Painting depicting Mae, the Queen Of Soho, and a bald customer combing his

West End Girls : Working girls and their maids

Soho 1948. A glamorous West End Girl charms a naive young barmaid into her service. This is the maid's true account of life in the decadent underbelly of postwar London.

On this website, you can read book extracts and explore Barbara's interesting world.

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West End Girls

What does a prostitute's maid do?

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Pencil drawing :A maid

Barbara was indeed quite innocent when she entered the shady world of the Soho underground. I think this picture says it all, but read Barbara's own fancies about entering the service of Mae, the wild and wacky (and very popular) prostitute that is main protagonist in her upcoming memoir ...

"The one aspect of this new job which was causing me some anxiety – was the ‘sex’ angle – a subject about which I knew next to nothing. But then, I thought, brightening, surely a maid doesn’t need to know anything about sex. I anticipated that one of the things I would have to do was take the various callers’ hats and gloves. This, I thought, is what earned the tips Faye had mentioned. I supposed I would also have to keep the place clean, pour liqueurs or coffee as required, and do bits of mending and things like that. Oh, nothing to worry about there, these were all jobs I was familiar with . And twelve pounds a week. Riches!"

If only she knew! For the next two years in her life she learnt, and described it in vivid, hilarious and sometimes painful detail in her memoir. If you are curious, be sure the read the book. Sign up and we will tell you when it is on the bookshelves.


Copyright © 2018. Hannes Buhrmann.

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