Mural recalls bright times of giant cleaning company

the mural in Dyers Court, Retford:  Picture by Chris Lawton
the mural in Dyers Court, Retford: Picture by Chris Lawton
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Memories of a firm which had branches across South Yorkshire have been rekindled after a mural detailing its history was unveiled in the town where the company was first set up.

Clark’s Cleaners had busy branches in Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham, but its headquarters were in the north Nottinghamshire town of Retford, where the mural has been painted near their old premises.

The company became known for its dry cleaning and laundry services, but was first set up by Hezekiah Clark in 1798 as a dyer before gradually expanding to open 138 shops.

It’s name disappeared from the streets in the 1980s when it stopped trading, but members of the Retford Civic Society felt that its influence, both on the town and the region should be marked.

Nottinghamshire County Council, Bassetlaw District Council, Retford Lions and the Rotary Club of Retford all donated funds for the work.

Artists Mary Fenwick and Frank Canning, helped by pupils from Retford Oaks and Elizabethan High schools painted the mural, which was unveiled by Bill Clark, a descendant of the firm’s founder.

The mural is the latest in a series of projects carried out by the civic society, including refurbishments at the town’s Kings’ Park, pillars and gates at the Town Hall and the town’s Denman Library.