WOW factor Family business celebrates 30 years

IT is not only suits, shirts and trousers that have passed through the machines at WOW over the past 30 years.

Try a parachute, furry mascot costumes and large puppets used in carnival parades.

WOW Carrbrook Cleaning Services celebrates 30 years since setting up shop in 1989 and it is a real family affair.

For owner Reg Withall has seen the business grow while son Tony has been responsible for making sure things run smoothly.

So much so, he fitted out the current premises on Buckton Vale Road while it was still operating at the other end of the terrace!

Reg, 74, has been involved in the dry cleaning business for 60 years, when he left school as a 14-year-old and started at Ashton Steam Laundry, working his way to being head training officer for the Johnson Group.

“He decided 30 years ago to set up on his own,” said Tony, 49. “We were at the opposite end of the block to where we are now.

“It was a launderette with a dry cleaning section. We started there in 1989 and moved here in 2002.

“There’s our factory shop here in Carrbrook but we also have vans that go out and collect and deliver laundry.

“I used to have my own business but then about 25 years ago, I started working here full-time as company engineer because more washing means more equipment means more maintenance.

“But it’s been brilliant here. We love working here and the customers have been great.”

But how did Reg get into dry cleaning all those years ago? His wife Nancy, who does contract cleaning meaning she is out from 6am until 6pm every day, takes up the story.

She explained his father had a barber’s on George Street in Ashton and he thought he would follow in the family business.

However, height restrictions meant he could not reach customers’ hair properly!

• WOW Carrbrook Cleaning Services is based at 5, Buckton Vale Road in Carrbrook, Stalybridge. Contact them on 01457 833274.

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