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Working Women: An Audiotour for the 55 bus

7 / 10 Clapton Girls Academy, Stop L

Hairdressing was Myrtle Mae Green’s true passion, but she had to run the family corner shop in Clapton during the day. Myrtle created artistic styles – the Reggae, the Moonwalk, Bubbles, Drop-curls and Finger Waves – from her home salon on Millfields Road (on the right hand side). In Myrtle Mae’s day, the 1970s, African Caribbean hair specialists tended to work at home rather than on the high street. Myrtle Mae did white people’s hair too, winning over customers whose blushes revealed they had not had a stylist from the Caribbean before.

Myrtle Mae decided on broadly standard English for her entry in Working Lives: Volume 2, 1945-1977. Eloise Joseph's performance is true to spirit of her text, though Eloise keeps a gentle lilt in her voice.

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Myrtle Mae Green, 1978 © Jo Spence.