The wash house

Comics Les souvenirs de Mamette Nob (2017)
For his comic book series, Les souvenirs de Mamette, Nob was inspired by Blanzay and Gençay, two towns in the Vienne region. In one of his boxes, he drew the wash house of the pleasure, an extremely important place of the beginning of the XXth century in the village...
Lavoir Gençay
Lavoir Gençay - Crédit photo : Fantrippers

“In my mind, it takes place around Gençay or Poitiers, but there are no clues that would make the reader think that. It could very well take place in the little town next door.”

Nob, the creator of Mamette

As he explained to Marion Valière Loudiyi in an interview for the website Comixtrip, the town of Gençay had a great influence on the setting of the village of Marinette’s grandparents, alias Mamette. If she is not named as such in the albums, many clues suggest it. With the covered halls or the old dairy of the old castle, the wash house of the commune is visible in the boxes of the Souvenirs de Mamette. Kneeling women wash and rinse the laundry of the houses of the small village. Before the 1930s, this was the only way to clean clothes and other garments; the washing machine did not yet exist.

Along the Clouère, this washhouse was nevertheless graphically modified by Nob, the author of the comic book series.

Nob’s grandmother, Arlette Chevrier, was one of the author’s inspirations for Mamette. A mixture of “those I could meet everywhere, even in Barcelona where I lived. She is a bit like everyone’s grandmother”. Many of the characters are avatars of his family members: “Mamette’s husband also left my grandfather Jacques, and then her son looks like my father… There is a big family inspiration that serves as the skeleton of the series.” As for the Souvenirs de Mamette, as he continues to relate to the reporter: “I started with what Grandma Arlette told me about her youth and the family stories I knew and mixed that with elements from my maternal grandmother’s house.


It is in 2006 that the first album of Mamette is born. The three albums of Souvenirs de Mamette are published between 2009 and 2013.

The washhouse in Les souvenirs de Mamette by Nob (Glénat)

8 Rte de Couhé

It is at 8 route de Couhé in Gençay that one of the two wash houses of the commune is located.

Located in the department of Vienne, the commune of Gençay is 24 km from Poitiers.

Twinned with Breckerfeld in Germany, its population was 1746 in 2019.

In addition to a ruined castle classified as a historical monument in 1840, Gençay is home to the castle of Galmoisin, the partly Gothic church of Notre-Dame.

Go there

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The Paris guide to the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels

The Paris guide to the 1000 cult places of films, series, music, comics and novels

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The café of Amélie, the mansion of Untouchables, the jazz club of the finale of La La Land, the Hôtel du Nord of the mythical replica of Arletty “Atmosphere”, the cinema of A bout de souffle, the restaurant of Ratatouille, the quays of the Seine of Midnight in Paris, the secret places of the Da Vinci Code, the grocery store of January in La Traversée de Paris , the Bridge of Inception and Peur sur la ville, the addresses of the spectacular scenes of Mission Impossible 6, but also series Call my agent, Gears, Le Bureau des légendes, Sense8, Sex and The City, Gossip Girl…

Etienne Daho’s Café de Flore, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s hotel in Nas in Paris, Serge Gainsbourg’s Poinçonneur des Lilas metro station, Serge Reggiani and Marc Lavoine’s Mirabeau Bridge, Mc Solaar’s Lyon station…

The places evoked in the comics Adèle Blanc-Sec, Largo Winch, Blake and Mortimer, Michel Vaillant…

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By Damien Canteau

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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