Recollections by Gill Palin
- What did you wear for special occasions?
- My favourite outfit was most definitely a very short dress and a white pvc raincoat with knee length white pvc boots.
I was very fortunate because working for M&S in the head office I had lots of my clothes given to me. They were samples from the buying department and the buyers liked to see us wearing their merchandise. One important thing was we were pulled up if we had a ladder in our tights and immediately sent to the office to get a new pair (no charge). Those were the days. We had to have our cardigans either on or off, not round our shoulders and our dress length was scrutiniesed by the staff manageress. It gave us a good grounding, we worked hard but the perks were fantastic.
- What was your view from here and there?
- I was educated at the Jesus & Mary convent in Harlesden. I left in 1959. I met my husband when I was still at school. Sundays when we were courting we would get a bus to Marble Arch and walk across Hyde Park or window shop in Oxford St and Regents St.
I worked at M&S Head Office in Baker Street. I shopped at lunchtimes in Oxford Street, often getting a taxi from the office to the bottom of the road. I had my hair done every week in Carnaby St. Everyone had bouffant hair styles.. We wore very very short mini skirts. Prior to minis we had worn very full net petticoats under full skirts and dresses. We starched the petticoats so they stood out. Another fashion was hot pants, these were like shorts worn under a skirt with a slit at the front. We met up in friends houses with just a Dansette record player. Only the boys drank, usually beer, the girls all had soft drinks. As the 60s progressed we had dinner parties. Later in the 60s people started to go abroad on package holidays. The first one we went on with family we arrived to no hotel. This was a common happening before ABTA. Very few people in London owned cars and the majority of houses did not have a telephone.