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

A West End Girl and A Fat Cat customer

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Pencil drawing :Heave ho!

As a maid for a working West End Girl, Barbara became acquainted with just about every  variation of the human male species. Every personality type, from every walk of life, every body type, all ages and all perversions. Many of Mae's customers were regulars. Barbara adored some of them - like Fred, the kind man whose only interests in life were Judo and Mae. Others she couldn't really stand . . .

"I don't recall many kind thoughts about Mr. Tucker. Mae had known him for years, and he became a very familiar face soon after I started working for Mae. He was ‘Something Big’ at the stock Exchange, and he arrived every Friday night after it had closed for the weekend. He always turned up after spending about three hours drinking solidly at his club. He was a fat man with a round, elderly face, and thick, horn-rimmed spectacles under a bowler hat – a well-matured ‘Owl of the Remove’ one might say. The Financial Times, gloves and a rolled umbrella were always gripped tightly in one hand, leaving the other free for clutching at banister rails. Even so, he kept falling over on his way up. ‘Gotter see me l’il girl ….gotter see l’il Maezy-wayzy ….’fore I gwome to wifey-pifey.’ We always had to go down the stairs to heave and push him up. Even then, he would frequently collapse on the steps, swearing that Mae moved her flat further up the house every time he was expected. ‘According to you, it’s a bleedin; skyscraper,’ she said one, which made him giggle and feebly aim a smack at her bottom.

 

I would like to add that, as with most of his class, I found the language he always used was the foulest possible. The ex-public school men were always vile. They felt, I suppose, that anything ‘went’ with people like us."

 
Copyright © 2017. Hannes Buhrmann.

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