140 Regent’s Park Road: Cleaning Clothes in Bedsit Land

Café and Chocolate Shop 2013 (since 1997)


  • MILLINER Mrs Emma Quilter 1875
  •  TRUNK MAKER Vollrath Zwanziger  1880-85

    140 Regent's Park Road

    Launderette, 1972

  •  PIANO MAKER Victor Youatt 1890

A George Youatt, perhaps Victor’s father, was at 148 in 1870, then at 128 from 1875-1885.

  •  DRESSMAKER Miss Lilian Garner 1895
  • ”                        Miss Annie Howard 1900

 Many women made their own clothes, though coats and underwear were increasingly bought ready-made. The sewing machine was invented in 1851, and one could be rented or bought on hire purchase. From 1873 patterns could be bought from Butterick in Regent Street.

 Most middle-class women employed a dressmaker. She would visit clients in their own homes, or invite them to her premises for measuring and fitting. For ready-made items, wealthier women around here would have taken a cab to the West End. Department stores had opened in the 1870s. Within walking distance were long-established shops in Camden Town and Kentish Town, also street markets.

  • LADIES’ OUTFITTER     Miss Margaret Bynon  1905-15
  • ” Miss Susannah Canfor 1920
  • ” Mrs Emma Watson 1925-60
  •  LAUNDERETTE H. Jay 1965-70

Automatic washing machines became popular in the 1960s, and self-service public launderettes followed. In the 1960s Primrose Hill had many people living in bed-sitters (students, writers, journalists etc.) all needing to do their washing. There was a launderette in Erskine Road until the late 1990s.


  • ”    William Langton’s Self-service Laundry  1972-80
  •     Morson Coin Laundries 1985-96
  •  CAFÉ AND CHOCOLATE SHOP    Cachao  1997-present