Chef at the Castle Hotel, then the bakery at Bentalls – by DM

My first job was at the Castle Hotel in Richmond.  I went there really as what they call a commis chef, the bottom, you start on the bottom ladder and you unlearn all that you learnt at college and get on with it (laughter) and I really didn’t like the hours there it was awful – it was 10 till 2.30 or 10 till 3 or something then back in the evening 5, 5.30 till about 8 or 9 o’clock at night which I really found quite a strain – it seemed long hours then to me and I hated the travelling going backwards and forwards into Richmond all the time so no sooner had I got on the bus to come home then I was going back again.

I saw Bentalls was advertising a job, that was a 6 o’clock start in the morning  but I worked in Bentalls in the bakery department and the pastry department for a couple of years, a good couple of years there but as I say that was a 6 o’clock start and then of course I got my bike, that was a bike I used to cycle along Lower Ham Rd, Canbury Gardens and park in the  staff cycle park there and walk across the road and go into work. So that was 6 till 2. I found that quite easy, in comparison with what the Castle Hotel used to be, but I really wanted to do some more management.