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Interview with Mrs Jennifer Leece about woking in the Villa Marina Café during the school holidays, 1950-1955

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Date(s): 1998, 1999

Creator(s): Manx Heritage Foundation

Scope & Content: Track 1: Jennifer Leece talks to John Beckerson about working in the Villa Marina Café during the school holidays in the 1950s. She talks about her duties as an ice cream girl; Jack Leon the band leader; talent competitions and talent shows; Joe Loss show in the ballroom; weekend lunches in the cafe; types of food served; working hours and wages; the waitresses and other staff including the deckchair boys; anecdote about Joe Loss band member's wife in a beauty show; celebrities at the Villa, including Petula Clarke, Eamonn Andrews; Doris Maddrell, who ran the cafe.

She describes her first day working in the cafe; the uniform; Downward's, Qualtrough's and Kelly's minerals, Leeces and Wards' ice creams; daily duties; the ice cream kiosk; wet weather entertainment in the Royal Hall; Gladys Maddrell; Ken the Deckchair boy and other staff; entertainment in the gardens and the halls; Howard Jones, Rose Bell, Tommy Ventraugh, Todd Miller; her autograph book; Milly Nugent; staff kept on in winter; Villa Marina gardens, buildings and concerts; anecdote about Sidney Perry marrying a member of staff; visitors to the Villa Marina; Derby Castle, Palace Gardens and the Coliseum and the Squads (Squadronaires); Scotch fortnight; buckets and spades; cinemas, including the Strand, Royalty, Regal, Crescent, Onchan, Peel, Port Erin, showing films not yet premiered in London; Douglas Head ferry from Douglas Pier; what she did on her day off; Feldman's Music Hall, Mr Sharpe and the Minstrels and Florrie Forde; her father in the music business (Blakemore's Music); how she returned to the Isle of Man in 1958.

Track 2: Jennifer talks about Billy Cotton and the condition of her father's business by 1939.

Administration / Biographical History: Jennifer Leece was born March 1934. John Beckerson, researcher, born 1974.

Language: English

Extent: 32 min. 28 sec.

Item name: cassette tape

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: SA 2019-0001/23

Access conditions: All reasonable attempt has been made by Manx National Heritage to trace and request permission (where needed) from the copyright holder(s) in this sound recording. If however you think you are a rights holder then please contact Manx National Heritage.

Subject tags : #UOSH, #UOSHHolidays


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