This was always going to be a good day, so I wanted to make sure I enjoyed it as much as possible. This day in May 2019 when Kitty’s Launderette opened.

The day Kitty’s opened. Sorting the photographs.

After three years of having their idea, raising investments, designing and art, social and testing it out events, crowd funding, worrying, working, learning, being emotional, being determined and, above all, being brilliantly intelligent and doing as much as possible of the building and preparing work themselves, the Kitty’s team were ready for their opening day.

And I wouldn’t have missed that for the world. So naturally I decided to walk there, the long way round.

Kitty’s Launderette is in Everton, on the edge of Anfield, and probably less than four miles from where I live in Wavertree. But deciding to make a day of this special day I set off in what’s arguably the wrong direction first. Along Smithdown into town.

Yellow poppies near home on the walk into town.
And a rare view of the sandstone we are built on during building works off Hardman Street.
A wall of LP covers, seen through the open window of Hannah’s Bar on Leece Street.
A collection of coloured coffee cups, Bold Street.
And a welcoming Greek Taverna .
“I come from the land of the ice and snow.
From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow”
Essential evening preparations, Church Street.

Then I went into the Bluecoat for a sit, some coffee and writing. The previous day I’d presented my “Looking For Utopia” paper at a University Conference, it went well thanks. And, deep into the story that’s in it as I was, I’d already had some new ideas I wanted to write down.

Then I read for a while. Continuing with this brilliant “A Stranger City” by Linda Grant.
A poppy in the Bluecoat Garden.
Considerately matching the colour of Linda’s book.
Passing Moomins in Liverpool One.

Then I didn’t feel like walking the next bit, out round and across the big roads that leave the city centre. So I went and waited the ten minutes it took for the next 26 to arrive.

It’s my walk, I thought, and I’ll get the bus for a bit of it if I want to!
The 26 is our main tourist bus as far as I’m concerned.
A large proportion of Liverpool’s major attractions and community businesses being easily reachable from the 26 and 27 circular bus route. Including Kitty’s Launderette.
Along Great Homer Street past the market.

Soon after whichI got off, in Everton Valley, and walked up the hill towards Walton Breck Road.

The Liverpool FC ground at the end of excited streets.

Four nil it was, you know? Four nil!

Past the wildflower meadows of the gone streets of Anfield, though.
The heavy cost in human’s homes of a bigger football ground.
And I’ve usually just walked around the big shop the football club have built of some of the land they’ve now got.
But on this day?
After a good look at the new kit…
And thinking “Well Jurgen and the team are doing a fantastic job aren’t they? And none of that destruction was their direct fault?”
I went in.

And no, I didn’t buy a new kit. Though plenty of people of all ages in there were queuing up to do just that. Many to have their own names printed on the back.

And it’s an amazing place.
A huge hymn to LFC, and cynical as I remain about what a business football has become and how much it all costs, I was impressed.
It is LFC after all, and did I mention we beat Barcelona 4-0?
And I did buy something. Pete Hooton’s “Boot Room Boys” book, for my shelf of precious Liverpool books. Looking forward to reading a story roughly covering my own lifetime here. Even if I never got closer to the first team than their autographs.

And see that photograph at the top of the cover there? Of Alun Evans, number 9, scoring on his first match for us against West Ham in 1968? Well I was there that day, in the Paddock.

It’s who we are.
It’s not the 26.
But the team does mean a lot. It does.
And to me and many, many more this means more too. Homebaked, a huge help, friend and neighbour to Kitty’s as well, by the way, through the intense years of getting ready.
I didn’t call in for an award winning pie today though, for once.

But I did have a cup of tea and a conversation with Tim, Britt and Nils, thank you all.

After which I’d nearly reached Kitty’s.

Along Oakfield Road this is new and comes highly recommended by my cup of tea companions.

So after all that walking, talking and general meandering, once you’re on Oakfield Road, walking away from Homebaked and the ground, this is how you get to Kitty’s Launderette.

You walk along until you get to Milk Sheiks and then turn right into Thirlmere Road.
Then take the next right at Handyman’s Corner and there it is. In Grasmere Street.
This was opening day, so there won’t always be gazebos outside.
Let’s follow the arrows and go in then?
Kitty’s Launderette, open.
Open for all.
Big and small.

And I’ll no doubts whatsoever be back here many times from now on, and write loads of joined up sentences about facts, community, events and the wonderfulness of what will be going on at Kitty’s. But like no doubt the rest of their day and evening, this was a real arms round your mates occasion, of love, admiration and respect for what they’ve done and will go on to do here. More than a bit emotional and too deeply felt for quietly sensible words just yet. This means more too.

So I’ll stay safely factual in the photo captions.

What they’ve all made here is stylish but welcoming. Simple and functionally beautiful.
Here are Grace and Rachael.
The lovely floor, with pieces of Granby Workshop in it. As well as my feet.
Kitty’s Launderette, the wash is on then.
And these are the facts you need to know.
For when you come and do your washing here.
It’s a social place too.
And it isn’t all high-tech!
It’s Kitty’s Launderette, it’s open now. And the shape of essential Liverpool has just changed.
Then I went home, on the bus of course.

That evening there was a significant event I noticed on Twitter. While everyone in Kitty’s was getting their opening party started a very special bike arrived outside:

From fellow community business Peloton, first delivery of a fresh wash from Kitty’s setting off. On the way from Everton to a customer in Woolton, courtesy of a specially created bike service.

How perfect does perfect get.

More about Kitty’s and their inspiration, Kitty Wilkinson, here. Thanks to Ann O’Byrne for the Peloton pictures.

And Kitty’s essential contacts to keep in touch?
Facebook
Website
Twitter
Instagram
Or you can send an email to get in touch directly.

Published by Ronnie Hughes

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place: http://asenseofplace.com.

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7 Comments

    1. Thank you Sally, glad my walk closed the short gap between Liverpool and Australia. I felt it was a good idea to set the new place in context and also to show its importance. This changes the shape of Liverpool, I’d say.

  1. What a fantastic post. I was with you all the way. At least I felt as if I was.
    I also hope I haven’t posted this twice as the comments section didn’t show it the first time. But if I have, then it’s twice as good!

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