Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thirza Cove: A Brave Suffragette

This is an interesting article about a domestic servant who became a suffragette: Thirza Cove.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hotels and Hospitality Management Library of NSW TAFE

The Hotels and Hospitality Management Research library provides resources to assist in the study of hospitality management, including the showing of global hotel pricing using the Cheaperthanhotels booking tool .

The Hotels and Hospitality Management Library of NSW TAFE has many useful links for students. These include links to hospitality management websites, accommodation websites, and websites about the environmental management of hotels.

Students studying hospitality management and tourism should be able to find most of the resources that they need at the TAFE library. It is an extremely useful website

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Cafe Chantants

The original cafes chantant (concert cafes) were probably quite enchanting. They consisted of performers (often singers)entertaining audiences in outdoor cafes in France. These first began as long ago as the eighteenth century. Eventually they evolved into famous 'music-halls', such as the Folies Bergere.

The cafes chantant were extremely popular in the Belle Epoque. They had become rather dark, smoky, crowded places by then and the atmosphere was probably a bit rough and unpleasant. They were very popular with the working-classes and aristocratic young men looking for a good time. (The hero of Colette's Cheri comes to mind.) Theodore Child wasn't impressed with the cafes chantant. He found them 'inept and stupid.' He describes the Parisian cafes of 1889 here: Parisian Cafes.

The concert cafes soon became popular in other countries. They began in Italy in the 1890's. Here is a description of the

Cafe Margherita in Naples.

Singers at the cafe chantants included Lina Cavalieri and Yvette Guilbert.

More refined concert cafes became very popular amongst the English aristocracy and the American upper classes during Edwardian times. Often cafe chantants were staged for charity. I would have liked to attend this .
charity evening.

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Music Hall Wars of 1907

(This is a poster designed to canvass support for the strike. Wikimedia Commons)

In 1907 there were no standard rules for employers and workers in the crowded and smoky music halls. Contracts were variable and the courts were filled with law suits between the workers and employers. The Variety Artistes Federation was formed in 1906. By 1907 the Federation, designed to improve conditions, had almost 4,000 members.

The final straw for artistes came in 1907 when many music-hall owners demanded additional shows for little or no extra money. Artistes, musicians and stage-hands at over 22 variety theatres decided to go on strike.

The most successful music-hall star in Britain, Marie Lloyd, was sympathetic to the plight of the workers. She understood that she was in a position to negotiate for better conditions but many of the people who worked in music-halls weren't.

The music hall owners tried to break the strike by engaging acts that were not well-known and retired workers. The union decided to picket the theatres. When Marie Lloyd saw a girl that she knew she shouted, ""Let her through girls, she'll close the music-hall faster than we can."

Eventually the dispute was referred to arbitration at the Board of Trade. Surprisingly, this was suggested by the author, Somerset Maugham. The Board solved the issue by holding hearings involving more than 100 witnesses and several meetings. The music-hall workers received more money and they were granted a guaranteed minimum wage and maximum working week.