Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Ladies Lounge

Well well, Ladies Lounges are still around, in York Street, South Melbourne at least.

'Gentlemen are only permitted to enter in the company of a lady.'

No decent woman would be seen dead in such a place, declared my maternal grandmother.

My paternal grandfather's second wife was often to be found in such a place. She was generous to we kiddies, buying us little toys or a raspberry drink in the pub. I liked that instead of a the neutral smell of my other grandmother, she smelt of cigarettes, beer and perfume and wore bright red lipstick.


  1. and have you forgotten your ancestor who ran The Red Lion pub at Henley-On-Thames abt 1815

    When I was very young in the 1950's my friends mother would send us to the pub at 5pm to ask her husband for 2 shillings. (this was a ploy to get him home earlier than the 6 oclock swill)
    we got sat on the bar and plied with the raspberry lemonade and packets of peanuts. God I loved it.
    My friends parents were much more user-friendly than my own.

    When the usual summer fires broke out, the siren screamed so all the Peninsula knew, and the firetruck would go straight to the pub and collect everybody from the bar.
    No training or outfits or sobriety.
    It seemed to work OK too.

  2. That's fantastic. Love it. And am loving the idea of your Grandfather's 2nd wife. I can imagine she'd have been a hoot!

    I would love to have gone into such a place way back when, of course if I were your grandfather's age, but prolly would have been more like your maternal grandmother. Wonder if she had as much fun as the red lippie wearing other.

  3. A pub full of indecent lounging women. Of such things are dreams constructed following a late night welsh rarebit supper.

  4. Wow, I never knew it, and you certainly learn something new every day!
    Your Nan sounded just like my Nan, devine in every way :)

  5. Those with a little dash of spice were often more interesting than those steeped in vinegar ;)

  6. Yep, had the odd raspberry myself back in the olden days. Nothing even comes close to it today. So I just buy the kids a beer.

  7. And before the days of the Ladies' Lounge, blokes used to buy a shandy for the missus and take it out to herself who was in the car parked outside the pub.

    BTW, free raspberry drinks are still available at some hosteleries. (Mind you, my 7 y.o.granddaughter has to wrestle me to the floor to nick it off me. She ought to stick to the alcopops,)

  8. here's a melbourne pub blog that links to you. the posts are crap but the comments are .05

  9. I have not forgotten that FG. I told my mother about it a week ago. Re fires, I don't think even the crew back then would have been able to deal with Feb 7.

    Raelene, she wasn't terribly nice really. She had a chip on her shoulder as big as a tree.

    They probably sat around in ugly printed frocks Brian. Did I spoil your fantasy?

    I thought you would know about Ladies Lounges Cazzie...ah, you are not so old.

    While maternal grandma was a nice woman Jayne, paternal was more interesting.

    Lad, the taste of a raspberry. Nectar of the gods. Beer is good.

    Yep LS, that is what my father used to do sometimes. Bring Mother out a shandy to the car. I bet raspberries are no longer hotel policy, but individuals take it upon themselves.

    Bwca, I am well aware of this blog. There is some nice history there. I must have delinked it from my google reader as I missed the last post about Duke of Windsor.

  10. The other granny sounds like fun...

  11. Didn't really have a lot to do with her Ozfemme. None of my mother's teetotal side liked her.

  12. I remember the old blood and guts Royal Hotel in Port Macquarie used to have a "Maiden's lounge" ahem????

    When I was a kid in a tiny town any lady who went to the pub was called a "pub lady" and was to be avoided by non pub ladies...

  13. Maidens Lounge, haha. Yes, people were very divided between the 'proper' and the 'not proper', especially women.