Court dressmaker – by JP

Do you know the story how the Cavendish Bentinck ladies decided that all these girls in Ham had to go into service cos there was nothing else for them to do so they started a dressmaking establishment, it must have been quite close to Ham, I believe in Richmond.  Well my aunt went to be apprenticed and as a young woman she was making evening dresses for Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon […]

Back to college got me a job as a teacher – by JP

Anyway I learnt all about this because I went back to college, I was rather snotty that I hadn’t had the opportunity to take A levels and O levels so I went to the Adult College and I took an English O level and an English A level and a History O level and a French O level and I learnt that they were recruiting middle-aged women or women with […]

Costing clerk at the Star and Garter – by JP

But anyway it was really, they were training us for office work and when we were 14 they really gave us a grammar school education and then we were taught shorthand and typing and commercial arithmetic, bookkeeping, all very useful stuff for the times and for getting a job that kind of thing, and we left school at 15 and were paid next to nothing and gave it all to […]

22 Years at Latchmere – by RP

I decided that I would go back to my roots where I came from and the nearest prison that was available to me was Latchmere House or Ashford Remand Centre and I was lucky enough to get Latchmere House.  I worked in Latchmere House on and off for twenty-two years.

Instant infant teacher – by FH

Well what I did was, when I took Andrew to school at Meadlands and the headmaster realised I was a teacher, an infant teacher, he said well when can you start because he had more children than he could cope with and an empty classroom and he was desperate to divide his reception class so I think I went home from registering Andrew and reported for duty within a week,  […]

Using the services of the District Nurse – by MG

I had, I think it was chicken pox and the first time I remember, I was about sixteen, before I ever saw a doctor, we never had a doctor.  Granny Sanders, she used to have sort of natural remedies and we used to have those and I can remember Mum calling in the District Nurse just to look at me, that I’d got chickenpox.  I don’t know if it was […]

Working at Eckett & Ellis – by MG

My Dad, he worked for a time with Eckett & Ellis, the builders on Ham Common.  They had a yard opposite Vine Cottage, that looks onto the pond and that was the local builders and my Dad worked for them for a time.  They were great friends as well… and then my Dad, he was called up – the Second World War – he went in quite late, because he […]

Working at the Star and Garter – by VG

They’d just that moment had a request for somebody to be secretary to one of the officers so they sent along and …that’s another story about the Star and Garter Home, incredible place and I gotthe job and I worked there for eight years. The Heads of Department were all officers, Major, Colonel, General, Admiral – mine were Admiral (laughter).  There was this lovely little woman, Mary Stocks, who’d employed me to […]