'Breakfast was a solemn affair. The landlady ran the place on strict military lines, it was even rumoured that she had been thrown out of the SS for cruelty '

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Title

'Breakfast was a solemn affair. The landlady ran the place on strict military lines, it was even rumoured that she had been thrown out of the SS for cruelty '

Description

Mike Mahon recounts his memories of the boarding house he stayed in during his salesmen traineeship in England.

Creator

Mike Mahon

Publisher

Trinity College Dublin

Date

1960

Rights

This item is protected by original copyright

Access Rights

This content may be downloaded and used (with attribution) for research, teaching or private study. It may not be used for commercial purposes without permission.

Relation

Mike Mahon

Is Part Of

Work and Employment

Type

Life Story

Spatial Coverage

London

Temporal Coverage

1960s

Life Story Item Type Metadata

Text

I once took a job with an English company as a trainee salesman dealing in office equipment. Their factory was located in one of the seedier parts of the East end of London. We were accommodated in a local boarding house and each issued with an identical black imitation leather briefcase (no doubt to match the black Morris Minor we were promised on successful completion of the course) and other paraphernalia essential to the budding salesman. There were ten of us on the course from all over the UK and one other Paddy from Dublin. The boarding house had a full complement of lodgers. What they did, who they were, where they were from remained a total mystery as they never spoke. I learned later why, we had never been properly introduced. Breakfast was a solemn affair. The landlady ran the place on strict military lines, it was even rumoured that she had been thrown out of the SS for cruelty. Brave was the soul who dared to ask for more marmalade or toast . The offender would be greeted with a scowl 'Yew fink this is a bleeding 'otel There was a sideboard in the dining room on which withered a meager selection of staling cereals. I made the mistake one morning of helping myself to some 'Malted Golden Crunchy Oats, not realising they were the sole property of one of the grumpier residents . When I returned that evening I was immediately accosted, 'Was it yew, yew that stole Mr. Braithwaite's Malted Golden Crunchy Oats. They're his own personal supply and for his own constipation. 'E's very particular is our Mr. Braithwaite. A proper gent , 'e is. In future stick to the corn flakes and rice crispies. Well I never!'I readily admitted guilty to the crime , promising to replace them later. This placated the oul' biddy somewhat.

Sponsor

Irish Research Council for Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (IRCHSS)

Research Coordinator/P.I.

Dr Kathleen McTiernan (Trinity College Dublin)

Senior Research Associate

Dr Deirdre O'Donnell (Trinity College Dublin)

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