Preston photographer snaps every launderette in home town

  • Published
Joe Gudgeon taking photo of washing machine
Image caption,
Joe Gudgeon says he photographed more than a dozen launderettes for his project

A photographer fascinated by launderettes has spent 18 months taking pictures of every one in his home town.

Joe Gudgeon's documentary-style collection was inspired by fond memories of childhood visits to a Preston launderette.

The 46-year-old said "the smell and sounds" of the launderette had stayed with him.

He said they were not just somewhere to wash clothes but "a social hub where some people go to have a chat".

Image source, Joe Gudgeon Photography
Image caption,
Mr Gudgeon says some people go to launderettes to have a chat
Image source, Joe Gudgeon Photography
Image caption,
Launderettes are full of "great characters", he says

The former graphic designer said he was captivated by launderettes since his mother took him to one in Plungington.

He said he loved "the quirky noises" from the machines and "the great characters" in the launderettes in Preston.

"I like the starkness of the machines, too."

Image source, Joe Gudgeon Photography
Image caption,
He says he "likes the starkness of the machines"
Image source, Joe Gudgeon Photography
Image caption,
The photographer says he loves to capture the "good and bad" in his work

Mr Gudgeon said he captured the "good and the bad" in his photographs and would not "shy away from anything".

Some of the businesses featured in his collection have since closed down following coronavirus lockdowns.

More of Mr Gudgeon's work, images of Preston's social clubs and pubs, is being shown at the Harris museum until 2 October.

Image source, Joe Gudgeon Photography
Image caption,
Mr Gudgeon says some of the launderettes have closed since the coronavirus pandemic
Image source, Joe Gudgeon Photography
Image caption,
You cannot wash animal blankets in this launderette...
Image source, Joe Gudgeon Photography
Image caption,
...or slam the door in this one

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