Millbank residents get shirty in battle to save their washing lines

Millbank estate

Residents on the Millbank Estate are fighting plans to remove old-fashioned washing line poles used for 70 years.

Until now people on the Millbank Estate in Pimlico had been airing their clothes on lines held up by the same posts for generations.

But some of the poles and lines have been “removed urgently” by housing bosses, who claim they are a “health and safety hazard.” When workmen tried to take away the rest, residents blocked their path and refused to move.

Protest banners — old shirts — have been sprayed with the slogan “Save Our Lines.”

An online campaign to bring back the poles is planned. Resident Barbara Brady, a film costumier who is leading the campaign, said: “We need the lines because no one has any room in their flat for a tumble drier. They were removed in undue haste and nobody has been consulted.”

Millbank Estate Management Organisation, which runs the estate of 500 flats, said it wanted to buy new rotary driers instead but these were rejected as “ugly.”

It said: “We have written to residents… to let them know we would remove the corroded washing lines and would replace them. We want to provide better and more flexible facilities.”

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