto on the end of the trailer reads:

Whilst Looking to the Future,
Let us not Forget
The Glories of the Past.

Another view of the fairground organ

Express Drycleaner's Van The Higham Ferrers shop
Express Drycleaner's Van outside Hamblins Garage c1990
The Higham Ferrers shop

Mr Mills lived at 'Highbury' in Irchester Road, next door to Mr Joseph Knight of 'Rosemount'.

A coat hanger from the cleaners
A coat hanger from the Express Dry Cleaners

Rushden Echo, 20th April 1928, transcribed by Kay Collins

For Sale by Private Treaty
“Highbury” Irchester Road, Rushden

The Valuable Freehold Residence of Brick and Tile erection situate on the Irchester Road, Rushden, and known as “Highbury,” containing Hall, Dining and Drawing Rooms, 5 Bedrooms, Bathroom, Lavatory, and the usual domestic offices, together with the full-sized Tennis Lawn and highly-productive Kitchen garden well stocked with Choice Young Fruit Trees.

The above is for sale with Vacant Possession at a very moderate reserve.

Rushden Echo and Argus, 6th January 1950

THE EXPRESS DRY CLEANING SERVICE

Phone  RUSHDEN  2876

MODERN PLANT AND EXPERIENCED CRAFTSMEN

ENSURES

DRY CLEANING AT ITS BEST

THREE DAYS' SERVICE

Our vans collect in Rushden, Wellingborough,
Bedford,
Northampton, Kettering and Corby.
Agents throughout the county.

WORKS AND RECEIVING DEPT.:

MIDLAND ROAD, RUSHDEN

Call, write or phone:  RUSHDEN 2876


Advert from a Temperance Band programme 1967
Express Dry Cleaners

Hand Finishing
is the secret behind the
High Standard
of our work

A 2 Hour Service is offered at our shop at the top of the High Street.

Mr Digby our Branch Manager personally finishes every garment; his many years experience are at your service.

In change at our ‘On the Spot’ cleaners, at the bottom end of the High Street, the new Manager Mr Cassidy is always pleased to carry out your individual requirements.

2 Hour Service
At No Extra Cost
(Including Saturdays)


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