Hanging the washing outside on a sunny day is the best way to get your laundry dry, but apparently not everyone thinks it’s the right thing to do.
Claire Mountjoy dries her washing outside her home in Colyton, Devon, but she was recently stunned to receive an anonymous email blasting her for having the gall to hang it outside.
Claire, 47, received the message last week, which implied visitors and tourists would be upset and put off by the sight of her family’s laundry.
The author, claiming to speak ‘on behalf of local businesses and the neighbourhood’ in Colyton, suggested she use a tumble dryer or hang her washing in the house instead.
The letter read: ‘We all try hard to keep our lovely town thriving and looking good.
‘While we understand you have a small house with no outside room for your boys, would you please consider using a tumble dryer or hanging the washing indoors.
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‘This letter is not written with malice but we ask you to please help us all keep Colyton a town we can all be proud of.’
However, Claire’s neighbours have said ‘knickers’ to the criticism – and are now displaying their own laundry throughout the sleepy rural town, in what has been dubbed ‘The Laundry Revolution’.
Claire said many homes and shops in the town now proudly sport lines of pants and socks in defiance – her personal favourite being a bra on top of a flagpole.
Claire, an education officer for Devon Wildlife Trust, said: ‘It shows the fabulous community spirit Colyton has.
‘Colyton is known as the most rebellious town in Devon. That kind of streak is still in its people.
‘It is quite strange that someone should be so upset about it. They suggest that visitors would be put off but actually our laundry revolution is actually bringing in more visitors.
‘I want to say to whoever wrote the note that they really should be doing their washing in a more environmentally friendly way and putting it outside.
‘It would have been better to have had a nice chat.’
While remaining anonymous, the author of the letter is also thought to be responsible for a ‘This is not acceptable’ sign placed next to ‘pant-bunting’ created by Claire’s children on Thursday.
There was widespread support for the uprising on Facebook. Paul Arnott said he put up his washing line after reading a message on the Heart of Colyton Facebook group.
He wrote: “This display of laundry is in support of a lovely family in Dolphin Street…
‘As Bart Simpson used to say, “Eat my shorts”.’
Alison Stenning added: “We should have an annual Colyton Hanging Day when everyone hangs their washing in front of their house.’
Alix Renshaw suggested the June 7 each year should become ‘Colyton’s Underwear Airing Rebellion Day’.