of the girls thought it hugely amusing to have a man in their shower room,
but a few objected most strongly and showed their distaste by striking poses
that would have shocked any 'top shelf' magazine reader! Some of the banter
coming from the girls was absolutely 'blue' - things I still can't believe
- they gave me Hell! I wasn't that worldly-wise, tried to smile, even to
answer some of their enquiries and suggestions, but with a dozen of them
to deal with? You must be joking! To me, it seemed like thirty or more of
the prettiest girls in town, blatant in their nudity and all with one thing
in common....... their height ranged from 5' 8" to 5' 10", with
me a mere 5' 7"!
To make proper outfits you need really 'personal' measurements - top shoulder to nipple, continue to under bust, under bust measurement, waist, hips, top leg, inside leg, every one of which was a possible cause for embarrassment in the wrong context. Normally, these measurements would be taken over tights, body stockings or a bra, but with some of the girls making 'obscene' movements, trying to take these measurements over damp soft flesh put the work in an extremely different light!
Belinda was getting very cross with the girls and was furiously shouting at them to behave themselves, even resorting to actually slapping two of them! Was I enjoying myself? No way! It was really very embarrassing, and the harder I tried to ignore it and get on with the job, the more outrageous their behaviour became.....
I battled through and, eventually, it all quietened down. At last I completed the task and retreated, feeling completely drained. When I finally left the Y.W.C.A. hall I didn't bother with a cab, I just walked very briskly back to the shop, trying to clear my head of the ghastly experience. Thinking back on it, I should have refused to enter the shower room - I had made a prime mistake.
Many times I've been horrified to note the arrogant manner with which casting directors treat the girls - like so many cattle. The poor girls just took all the male chauvinism and insults in their stride and continued smiling - they needed to work! But, for a man to actually enter their shower room must have been the final straw... their final bastion breached... and for that alone I guess I deserved the treatment meted out to me.
Shortly after this experience I created a new company to deal solely with 'stage wear' with Colin as its managing director. I personally changed course into pure manufacturing. So finally, I realise why this particular story was so hard to write - the event had a profound effect on me - much more than I ever cared to realise at the time!