Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Dollymopp

West End Girls - a memoir of a prostitutes maid in 50's Soho

18 posts in this topic

www.barbaratate.co.uk

Barbara Tate was a prostitutes maid in 50's Soho. She died last year, and her book 'West End Girls' has just been published.

A very accomplished artist, her work is on the site too, along with illustrations of the ladies and their clients.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lady Mopp, my knowledge of art is very limited. However, I'm struck that such talent could lurk in someone doing a job that 'respectable' society would have abhorred.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, many ladies here have many talents, and intellect far and away above the expected.

I have a new WG friend, a medical student, who may become your doctor next year when she graduates.

Barbara's artwork is fantastic isn't it?

Never underestimate WG's....!

To do so, is to be a fool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link, Dollymopp. I'll have a good read through later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess that, being a painter, she was able to keep the outside of her mistress's apartment block looking really good by giving it the occasional fresh coat of Dulux :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got a very positive review in the Sunday Times

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess that, being a painter, she was able to keep the outside of her mistress's apartment block looking really good by giving it the occasional fresh coat of Dulux ;)

Think you're a cunny funt do ya! Haha x

I haven't bought it yet, but it's going to be a goodie, judging from excerpts on site.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Got a very positive review in the Sunday Times

It also got a great review in the Daily Express (I know :D - in my defence, I was at the GUM clinic for my regular checkup and the choice was VERY limited) today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Still haven't got it yet, but hear from others..it's an engaging and brilliant insight to the industry, at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It also got a great review in the Daily Express (I know :D - in my defence, I was at the GUM clinic for my regular checkup and the choice was VERY limited) today.

I know what you mean----- once had a check-up at a London clinic and was amused to watch the two crestfallen-looking thugs who shared the waiting room with me as they nervously thumbed their way though the back-numbers of Amateur Gardening thoughfully provided by the management. Not their normal reading, I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just taken a slide-show view through her Soho drawings. Whilst very much in the style of the day they are wonderfully evocative. She had a keen eye for detail, satire, poignancy and captured many moments from the brutal to the seemingly humdrum.

Many artists have tried to capture what society describes as the seamier side of life but in my recollection they have all been men e.g. Hogarth in the 18thC and Toulouse Lautrec in the 19th. The Hungarian photographer Brassa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:-D I loved reading this book! It started my love affair with Soho also, although I havent worked there (yet...my life is still young). Mae wasnt her real name, but she did work on Rupert Street. Sebastian Horsley's book is funny if you want a laugh, hes dead now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked it up on Amazon and they do a Kindle version. Is the book illustrated with her drawings? I find that Kindle is crap for illustrations

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This week's Antiques Roadshow featured a painting by Barbara Tate brought in by her niece (who was also the subject of the picture, done when the niece was a child) and included a few reminiscences.  The programme is still available on iPlayer.  The Barbara Tate picture is from about 32 minutes in.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I looked it up on Amazon and they do a Kindle version. Is the book illustrated with her drawings? I find that Kindle is crap for illustrations

The Kindle itself is bad at illustrations particularly as it's monochrome.  However reading a Kindle book on the PC is much better as it can provide colour and you're looking at it on a large monitor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:-D I loved reading this book! It started my love affair with Soho also, although I havent worked there (yet...my life is still young). Mae wasnt her real name, but she did work on Rupert Street. Sebastian Horsley's book is funny if you want a laugh, hes dead now.

I think I read somewhere that her real name was Fay (or Faye). I asked the maid at 70A Berwick Street if she remembered Sebastian and she said she did. She said he gave her a signed copy of his book which she still has. Sebastian went there to see Claudia, who is remembered by some on this forum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, she was Fay. She was from the north of England. One of the other girls in the area at that time had a baby with one of the Messina brothers.  :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The paperback of West End Girls is now in my local "The Works" remaindered book shop for £1.99

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0