Tony Duckworth, President of NALI, manages a total of 11 launderettes in Lancashire under the brand name Washbowl – seven in Blackburn, two in Chorley, one in Accrington and one in Oswaldtwistle. The family business was developed by his father Brian Duckworth who opened their first site in 1961. It was Brian’s Uncle, Harry Hardman who, with others, opened the first launderettes in Lancashire.
Tony has been buying Speed Queen dryers from Armstrong Commercial Laundry Systems for many years. “I have an excellent relationship with Armstrong – they’re friendly and helpful and definitely have the best dryers on the market”, he told us. Most recently he bought three new Speed Queen 17kg capacity dryers for the Washbowl Launderette on Audley Range, Blackburn, three for the Washbowl Accrington, and two 2x15kg stacked dryers for the Washbowl in Mill Hill, Blackburn. Tony is GasSafeRegistered and does his own installation and servicing.
The launderettes are all open from 8.00am-8.00pm every day largely for self service, but staff at some units do take in service washes when they are on site. He told us that most of his business comes from local residents, often using the launder
ettes for non-weekly washes of items that are too large for domestic machines such as duvets, bedspreads, curtains etc. A lot of people also use the launderette just for drying, especially in the winter. “This has been one of the reasons for increasing the number of dryers in the units in recent years,” he told us, “and also for installing some of the stacked dryers which are popular with our customers and make better use of space. However, the Cherry Trees launderette is very close to the Leeds-Liverpool Canal so in that one we get quite a lot of business from boat owners, both on permanent moorings and passing through”.
Speed Queen are the world’s best selling coin-op dryers. The Loadstar® dryers are available in five models from 11-25kg (217-491 litre) capacities and there are two TwinStar® stacked dryers in the range, 2x15kg (2×301 litres) and 2x21kg (2×421 litres).
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