James Hayes & Sons Ltd
Department Index

Hayes Laundry Folding Room. Photo 1910

Hayes Laundry Coldharbour Lane.

......James Hayes..Office........

James Hayes & Sons Ltd Office at Cadby Hall

Although this was one of the group of offices forming the Clerical Department, the work of the Hayes Laundry Office differed in many respects from those of the general offices at Cadby Hall, since it was responsible for all the clerical functions of the Laundry business of James Hayes & Sons Ltd, a subsidiary of the company.

The laundry was situated in Camberwell and provided a continuous daily service to many of the company's establishments and the associated hotel companies. There was also a substantial amount of business with private customers, hospitals and other institutions. Their office procedures were divided into six different groups.

The Accounts Group was in many respects a combination of the Chief Accountant's and Accounts Offices at Cadby Hall, and kept all records of the company's accounts, maintained records of the company's assets and dealt with licences and insurance of vehicles, in conjunction with the appropriate offices at Cadby Hall.

The Invoice Group had two main functions. As a cost office for James Hayes & Sons, it passed purchase invoices for payment, prepared sales invoices, and maintained records of consumable stocks such as soap, soda and packing materials. On a smaller scale, as a Lyons cost office it was responsible for the control of the Lyons Linen Store stocks. Laundry costs were prepared each week for all departments serviced and sent to the Catering Office. Other duties included control of van salesmen's takings and preparing statistical information for management.

The Lists Group was concerned solely with the house-to-house trade known as the 'Ful£worth Service'. Van salesmen were responsible for the collection of cash from customers and the group prepared the journey sheets showing the amounts to be collected. A section of this group provided, by means of Adrema printing machines, a service for the laundry lists, wage sheets, clock cards, etc.

The Wages Group was a smaller edition of the Wages Office at Cadby Hall. It prepared the payroll of all the company's employees and dealt with staff deductions, kept all staff records and records relevant to information regarding current trade regulations. The Premium Bonus Group, working in close co-operation with the Wages Group, calculated the bonuses earned by the factory employees and prepared engineers' statistics for management.

The Cashier had a separate office partitioned from the general office complete with its own counter and grill. It was a miniature treasury making all petty cash payments, payments to suppliers, and receiving, controlling and banking cash. The cashier also maintained the company's cash book and made up and paid wages.

The Services Group, as the name implied, did all the 'odd jobs' for the office and many for the factory. A small telephone exchange provided a telephone service for the company and it also supplied typing and duplicating services. Within this Group was a small pool of experienced clerks.

James Hayes established his first laundry at Rushey Green, near Lewisham, in 1868. He advertised it as a power laundry as distinct from a hand laundry.

By the second half of the nineteenth century, hotels, hospitals and institutions of various kinds were experiencing the need for their laundering to be carried out away from their premises. James Hayes was one of the first to see the commercial possibilities of meeting this need. The laundry that he opened at Rushey Green, which he named The Royal, specialised at the outset in providing contract services. In 1900 the laundry was renamed James Hayes & Sons Ltd and in the same year a business relationship began with Lyons, who already owned the Belgrave Laundry in Pimlico, which they had bought in 1894. Recognising the greater efficiency of the Hayes laundry, Lyons transferred their work and the Belgrave Laundry to Hayes' new premises in Peckham. The main contract consisted of laundering tablecloths and napkins for the teashops and restaurants. Business grew rapidly and in 1908 James Hayes bought a plot of land in Coldharbour Lane, Camberwell, designing for himself a building that would provide the best possible working conditions for his staff and installing the best laundry equipment available at that time.

In 1926 Lyons made an offer to acquire all the equity in Hayes laundry, at which point it became a full subsidiary of Lyons. In 1979, after the Lyons group had passed into the ownership of Allied Breweries, James Hayes & Sons Ltd was sold to Johnson Group Cleaners.

© Peter Bird 2005