I mange små landsbyer finder man vaskehuse fra en svunden tid. Nogle ser forholdsvis nye og velholdte ud, andre mere medtaget. Nogle er store, andre er små. Fælles for dem er, at de altid er placeret ved et vandløb. Ikke noget med baljer og løse vaskebræt. Her er det hele støbt, så man skulle blot medbringe sæbe og sit vasketøj.
De stammer fra tiden før man fik indlagt vand i husene. Tøjvask var en social begivenhed, hvor byens kvinder fik vendt verdenshistorien og måske sladret lidt om hende, der var fraværende, alt i mens de vaskede deres tøj og indbyrdes konkurrerede om, at have det reneste og hvideste linned.
Et af de vaskehuse som jeg har passeret, ved jeg med sikkerhed, var i brug indtil midten af 70'erne. Resten tør jeg ikke udtale mig om, men i takt med, at vand blev lagt ind i folks hjem, forsvandt behovet for vaskehuse.
In the small villages you often find lavoirs, public wash houses, from a time gone by. Some of them look relative new and well maintained, others rather used and about to fall apart. Some of them are large, others quite small. The one thing they all have in common, is the location next to a stream. There were no needs for bringing your own bucket and washboard, as everything was constructed in some kind of concrete or stone. You just had to turn up with your laundry and your soap.
The wash houses date back to before it was normal having water flowing in private houses. Laundry was a social event, where women from the village would gather, talk about the day, maybe gossip about the lady, that didn't turn up, do the laundry and compete about having the cleanest and most sparkling white clothes and sheets.
I know for a fact, that one of the lavoirs I passed, was used until mid '70s. I got no idea about the rest, but as water became common in private households, the need for wash houses dissappeared.