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Interview with Mrs Muriel Cottier about working in a boarding house and as hotelier, Douglas, 1946-1968

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Date(s): 31 August 1999

Creator(s): Manx Heritage Foundation

Scope & Content: Track 1: Mrs Cottier (and occasionally her husband) talks to John Beckerson about working in a boarding house, Douglas. She talks about them marrying in 1946 and for the following 22 years running the 21-bedroom boarding house Ferndale on Central Promenade. She describes the boarding house when they moved in after it had been occupied by the army during the Second World War; facilities in the boarding house; repairs every winter; Aga boiler for hot water; husband in charge of kitchens; staff; winter and summer routines; rationing after the Second World War and shortages of certain food; visitor services; staff problems and their pay; Saturday change-over day; peak season with 13 Steam Packet boats running continuous services; people queuing from the Sea Terminal to the War Memorial to get on the boat.

Track 2: Muriel continues to talk about one bathroom in the boarding house, mainly used by Isle of Man Tourist Trophy (TT) riders; Clucas' laundry; replacing feather beds; clothing coupons for sheets; sharing rooms; dining room with sideboard; silver vases and flowers on the tables; dumb waiter; unlicensed; paying extra for soft drinks; carpet and wallpaper in the lounge; easy chairs; piano and later a television; Friday night concerts with guests; Clague’s coaches calling in the morning to encourage guests to book tours; advertising; best years late 1950s and early 1960s; buying own house, holidays and a motorcar; repairs always needed; 4 bedrooms on each landing with a toilet at the end; the 4 best rooms at the front of the house costing more to rent; boarding house routines and work involved; using and cleaning candle sticks in mother’s house; no running water in bedrooms; visitors bringing their own food for mother to cook; visitors bringing evening dresses to wear at the ballrooms, and later more casual clothes; Cunningham's Holiday Camp; singing; having to deal with 'trouble makers'.

Administration / Biographical History: John Beckerson, researcher, born 1974.

Language: English

Extent: 1 hr. 2 min. 20 sec.

Item name: cassette tape

Collection: Sound Archive

Level: ITEM

ID number: SA 2019-0001/7

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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