Joseph Bourne drove
for the Royal Albert Laundry from 1951 to 1972.
My father's name was Joseph
Bourne and he was born in 1925 in Burslem, Stoke on Trent. He
joined the Grenadier Guards and was stationed in London
and in Windsor, He met my mother Freda Madeline King
(known as Pat to everyone) on 27th July 1943 and they
married in 1947. My mother was born in 1 Albion Place, Goswell
Hill, Windsor in 1924 and later moved to Arthur Road and then
20 Grove Road, where my grandfather Harry King operated
a Coal, Coke and Wood Merchants and General Haulage business.
He and his brothers, Arthur & George, ran King's Coals of
Windsor. They had premises in Eton High Street next to the
Cockpit Restaurant, a yard at 50 Thames Street and another at New
Joe came out of the army he took a job as a long distance lorry
driver, but with young children, my mother asked him to
take a local job that did not involve nights away from home so
in early 1951 he took a job as a van driver with the
Royal Albert & Sun Ray Laundry in Victor Road.
He worked there until 1972.
My father used to cycle in to work at 7.00am
each morning and collect his van. He would then put two wooden
benches in the back and drive around Dedworth and Windsor collecting
You would never be able to do that nowadays due to health &
Albert Laundry vehicles were originally painted royal blue &
red but later they were changed to a 'summer blue' all over.
Joe Bourne when
a tanker driver for Total Fuels
I can remember as a boy going with my dad on
one of his delivery rounds to London, delivering to customers
such as Colonel Hoare of Buckingham Palace Mansions near Victoria
who was looked after by his war-time batman. My father had
to march into his home and stand to attention and salute. We
also delivered to the owners of Cunnards Shipping who lived
at Caroline House in Bayswater Road.
In 1972 my father left the Royal Albert Laundry
and joined Total Fuels in Langley as a tanker driver. In May
1984 he was driving his fully laden tanker from the Langley depot
down Langley High Street when he suffered a heart attack and
died at the wheel.
In 1967, when I left school, I spent two weeks
working in the Laundry in the contracts dept. washing and ironing
sheets for hotels and hospitals.
My aunt, Ivy Payne, lived in the castle as
her husband Charles Payne worked as the Turnpike and coppersmith.
Ivy was the manageress of the Dry Cleaning department of the
Royal Albert Laundry.
Tom Watkins was the transport manager at the
Royal Albert for many years, and stayed with the company when
Sunlight took over the business. Tom sadly passed away some
ten years ago,
I am interested in the history of Windsor as
so much is being lost each year, I feel we need to retain
the history these old established firms before they are forgotten
forever so when I heard that the Sunlight Laundry was closing
its doors for the last time on 3rd November 2006 I telephoned
and asked if I could visit and take a few photographs before
they demolished the buildings. It brought back many fond memories
of the ladies and men who worked there.
Thanks to Chris Bourne
for providing the story and pictures. More about the Royal Albert
Laundry is under preparation, but we were pleased to be able
to feature this story of a true Windsorian and the vehicles he
used to drive around the town on a daily basis.