Iconic, Lambeth-made 1980s classic ‘My Beautiful Laundrette’ gets a rainbow plaque in Vauxhall commemorating the film and its important local LGBTQ+ history.
The plaque will mark the location that became fictional laundrette “Powders” in the iconic 1985 film and will be found on a site in the footway opposite no. 11 Wilcox Road, Nine Elms, SW8.
The film broke major ground in the Thatcher era with an interracial gay love story, it earned Hanif Kureishi an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, made Daniel Day-Lewis’ a star and helped establish Film on Four. In 1999 The British Film Institute ranked My Beautiful Laundrette the 20th century’s 50th greatest British film.
Wandsworth LGBT+ Forum made a successful planning application for the site to celebrate and preserve London’s LGBTQ+ cultural history. “People already come to see the Powders site” says David Robson of campaigners Wandsworth LGBT+ forum. “We hope it will become a visitor attraction, inspiring people to come and stay for a coffee or to eat and support local businesses.”
Screenwriter Hanif Kureishi said: “Everyone who worked on My Beautiful Laundrette is thrilled and delighted to be associated with the Rainbow Plaque, which not only celebrates us but the whole of the LGBTQ community and their work for freedom in these difficult times”.
The plaque design was based on the Rainbow Plaque scheme established by York Civic Trust with York LGBT Forum in 2018 as a way to identify vital people and moments in Queer History.
Leader of Lambeth Council, Cllr Claire Holland added: “I’ve supported this community-led campaign in my ward from the beginning. I went on a site visit with David Robson to talk to shopkeepers and talk about where to install the plaque, and I put Wandsworth LGBT+ Forum in contact with the team from Lambeth Highways who will project-manage the installation.”