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West End Girls : The Soho Drawings

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When Barbara wrote West End Girls, her memoirs of life as a maid for one of Soho's most famous working girls just after world war II, she also created a set of sketches.

These images depict scenes of life in Soho in the late 1940's, and serves as a delightfully old-fashioned visual insight into Barbara's visual perception of London and Soho. Enjoy! Click here to read Barbara's descriptions of these sketches.

  • Pencil drawing depicting buskers doing an Egyptian dance in Leicester Square, Soho, in the late 1940sBusking 1940s style
  • Pencil drawing depicting a maid in a bar in Soho, with two customers remarking how classy she is in comparison to the usual barmaidsA classy barmaid
  • Pencil drawing depicting a fat old maid to a prostitute, sitting at a Soho bar counter, commenting on her own good looksUgly exalting its own virtue
  • Pencil drawing depicting a man in a Soho bar teaching a prostitute how to fight with another woman in the late 1940sTeaching Faye to fight dirty
  • Pencil drawing depicting a young girl thinking about her new job as maid to a prostitute in postwar LondonThinking about the new job
  • Pencil drawing depicting a street scene in Soho, London, in the late 1940s. It shows an old bag lady taking a nap in a shop entranceA street scene, Soho, late 1940s
  • Pencil drawing depicting a prostitute inspecting two waiting customers and her frightened maid in Soho, just after the second world warA frightened maid and two horny customers
  • Pencil drawing depicting a maid arranging her madams whips and canes into an artful arrangementA maid with a sense of aesthetics
  • Pencil drawing depicting the waiting room in the London Soho flat of a prostitute just after the second world warWaiting for the madam
  • Pencil drawing depicting two policemen talking to a young girl outside a flat in Soho, London in the late 1940sPolice looking after an innocent maid
  • Pencil drawing depicting a Soho prostitute and her maid trying to push a fat drunk punter up the stairs of a flat in Soho, LondonWell, this certainly was not in the job description!
  • Pencil drawing depicting a Soho prostitute having a spat with an ex-boyfriend at a restaurant tableA siren teasing an ex boyfriend
  • Pencil drawing depicting an old narcoleptic Soho maid sleeping on the stairwell of a prostitutes flatA narcoleptic maid
  • Pencil drawing depicting a group of postwar Soho ponces pouncing on an unsuspecting prostitute in post war SohoThe evil ponces
  • Pencil drawing depicting a maid in a Soho pharmacy, asking the pharmacist for blue unction, to cure the crabsBlue unction for crabs
  • Pencil drawing depicting a group of Soho London prostitutes rummaging through Faye the prostitutes clothesCatchup on gossip between customers
  • Pencil drawing depicting Faye the Soho prostitute throwing a porcelain cat through a window A woman scorned .... throws a porcelain cat
  • Pencil drawing depicting  Barbara and Faye talking to a friend from the pubSyd fixing the door
  • Pencil drawing depicting a transvestite in a charlady uniform cleaning the stairs of a soho flatTransvestite with a domestic fixation
  • Pencil drawing depicting a bound punter with a blanket over him, in a room with a prostitute and another punterA place for living out your fantasies
  • Pencil drawing depicting Faye the Soho prostitute looking at her black eye in the mirror after a fight with her boyfriendInspecting the damage
  • Pencil drawing depicting a stable of Soho prostitutes in a hair salonGossipping at the hair dressers
  • Pencil drawing depicitng a prostitute jumping up after acccidentally having sat down on an upright oil stove, mistaking it for a slop bucketThats the wrong bucket, dear
  • Pencil drawing depicting a London prostitute flirting with a doctorNever missing a beat
  • Pencil drawing depicting a husband and wife pub landlord couple having an altercationThe pot calling the kettle black
  • Pencil drawing depicting a prostitutes customer trying to escape withouth payingOh no youre not going anywhere!
  • Pencil drawing depicting an effeminate gay man dreaming about his own fameDreams of fame
  • Pencil drawing depicting a prostitutes maid inspecting a punters tattooed phallusOuch that must have hurt!
  • Pencil drawing depicting Faye the London prostitute and her ponce boyfriend Tony at the Kursaal in Southend on SeaA lovers spat at the Kursaal
  • Pencil drawing depicting a prostitutes maid begging her mistress to stop working and to go to sleepBloody minded on Benzedrine
  • Pencil drawing depicting a prim and proper prostitute A prim and proper prostitute
  • Pencil drawing depicting a punter punching a prostitutes maid in the faceLifes not all fun and games
  • Pencil drawing depicting a bound and gagged punter, a transvestite and an angry prostitutes maidOn the verge of a breakdown
  • Copy of a letter written by a masochistic client, requesting appropriate punishment from a prostituteA masochistic request
  • Pencil drawing depicting Barbara reuniting with Faye after a rowMaking peace after a fight
  • Pencil drawing depicting a fainted prostitute in a drawing roomA surprise fainting
  • Pencil drawing depicting Rita the prostitute, and Barbara, her maid, lying on a bed and chattingMadam and maid bonding
  • Pencil drawing depicting Rita, the ex-prostitute, now running a clip jointGoing straight - in a clip joint
  • Pencil drawing depicting one prostitute serving tea to another prostituteA lesson in customer relations
  • Pencil drawing depicting an unkempt housewife and children in the kitchen with the husband entering through the doorWhy men stray
  • Pencil drawing depicting a waittress pushing a plate of food in a patrons faceProstitutes can never be waitresses
  • Pencil drawing depicting Barbara Tate drinking tea with her posh relativeA perpetual misfit
  • Pencil drawing depicting the White Horse pub and hotel in Soho, the upper stories burnt outA tragic end

 
Copyright © 2017. Hannes Buhrmann.

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