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Steam Laundry Cottages c1950. No. 6 is closest to the camera which is looking north.

Steam Laundry (1), Laundry Lane

History of 1 Steam Laundry Cottage


Margaret Daniels, widow, 53, living on own means, born Scotland


Frederick Bowles

Mary A




Pretoria May


Frederick Bowles, 40, coal carman, born Fulbourn

Mary Ann, 38, born Cambs.

Dorothy, 13, born Cherryhinton

Frederick George, 12, born Cherryhinton

Redvers, 10, born Cherryhinton

Pretoria May, 10, born Cherryhinton


Cecilia Dora Arnold, b 1891, incapacitated

Ada M Rayner, b 1913, factory worker glass washing department

Gladys Arnold, b 1917, packer and sorter laundry

Gertrude Arnold, b 1919, packer and sorter laundry



John F Arnold, b 1930

Jean F Abbs, b 1934

For Penny Jackson’s reminiscences of 1 Laundry Lane see:

In 2021 KA wrote:

I was born and lived in Steam Laundry Cottages. My father was Leonard Percy Arnold, my grandmother was Cecilia Dora Arnold. So many Arnolds lived and worked at the laundry. John (Beefy) Arnold was my uncle and had many children. One notable small time criminal in our family, who was well known to the police and an alcoholic, was renowned for stealing high end garments and linen from the laundry and selling them round Cherry Hinton to feed his habit. Later he built his own still in a shed at the back of the house, also selling cheap liquor.

One of his clothing customers and friend was a certain Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd fame who penned a song called Arnold Layne (See Youtube) which became their debut single.

“Arnold Layne had a strange hobby
Collecting clothes moonshine washing line
They suit him fine

Now he’s caught
A nasty sort of person
They gave him time
Doors bang, chain gang he hates it”

The Steam Laundry Lane was also affectionately known as Arnold Lane because most occupants were indeed Arnolds.

For ‘The Laundry Lane / Arnold Layne Pink Floyd Connection’ see:




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