Staffordshires Leading Ironing Service

"Article - Featured Stone Gazette (Oct 09)"

It's hard to believe that it has been 2 decades since The Smoothing Iron began trading in Stone. Gill Knight set up the business, with the valuable assistance of her husband Bob, on November 15th 1988. Originally working on her own from home, she now employs 12 staff and has 4 agencies in the surrounding area; providing a convenient method for customers to drop off their own ironing.

Ironing has always been one of those most hated and time consuming chores and The Smoothing Iron was the first service in the area to provide an alternative for local housewives (– as it does seem to be the ladies task.) Gill herself has always enjoyed ironing – which is perhaps a very fortunate! Many hundreds of families have made use of her ironing service, and some when moving house have checked that their area will still be covered by a home collection. Their home collection service now extends as far south as Little Haywood and Dunston; North to Trent Vale; and West to Eccleshall and Yarnfield. Agencies have been provided in Stone, Haughton, Tittensor and Trent Vale.

Gill has kept records since 1991 of the number and type of items that they have ironed. It makes for an interesting social history, as she can tell you that waistcoats were in fashion in 1995; the early 1990’s were the era of the valanced sheet; more people wear pyjamas than wear nightdresses; linen became a fashionable fabric in 2003 and has stayed that way; the winters of 1994 and 2000 showed a huge rise in the number of handkerchiefs used – was it just a cold or man flu?; it was 2004 that England had a decent summer! Amazingly the total number of items that The Smoothing Iron has ironed since 1991 is 1,812,479 which is incredibly, over 100,000 garments per year! The bulk of this as you would imagine is shirts at 622,568; followed by T shirts/Jumpers at 483,491 and then trousers at 162,936. What an enormous amount of clothes!

During their 20th year, there will be 20 different opportunities to win a £20 voucher to use at The Smoothing Iron. The first opportunity was to provide testimonials for their web site which is in production. Many lovely comments were received and Julia Causer of Stafford was the first winner.

The second winner; and The Smoothing Iron are very pleased to use The Gazette to announce this – goes to Jim and Madeline Maddock of Walton, Stone. Looking back through their records, they made their first appearance on July 4th 1989 and have continually used their service ever since. There were many other familiar names in the early records that still use The Smoothing Iron, but there were intervals when circumstances changed for those customers, and they returned at a later stage. They value every customer they have whether it is a regular weekly customer or someone they only see in ‘emergency’ situations. They are there to provide a service whenever required.

Another £20 voucher will be issued when their 20th NEW customer of the year makes a phone call requesting their first collection – could it be you?

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The Smoothing Iron - Heritage House 18 Sheridan Way Stone Staffordshire ST15 8XG. Tel : 01785 816242