Victoria Hughes – Tea and Sympathy for the Ladies

Victoria Hughes (1897-1978), of Blackboy Hill, Bristol, was a lavatory attendant for more than thirty years from 1929 to 1962. She looked after the public lavatory next to Clifton suspension bridge and close to the ‘Ladies Mile’. She soon realised that most of the customers were indeed Ladies …of the night.

“I hope I showed some compassion,” she said. “They in turn gave me a sort of companionship and warmth.”

‘Dispensing tea and sympathy from the little office where she kept her knitting and the kettle was always on, Mrs Hughes met their difficulties and dangers with money, advice and sometimes intervention. At the age of 80 she published her reminiscences Ladies’ Mile (1977), which shocked some at the time, but since has become a valued source of local history.

Ladies Mile book at Amazon
Victoria Hughes – Article in the Telegraph
Victoria Hughes – Flicr Article

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