Carnaby Cavern

Carnaby Cavern
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Albert and Liz - who married and live in Hong Kong

   Staff Problems

Staff were always a problem - we paid good wages, but to get English-speaking people with a modicum of intelligence was not easy so, when two young ladies applied - why not? They were both well-educated, Lesley (a resting prostitute) had a university degree and there was 'Angie'. Dear Angie - whenever I think of her the phrase "You have to - don't you?" comes to mind. She was lovely - an English blonde with a sexual appetite something akin to a rabbit! She had worked the pubs as a 'stripper' and openly admitted to having sex on every date, hence the expression "You have to - don't you?". With such a level of 'physical activity' it was unsurprising that she soon contracted an 'unwelcome guest'. The outcome of her visit to the local 'clinic' was that she was forbidden any physical contact whatsoever for some four weeks.

Soon after this she took up with a wealthy car salesman, Charles, and as instructed, refused all of his overtures and pleas. This went on for several weeks and, in the end, the 'respectability' of this wholesome blonde proved too much and he proposed marriage, to which she happily agreed! Talking to Charles, now her new husband, some weeks later he confided to me that Angie was the first truly 'respectable' girl he had ever met…… I just didn't have the heart…….. "You have to" Angie's last score!

Both the girls were taking strong medication for 'social' diseases and, as such, absolutely hated having to go and collect their prescriptions from the chemist.
Whenever our little 'Michael' was going to Boots he always asked "Does anyone want anything while I'm there?" The two girls, almost in one voice, asked him to collect their prescriptions….. Now Michael (who was so very proud that he now employed 'staff') happily announced to the Boots pharmacist and anyone within earshot that "these are for my girls". On relating the experience to us later on, he couldn't understand the reactions he was getting and there was certainly no way that we could explain to him that they thought he was a 'pimp'!

Lesley was a pretty girl with raven black hair and a greasy, bad complexion. She had very strong nymphomaniac tendencies and on more than one occasion, while pinning a man's trousers had stopped, strangely transfixed by his male 'endowment'. I'm sorry to say that we found this hilarious and took to pushing the poor girl over to break the fixation. She had her 'revenge' though - every time my wife visited the shop she used to flirt wildly with me, making out that we were lovers. Very embarrassing! It sounds so bad…. but it was the Sixties……

We also had two homosexuals working for us. One was very effeminate and somewhat of a 'disappointment' to his father and two brothers who were all army officers. His friend, Richard, wasn't really 'gay' but a true 'low life', earning money in any way possible. He had run away from home at the age of twelve and been brought up by prostitutes in Soho. He was very handsome and the female customers loved him and his superb 'chat up' lines. I should really never have employed him - a great salesman, but the very dregs - a real 'low life'.

I mustn't forget to mention another 'Michael' who worked for us. He was a black 'Adonis', standing well over six feet tall with a tremendous physique. His favourite trick was to stand absolutely still and then, suddenly, move forward to greet the customer. It usually caused the girls to scream, but was all in good fun!

One of my favourite compliments came from a local shop 'Aristos', or more accurately from its millionaire owner Aristol (who was murdered some years later). He told all his staff that he wanted his shops to have a 'Cavern' atmosphere. As many customers told me, it's not really like a shop - more a kind of 'club'……

copyright Danny Benjamin 2017

Danny Benjamin on the sewing machine
A rare picture of Danny - that's him on the sewing machine!