Appeal to find former workers from closed Harlesden laundry

Ex-employee is keen to hear from old colleagues

A former laundry worker has made an appeal to trace his old colleagues who worked alongside him in Harlesden 30 years ago.

John Harrison, 68, is keen to hear from anyone who worked at Willesden Laundry which was based in Scrubs Lane until it closed in the early 1980s.

The laundry specialised in cleaning all linen items from railway stations, railway catering buffets and restaurants, train catering buffets and restaurants, and sleeping car trains.

The business, which was where CMS Peripherals is now situated, hit the buffers after British Rail was privatised by Margaret Thatcher, the then Prime Minister, and laundry contracts were given to private companies.

Mr Harrison, who is originally from Derby but now lives in Leicester, said: “My work there mainly revolved around productivity, production and payment matters, and I remember it being a delight and pleasure to work with and discuss matters of mutual interest with everyone who worked there.

“During its heyday the laundry was one of the largest of its kind as it was capable of washing more items per year in Europe.

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“There were more than 100 workers and I would really like to hear from anyone who worked with me or just worked there.”

Despite hanging up his sheets more than 30 decades ago, Mr Harrison still recalls the name of several of his old work mates.

He said: “I particularly remember Roy Wilcock, the manager, and his assistant John Waters.

“I also remember Judy and Laura who worked in the office. There was Eddie Murphy the dry cleaner, who would always kindly give me a lift in his car back to my hotel at Kings Cross when required.

“And I also remember Jerry who worked in the wash house, Mr Parchment, Mrs Brighton, Pearl White, Colin Mason the chargehand driver and union man, and there will be many more when I probe my memory a little deeper.”

Anyone who worked at Willesden Laundry or worked with Mr Harrison can contact him by calling 0116 2750 730 or email