Anecdote Index






(8) by Jean Metcalf

At the present time in the U.K we hear a great deal about the difficulty women have in trying to attain any position in management. I've come to the conclusion that J. Lyons was a very progressive company in more ways that one, especially when when it came to promoting women to positions in management.

In 1934 when I joined the State Restaurant (a Lyons' restaurant in Liverpool ) at the age of 16, it was managed by a woman - Miss Barnes - her assistant was a woman - Mrs. Davies - and the two supervisors were also women. This was a tip top class reastaurant but there were no men in the management team at all.

Men were in the management position in the teashops and in the Orchard House, Head Office, but the majority of teashop management were women. People like me who joined at the age of 16 were taken on as Junior Trainees. After spending twelve months at the State Restaurant, along with another eleven youngsters straight from school it was decided by Mr. S. H. Gluckstein to transfer two of us to the teashop department for the specific purpose of training for management. It was Company policy to promote from within the organisation. Any young woman could be considered and chosen from any capacity within the teashops - Nippys, cashiers, Front Shop Sales etc. Promotion was open to anyone worth their salt, including the male porters. I knew a number of male managers who had been teashop porters.

In Orchard House the Personnel Dept. was managed by women Miss Joerin, Miss Potter, Miss Fowler. This did not change until 1963 when the Corner House male managers took over.

© Jean Metcalf 2002