Timeline

Present

2017 & 2018

Laundry & Dry Cleaning Awards 2017 & 2018: Best Customer Service Winner

Guarantee Laundries Limited

For the second consecutive year, we were the winners of the 2018 LCN (Laundry & Cleaning News) Awards for Best Laundry Customer Service in the UK. The awards ceremony took place on Thursday, 27 September 2018 at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole.

 

2017

Guarantee Moves To Stalbridge

Guarantee Laundries Limited

As time moved on, it had become very clear that Guarantee had outgrown its historic Sherborne site. With an ever increasing need to expand as well as needing to move away from a residential area, the decision was made to move to a new premises in Stalbridge.

Talking to Kathy Bowry, editor for the LCNi (Laundry and Cleaning News International), Faith explained why the move was necessary.

“Sherborne, unfortunately (originally set up to serve the laundry needs of Sherborne public school and established like so many laundries over an existing bore hole), was just too old.  It was a lovely building but falling down and needed a lot of TLC.”

Despite the issues of the old site, this decision wasn’t made lightly. How the move would affect the staff was prioritised above all else.

“If we couldn’t find suitable premises in a 10-mile radius of the old plant we wouldn’t have moved, simply because our staff are everything to us.”

The new Stalbridge plant increased the workable space from 11,000 sq ft at Sherborne to a 38,000 sq ft, enabling the installation of two twelve stage batch washers.

2000’s

Faith Foote

Guarantee Laundries

Timeline

Having been employed by Guarantee back in 2001, Faith originally joined the company as customer service manager.

With experience in the banking sector her work was quickly recognised, being offered a seat on the board later in the same year. She was appointed managing director in 2013.

As of 2017, she has just overseen the biggest change in the laundry’s history, the relocation from Guarantee’s 100 year home Sherborne to Stalbridge. 

2000’s

Guarantee Linen Services Ltd

Guarantee Laundries Limited

Timeline

In the early 2000’s Guarantee Cleaners changed it’s name to Guarantee Linen Services.

In 2007 under the leadership of the then current Chairman Jeremy Dawkins, a large investment was made to enable Guarantee Linen to expand. This included extending the building and installing 14 stage batch washers.

2001

Guarantee Centenary

100 Years Of Laundry

Timeline

Mr Johns and Mr Dawkins standing behind the centenary stone.

After retiring in 1988, Mr Johns revisited the Sherborne site to celebrate the centenary of the company he helped managed for over 30 years.

2001

Guarantee Centenary: Western Gazzette

100 Years Of Laundry

Please wait while flipbook is loading. For more related info, FAQs and issues please refer to DearFlip WordPress Flipbook Plugin Help documentation.

2001

Guarantee Centenary

100 Years Of Laundry

On the 14 June 2001 we celebrated our centenary, 100 years of laundry service. The then head teacher of Sherborne School Simon Eliott unveiled a commemorative stone at the site in the presence of civic and business leaders. Speaking at the event, Jeremy Dawkins praised the laundry and it’s staff for their hard work.

“We are immensely proud to be celebrating the centenary year and the achievements of the laundry. It is a great landmark and a tribute to the hard work and foresight of staff both past and present.”

2000’s

Sherborne Site Development

Guarantee Laundries Limited

TimelineProduction manager Paul Blackmore, centre, with engineering manager Phil Knight who was installing a new dry cleaner as part of the expansion at the Guarantee Laundry in Sherborne. – December 2000

[bold_timeline_item_button title=”Expand” style=”” shape=”” color=”” size=”inline” url=”#” el_class=”bold_timeline_group_button”]

1980’s

1980’s

Jeremy Dawkins

Guarantee Laundries

TimelineJeremy Dawkins first became associated with Guarantee Laundries during the 1970’s as the Company Accountant. He went on to bring many changes and improvements to the company, including new shareholders and taking on the Chairmanship in 1993.

Jeremy was Chairman for over 30 years, steering the company through the lows and highs associated with running any business over such a lengthy period, including making significant and long-lasting changes to make sure the business had the best of futures.

Whilst Guarantee is not a family firm, that is the culture that Jeremy developed within the business, with generations of families working with him. He retired in 2015.

 

1989

Guarantee Cleaners

Guarantee Laundries Limited

In 1989 the company set up a subsidiary with a factory at Corsham in Wiltshire called Guarantee Cleaners. They specialised in high quality linen hire for the Country House Hotel markets.

Timeline

 

1970’s – 1980’s

Memories of the Past

Guarantee Laundries

Writing in the Guarantee News for April 1981, Mr Johns introduced the article talking about the past, the laundries that had since closed and the new direction Guarantee had taken.

Whilst politicians argue, Prince Charles chooses lady Di ( or was it the other way round?) the space shuttle successfully orbits and lands safely, we beaver away in Sherborne and find outselves, sadly, the last laundry of the few for miles around.

Not too long ago, even smallist towns like wincanton, Mere, Gillingham and Shaftsbury, could each support one small laundry but that is history, and history is about to change.

Vita Ray was for a very long time a competitor of ours until we decided that our future survival depended on capturing a substantual share of the growing garment rental market. This we have done and the future looks brighter than for many years past.

1985

1980’s New Fleet

Guarantee Laundries

1970’s – 1980’s

A Shift in Focus & New Laundry Technology

Guarantee Laundries

Timeline

Poensgen modular continuous washing line PWZ (1975)

To adapt to the changing laundry industry, Mr Johns started the process of refocusing Guarantee towards the garment rental market. With how different this new market was, new machinary was needed to be bought and setup. Quoting Mr Johns in the December 1984 Guarantee News, several new systems and machines such as tunnel washers were introduced over the following decades.

The TUNNELMASTER, another piece of machinery which has given good service. Bought in 1975 when we first entered the garment rental business, it has, week after week, coped with the increased number of garments to be processed. We are now looking at a new tunnel – English Made – called the REMAT 3000. It should be in position in January/February next year if everything works out according to plan.

1970’s – 1980’s

The Times they are A-Changin

Guarantee Laundries

Timeline

Entering into the 1970’s and 1980’s, the laundry industry was rapidly changing. The development and constant innovation of the modern personal automatic washing machines in the 1960’s as well as self-service laundry was quickly starting to eat away at the personal laundry market.

Although automatic washing machines did not become dominant in the UK until well into the 1970s, the writing was on the wall for many personal laundry companies. Combine this with the various recessions during this time peroid, it became inevitable many would close.

Recorded in the Guarantee News for November 1980, Mr Johns commented on the closure of several nearby neighbouring laundries.

The recession in business has caused the closure of some near neighbours of ours such as: Yeovil Laundry Ltd (not Vita Ray Ltd.) – November 30th. Pineland Laundry, Parkstone near poole – October 31st. Imperial Laundry Ltd, Weston-super-mare.

[bold_timeline_item_button title=”Expand” style=”” shape=”” color=”” size=”inline” url=”#” el_class=”bold_timeline_group_button”]

1960’s

1965

A Change In Business Structure

Guarantee Laundries Limited

Timeline

In 1965 the structure of the business was changed from an association of separate companies into a group of subsidiary companies, all wholey owned by the parent company Guarantee Laundries Limited.

When Linencraft became a subsidiary it adopted it’s parent’s name, becoming Guarantee Laundries Sherborne.

1964

BBC Film

Linencraft

The mechanisation of the laundry, together with the new and very efficent layout attracted the attention of the BBC. In 1964 Dougie Hamilton, the production manager at the time, was featured in a film with commentator Peter West.

1963

Golden Watches for 40 years of Service

Linencraft

TimelineMr A.G Phippen awarding Gold watches to Miss L.G Andrews & Mr R.C. Lane

In the June 1963 Guarantee Group Newsletter, it was announced that Miss L.G Andrews and Mr R.C. Lane were awarded gold watches for their 40 years of service to the Sherborne Laundry.

Mr Reginald Lane started here 40 years ago as a vanboy on a one-horse power van, who’s job it was to hold the horse’s head. At the age of 18 he was first promoted to working on the washing machines at the then “Man’s wage” of 18/- per week, and has now for many years past been in charge of that department.

Miss Gladys Andrews started in the packing section at the age of 14 and transfered a year later to the calander team, in which section she has remained ever since. To date she has “worn out” no less than six calanders – single, twin, four and six roll models – but the Dutch reineveld Flatmaster still has her “taped”. During her time with us Gladys has helped to iron over ten million sheets.

1963

Willway Wins Top Dogs Award for Increased Sales

Willway

TimelineReported in the March – May Guarantee Group Newsletter, the staff at Willways won the “Top Dogs” shield for 1963.

The “Top Dogs” Shield for increased sales over the first quarter of the year has been won by Willway’s, with Wincanton second and Sherborne third. The individual salesman over the same peroid was W.A.Wakeley (Willway’s) who thereby wins for himself and his wife a weekend at a london hotel with theatre tickets for the show of their choice.

1960’s

The Willway Laundry Drivers

Willways

Timeline

The Guarantee Willway Van drivers and their assistants.

1963

Willway’s Christmas Party

Willway

Timeline

In the January-Febuary 1963 Guarantee Group Newsletter, an article was written about the events of the previous year’s christmas party. 

It was also on the 29th December that Willway’s Staff Party was held at the Arno’s Court Country Club, where a successful dinner-dance was enjoyed by 108 people, and the directors were the guests of honour for the evening. After dinner Mr. A. G. Phippen presented Mrs. V. M. Dowse with a brooch in appreciation of her voluntary organisation of all the social activies for the “Under 25 Club” during 1962.

1963

Moving HQ

Guarantee Laundries Limited

On the 31st of January 1963, Guarantee moved their head office to Guarantee House, Bryants Hill, Bristol. The Guarantee Group wrote about the move in their Company Newsletter for January & February 1963.

These new offices, which have been under construction since last year, will give us the necessary room and facilities to centralise under one convenient roof the control of all group administration, including account, supplies and development sections.

 

1960’s

A New Fleet

Linencraft

A new fleet of diesel vans with specifically designed bodywork to represent the ‘clean’ image was acquired at this time.

1961

Polymark and Auto Price Machine

Linencraft

Timeline

Mrs H White working on the new polymark and auto price machine 1961.

1961

The Guild of Professional Launderers and Cleaners

Linencraft

Timeline

In 1960, to provide a means for members who wished to do so to take a more active part in publicity and were prepared to finance it, the the Institute of British Launderers established the Launderers Publicity Association, later to change its name to the Guild of Professional Launderers and Cleaners.
– Page 32 of The Story of the Institute of British Launderers.

With Mr Phippen (and by extension Linencraft) being on the National Council of the Institute of British Launderers, news from the Institute was often reshared in the Guarantee Group Newsletters. News of the founding of the Guild of Professional Launderers and Cleaners was highlighted in the 1962 April/May Guarantee Group Newsletter.

In 1961 the Guild of Professional Launderers and Cleaners was formed from the nucleus of a small band of enthusiasts who had pioneered the development of marketing and public relations within the industry for the previous ten years.

One of the first acts of the new guild was to make it obligatory on all members to observe a guarantee. This was quickly followed by the Institute of British Launderers recommending the entire industry to adopt the same form, and to drop restrictive conditions against it’s customers. We are proud that the industry at large has at last followed our lead.

1960’s

Modernisation

Linencraft

Timeline

Major changes occurred in the 1950’s and the 1960’s from the involvement of A.G Phippen and W.E Johns.

Mr Johns was responsible for the implementation of a thorough modernisation programme, which was to transform the business into a modern laundry, replacing the old ‘Wash House’ equipment and practices.

[bold_timeline_item_button title=”Expand” style=”” shape=”” color=”” size=”inline” url=”#” el_class=”bold_timeline_group_button”]

1950’s

1956

A Rebrand To Linencraft

Linencraft

Timeline
Now a part of the Guarantee Group, in 1956 when naming brands after ‘Crafts’ was in fashion, the then ‘Sherborne Laundry Company’ adopted ‘Linencraft’ as it’s trading name.

1950’s

A Day Trip To Jersey

The Sherborne Laundry Company

Timeline

A day trip by Dakota Aircraft from Eastleigh Airport early one summer morning in the 1950’s was arranged to take about twenty members of staff and management to Jersey, which created considerable interest in the town.

1954

Mr W E Johns

The Sherborne Laundry Company

TimelineMr W E Johns, (Wallis E Johns) joined the Sherborne Laundry as its factory manager at the beginning of 1954. He played a major role in the re-organisation of the Sherborne Laundry, spearheading its modernisation program as well as its subsequential absorption of Shamrock Laundry in 1956.

In 1959 he was promoted to the board as Guarantee Group’s Director and would then go on to become Managing Director himself from 1970 until his retirement in 1988.

1950’s

The Origins of “The Red Spot“

The Seal Of Guarantee

Timeline

Extracted from the pages of the 1962 April/May Guarantee Group Newsletter, the origins of “the red spot” can be traced all the way back to the original Guarantee seal of Satisfaction.

We were one of the first laundries ever to guarantee their work. At a time when nearly every laundry in the country traded under “Terms & Conditions” which refuted or restricted liability to their customers, we initiated the Guarantee which is reproduced above.

This originally appeared in red on our vans, subsequently being converted to the red spot which remains the focal point of our group symbol today.

As true as it was in the 1960’s as it is today, the red spot of Guarantee continues to remains the focal point of our logo.

1940’s

Founding of the Guarantee Laundries Group by Mr A.G Phippen

Guarantee Laundries Group

Timeline

In 1948, Mr A.G Phippen (Alex Garnet Phippen) founded the Guarantee Laundries Group.

The group was an association of separate laundry companies working together under the Guarantee, each capable of operating independently but had the support of the technical experience and resources of the others.

Originating at Chard, Somerset, Mr Phippen developed Shamrock Laundry to be designed and equipped to studied specifications. The Laundry then formed the blueprint for the subsequent re-organisation of all the companies that would join the group over the next two decades.

By 1962, this association consisted of six companies operating four processing plants and thirteen depots, incorporating a number of other business absorbed locally. Guarantee Laundries Limited, Shamrock Laundry Limited, Sherborne Laundry Limited, Willway’s Limited, Guarantee Cleaners Limited and Wincanton Laundry Limited.

The daily operation of the business was controlled by an executive board consisting of himself, the general manager, the plant managers, sales manager and group accountants.

Mr Phippen was a member of the National Council of the Institute of British Launderers, it’s production and costing committee, and chairman of it’s public relations committee. In 1953 he took over as the Managing Director of Sherborne Laundry from Mr George Shopland.

1940’s

Photo Album: Shamrock Laundry

Shamrock Laundry

1900’s

The Early Years: The First Petrol Vans

The Sherborne Sanitary Steam Laundry Company Co Ltd

Sherborne Steam Laundry drivers and their assistants, 1935

“The Sherborne Steam Laundry drivers and their assistants, 1935. Names on the reverse of the image (presumably reading L-R): D. Vickery, R. Lane, H. Hunt, J. Chubb, L. Crane and S. Vickery.”

As well as horse drawn vans, the laundry also invested into the first petrol driven vans. According to historical financial records, £8 was paid by the laundry in petrol duty to the Inland Revenue in 1911.

1900’s

The Early Years: Horse Driven Vans

The Sherborne Sanitary Steam Laundry Company Co Ltd

Timeline

The photograph above shows Reginald Lane, the young boy standing by the side of the horse-drawn vehicle, who spent his working life at the laundry until his retirement in 1972.

The first cashbook of the company records the purchase of a horse from Mr E Brown costing the princely sum of £40, a considerable sum of money in those days.

1900’s

The Early Years: Working Conditions

The Sherborne Sanitary Steam Laundry Company Co Ltd

Photographs show that in the early years the working conditions in the laundry were not particularly pleasant.

Men and women, sleeves rolled up, toiled in the wash rooms with hot steam rising from the great coal fired boiling vessels, a humid and hard working environment.

Timeline

14th June 1901

Company Founding

The Sherborne Sanitary Steam Laundry Company Co Ltd

Timeline

The Reverend Canon Frederick Brooke Westcott, the then Headmaster of Sherborne School, along with local businessmen including James Parsons of the Sherborne Butcher’s shop, which still bears his name, were the driving force behind the founding of the laundry.

The Reverend Canon Westcott was the first Chairman of The Sherborne Sanitary Steam Laundry Company Co Ltd, incorporated on the 14th of June 1901.

The laundry was initially founded to serve the commercial needs of the local area and the requirements of Sherborne School. Before long the Laundry had built up a healthy trade in Sherborne and further afield.

[bold_timeline_item_button title=”Expand” style=”” shape=”” color=”” size=”inline” url=”#” el_class=”bold_timeline_group_button”]

1900’s

[bold_timeline_item_button title=”Expand” style=”” shape=”” color=”” size=”inline” url=”#” el_class=”bold_timeline_group_button”]

A special thank you to the Sherborne Musem for their contributions to this timeline.