Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Ladies of Ill Repute and of Good Repute

When I was a child my father did a lot of travelling on business (yes, we defenders of privilege at Plumstead Rectory spring from the commercial classes). At that time hotels were very vigilant about guests entertaining visitors in their rooms, whether from moral or financial motives, or both. It was not uncommon for the manager to call round late at night, asking sternly “have you got a woman in your room, sir?”

My father maintained the theory that there were two classes of hotel for business travellers: the better sort, where if one answered “yes” to this question the lady would be asked to leave, and the seedier sort, where if one answered “no” a lady would be thrown in.