Entertainers dressed as knights in armour and archers greeted the mayor of Eastbourne and fellow guests who attended the celebratory buffet lunch.

Guests then toured the Eastbourne plant, the latest of the White Knight developments.

The Eastbourne laundry, which opened three years ago, occupies more than 3,990square metres and is it is said to be the largest commercial laundry on the south coast. It employs 90 people and serves businesses across the south east of England, from Southampton and the New Forest to Folkestone in Kent, and as far north as Luton.

Customers in the Eastbourne area include many important hotels, restaurants and catering establishments, and the laundry processes more than 30,000 pieces each day.

White Knight was founded in 1904 as a single high-street laundry in Kilburn, north London, belonging to Herbert Tomlins and trading as White King Laundry. Peter and Alan Tomlins, the grandchildren of Herbert Tomlins, and their wives were among the guests.