The Laundry is well-known to some visitors, since it is featured in the Educational visits that we offer. However, it is somewhat out of sight and is very easily missed unless you follow our visit route. See the plan above for the location.
During WWII, there was, of course, a need for soldiers to wear clean uniforms - they needed washing. Many civilians had a "Back Garden Wash House" specifically to deal with this need. Ours, from Weybourne, was given to the Museum in 2006 and was originally used for washing the uniforms of soldiers based at Aldershot. It is typical of the small enterprise of the time, and many women in the area had contracts with the War Office at the rate of 3½d for each man's kit.
As time went by, it became clear to business people that there was money to be made out of washing military items, and large laundry businesses were set up or expanded in the area around Farnham and Aldershot (for the Army) and Farnborough (the RAF). Notable were the Farnham Sanitary Laundry, the Innisfail Laundry (Aldershot), the Snow White Laundry (Farnborough) and Hale Laundry.
Farnham Sanitary Laundry Ltd was wound up voluntarily at an EGM on 21st Sept 1965; Innisfail Laundry Ltd (Cranmore Lane, Aldershot) was dissolved on 1 December 2010; Snow White Laundry, (Farnborough) Ltd was wound up on 29th June 1992, and Hale Laundry was dissolved in August 1961. The War was over; the previous use of a laundry business (by those who could afford it) dwindled, and the enlarged companies became unprofitable.
Today we often use a 'Launderette' (a small, 'self-service' laundry) or a domestic washing machine.