Snatched pleasures – French fancy with John Taylor

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Sacre bleu. Avert thine eyes, Mabel. It’s enough to bounce your pince nez right past your earholes.

Yes, although present efforts are directed to researching the local story of the First World War, for the wider view the local archives sometimes contain tales from further afield.

And, included, is this rather interesting episode, which seems to have been almost a First World War version of ’Allo, ’Allo, (the popular BBC TV wartime sitcom).

It was 1915, and May Perryman was hauled up at London Guildhall Police Court for permitting disorderly conduct in a suite of tea rooms in the basement of the Copthall chambers, Copthall Avenue, EC1.

Allegedly the waitresses were behaving in a scandalous and disgraceful manner, and purely in the line of duty Detective Challis and another officer set off to investigate.

On entering the premises they were immediately welcomed by two waitresses – Pepi and Dorothy – who, hardly attired for dispensing a pot of Earl Grey, both wore short skirts and low cut blouses.

Having served the undercover customers they then settled down beside them on a couch, and goodness knows what happened next!

However, in evidence it was described not only how the girls behaved with other men, but also that all the customers were kissed as they left.

O’ well, it was a time of snatched pleasures in wartime. But Zut alors, and I shall say zis only vunce, even in our promiscuous age it was sadly never like that down our local Little Chef.