Rauni Loukiainen and Anita Loukiainen at the carpet washing pier at the Karhumäki river bank, early 1970’s

Picture: Harriet Salo

Antero Salo, Anita Loukiainen and Rauni Loukiainen having a break during carpet washing day.

Picture: Harriet Salo

In the first picture, I’m washing a carpet with my husband at the carpet washing pier at the Karhumäki river bank. It was one of the city’s first carpet washing piers. We went there often, and often with this group of friends. Harriet and I have known each other since childhood. We washed the carpets every year, early summer. It was really nice – you’d really feel that the summer had begun, and you’d try to wash the carpets ready for the Midsummer celebrations. We’d take every carpet we had in the house with us. It looks like it was a sunny and fine day. In the second picture, we’re sitting having a picnic. We always had coffee and sandwiches packed up with us. And of course we’d occasionally need to sit and rest, as washing carpets was quite hard work. We sat down for a chat now and then.

When the pictures were taken, you could still wash carpets in the river. You’re not allowed to do that nowadays, and instead the carpet washing piers have water taps to use. I continue washing carpets at the city’s carpet washing spots. However, I usually go to Simonkylä to do that as my daughter lives there. I still have clean carpets by Midsummer.

Anita Loukiainen