Keep Barmaids Young Smart & Cheerful

Dawn Jones Barmaid 1951

Dawn Jones, city barmaid, paused in her job yesterday to comment on a Parliamentarian’s suggestion.

YOUNG city barmaid Dawn Jones, 22, thinks good-looking barmaids are good for custom. She said yesterday that a barmaid with a cheery smile and a young personality helped “tired businessmen forget their worries”.

Dawn, of Wellington Road, East Brisbane, rejected a suggestion by a New South Wales Parliamentarian that barmaids should be dressed in black and be over 60.

The M.L.A., Mr. L. C. Jordan (C.P.), was commenting on one of the provisions of the N.S.W. Liquor Bill that girls of 18 would be allowed to serve in bars.

Dawn, who was dressed in a smart white dress, said: “If I was a man, I’m sure I wouldn’t like to be served with beer by a 60-year-old woman dressed in black.”

A cheery smile helps to cheer up customers. If an elderly woman served in the bar the atmosphere would definitely be different.

“Anyway, no woman should have to work when she reaches 60.”

– The Courier-Mail Friday 10 December 1954.

I like beer with a barmaid’s ‘dash’

-says Frank Doherty

barmaid 1951 Melbourne

…Brightens up the place.

DOES a glass of beer served by a barmaid taste any better than a glass of beer served by a barman ?

Obviously, no. But there are any number of Melbourne drinkers who infinitely prefer their nightly few pots or glasses to be handed to them by a woman.

Equally, there are just as many who like it pulled by a barman.

And, again, there are thousands who couldn’t care less – who like beer for beer’s sake and don’t mind if it comes from a slot machine so long as they get it.

The barmaid versus barman discussion is something like the business of the chicken and the egg. A clear-cut decision, one way or the other, never seems to be reached.

For myself, I’m a barmaid man.

Maybe the taste of the beer is no different, but the atmosphere certainly is.

Oh, I can hear scores of you saying: “What the heck has atmosphere got to do with it? Beer’s beer anywhere, isn’t it?” Sure, and sleep’s sleep anywhere, too. But don’t tell me you’d just as soon sleep on a wooden plank when you can slide between two cool, crisp sheets.

“After much study…”

AFTER as much study (with its incidental running into penury) as any of you of barmaids, barmen, the serving of beer, and the tend-ing of a bar, I’ve come to the conclusion barmaids win hands down.

In the main, of course, bar-maids work in city hotels and work very satisfactorily to the benefit of their employer, their union, and their public. An instance of misconduct or mis-demeanor among barmaids is rare.

Few are in suburban estab-lishments, especially in what might be called working men’s hotels, because publicans in those areas want men who can double as cellarmen and who can “serve” beer flat out be-tween 5 and 6 p.m.

There are between 350 and 400 barmaids in the metropolitan area.

They earn equal pay with men (£10 a week, time and a half on Saturdays, and double time on public holidays), and many are war widows or sup-porting physically incapacitated husbands.

But why do I prefer them? For several reasons, and you can agree or disagree to your heart’s content.

“Tidy … like Rita Hayworth”

FOR one thing, barmaids are cleaner, both in personal appearance and in the way they keep their bar, than men are.

A barman, with his sleeves rolled up and his tie loosened looks about as tidy beside a barmaid in a light, gaily colored frock as a garbage cart driver does beside Rita Hayworth.

And a woman behind a bar isn’t afraid to use a little elbow grease to mop up the slops, even during the “pig swill” hour. She washes and wipes the glasses and usually has a few flowers around the place to brighten it. And courtesy comes easily. The dictatorial “No beer, sport, on’y spirits and plonk”- becomes “Sorry, sir, Beer’s off” – plus a smile.

“Feel gay and happy”

THE final thing is the hard-to-describe atmosphere. Somehow, without destroying any of the masculinity associated with a bar a woman manages to infuse just that little bit of domesticity (the feminine touch, if you like) that makes it a pleasanter place. She’ll listen to you, talk to you, ask about your wife and kids, banter with you. She’ll make young men feel gay and happy and older men feel a year or two younger.

You can walk into an hotel alone and enjoy yourself talk-ing to a barmaid. Try doing it with some barmen and you’re earbashed about the races or the boss’ stinginess, or else you’re left like a shag on a rock.

For my money, more power to the barmaids.

The Argus Thursday 8 March 1951



Categories: Barmaids, barmen, Brisbane hotels, Melbourne Hotels, NSW hotels

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