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The Wash House Story

I started this local family run business with my mother in 1984. I started out as an engineer, mom sat in our spare bedroom as our office, and we started advertising. We built up our customer base from there. I had to repair the machines in my garage back then! The only way of filling them was pouring water with a watering can through the soap drawer as there was no water supply in the garage!

My business mentor was my mother, she always instilled on me that we always had to keep the customer promise. I remember vividly that I was very unwell one day and she said you will not let these customers down! And we didn't. We always made sure we kept our customer promise. 

It was always my mother's dream to open a shop, we had built up such a loyal customer base that they wanted to purchase new machines from us as well. As we started planning the opening of our first store, sadly my mother became ill and passed away at the age of 58 not long before we opened. That is why today if you visit Stourport store there's a garden seat outside which was my mothers, it is put outside every morning to remind me and my staff of our roots and values.

The name for The Wash House came to me one day as I was looking through a Victorian book and in there was the name that was used for a hut in the garden "The Wash House". I liked its history, I liked its name and steadily we expanded to now having 3 stores, a large warehouse, a very busy service department and employ over 20 local people. That's important to me in having the responsibility of employing local people. We are a true family business, my mother worked in the business, my brothers and son have worked in the business. At the helm of the business now, is John our Managing Director, he has the same care, commitment and passion for service to The Wash House that I have. It really is about family and john's wife sits next to him, and the family involvement within The Wash House is always present.  

The trademark of the wash house has become the "Home of Lifetime Labour Free", no labour bills on repairs when the product is purchased from us and it demonstrates our commitment to giving our customers added value and excellent service.

Sometimes in business things can go wrong and it hurts me personally, I often think "what would my mother say?", we have a policy in The Wash House that if that happens, we say sorry and put it right quickly. 

I think its important that people buy local, we all live in a local community and personally I have cared for that community by volunteering through the West Midlands Ambulance Service for thousands of hours for the community. This care is the tapestry that threads through our family business.

Our values and roots have not changed, we care just as much as we did in 1984 when we started. And I know that when you order an appliance from our family you will be looked after at the sales point, the installation point and after care.


Philip Bowden

The Wash House

Established in 1984.