Miss Hazlerigg and the Upton girls

bathroom with stand and sink to the left and clothes hanging on the right

Miss Hazlerigg, Private Secretary for M. Samuel & Co, was also in charge of the female staff who worked for the bank and lived at Upton during the war.

More than meets the eye

You’d be forgiven for thinking Miss Hazelrigg’s was a stereotypical matron character, in charge of the single girls’ welfare and domestic needs of the residents. But the one report we have of her tells another story.

“Miss Hazlerigg came from London. She was a secretary – a cut above – not a run of the mill typist. She had blonde hair and was beautiful. She was very smart and imposing.”  A Naval Officer came to visit Miss Hazlerigg when she was at Upton House. This gentleman drove his own car. Although he wore a naval uniform, he may have worked for the bank prior to this time.

The evidence shows how they lived

The records show that the Bank kept the resident staff well equipped for life at Upton. They bought Wellington boots for all of the staff, many of whom had not been to the countryside before leaving London for Upton. They also bought chemicals for the swimming pool so it would be used.

Beauty tips from the 1940s

If you visit the bathroom in the girls’ dormitory, you’ll see the tricks of the trade the girls might have used to keep up appearances while rations were in place. Here are some of the favourites:

  1. Gravy browning and a line drawn with an eyebrow pencil on the back of the leg creates the effect of hard to come by stockings.
  2. A nail buffer is out of the question but a small piece of chamois leather wrapped around an old toothbrush makes a good alternative.
  3. Beetroot juice makes a good substitute for rouge or lipstick
  4. Pour hot water over a few sage leaves, strain and massage into teeth and gums to make teeth sparkling white.
  5. In the absence of toothpaste, soot will do the job!