Anyone Remember the Washhhouse?

Introducing Anyone Remember the Washhouse?

‘Anyone Remember the Washhouse?’, led by Ros Martin, aims to remember, reflect on and capture a bygone ‘washhouse world’, in place, people and time.

Washhouse world objects, sourced by the project, trigger anecdotes and sayings, stain removal recipes, improvised hand clapping and folk songs. A world remembered often as small children, through the handling and smelling of washing paraphernalia and hearing others’ stories.

Project Video

Washer Wimmin Song: Dashing Away With The Smoothing Iron

An introduction to the Anyone Remember the Washhouse? project, commisioned by Connecting Through Culture As We Age, the Universtiy of Bristol and Pervasive Media Studio. Video editing by Mike Stuart

Project Images


Project Process

We have created a workshop prototype: creatively working with elders’ voices & digitally capturing memories to evoke the Washhouse World of our working class forebears.

We worked together in a series of three two-hour workshops at 1904 Arts at the Red Lodge in central Bristol, during the Spring of 2023.

We had conversations. We wrote poetry. We sang, hand-clapped, created doodle-cloth drawings and recorded our voices into talking lids. Most importantly, we laughed and made friends, forming a cohesive group we named the Washhouse Wimmin. Many of these memories take us back to the world of our childhood. The artists on the project have illustrated the Washhouse Wimmin’s words in sand animation, shadow puppetry and created a limited edition illustrated book entitled Anyone Remember The Washhouse? edited by Ros Martin and illustrated by pedda Borowski and Mike Stuart.

We are diverse and inclusive, and our aim is to continue to share and creatively capture memories of the Washhouse World of our working-class forebears to elevate, honour and emulate our forebears’ resilience, resourcefulness and creativity. Qualities that they maintained despite lives of hardship and struggle.