The early days

Last week I received some emails from Wales with a wonderful story

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Hello, my mother of 93 lives in Cardiff and worked in the same company in Cardiff Bay as Dame Shirley did when she was starting out. My mother’s maiden name was Kathleen (Kim) Jones and she worked as a telephone operator. My mother used to allow Dame Shirley to make phone calls to her agent when the supervisor was on lunch. There were no mobile phones then and telephone calls were expensive. Dame Shirley may have had a different career trajectory had my mother not enabled her to do this
My mum is still going strong however time is not on her side and she has just lost her husband of 60 years. I therefore wondered whether it might be possible to send my mother a card from Dame Shirley. It really would make her day. If you could please let me know if this is possible I will send her address. Thank you very much for considering my request.

Dear Pieter How nice to hear back from you. Thank you. I am at my mother’s house this weekend and will find out the name of the company she worked for. I remember her telling me when I was young that she recalls Dame Shirley getting on the tables to sing in the canteen! It would be lovely to create a blog post. I’ll chat to my mum and see what else she can remember of that time. Best wishes Julia.

Dear Pieter. I spoke to my mother this evening and the company she worked for was called Edward Curran & Co in Hurman Street and the supervisor of the switchboard was Mary Sexton.  She said that Dame Shirley’s friend used to come into the office at lunch time  while Mary Sexton was out to ask if Dame Shirley could phone her agent. Mary Sexton was apparently very strict and wouldn’t let the young women use the phones for personal matters – apart from her! My mother recalls Dame Shirley singing at work but not on the tables – apologies I got this wrong, I must have imagined it as a child!

Shirley Bassey Singer Pic Shows Shirley Bassey Tired And Tense Hand Pressed To Forehead Making A Final Telephone Inquiry At London Airport A Few Moments Before Flying To Australia Yesterday. It Was A Bedside 'betrothal' Which Led To The Siege Of Ro

One thought on “The early days”

  1. What an exceptionally nice and interesting article Pieter. It would be great if Mrs. Jones received a card from Dame Shirley. Who knows, it will be a very special Christmas for her. Thanks for sharing this special Blog. 🎄🎄🎄🎄🎄

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