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Film stars in 'Queen Mary's Verandah Grill

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Unique ID:19436
Description:A head waiter in 'Queen Mary's Verandah Grill restaurant talks about the film stars that dined there.
Creator:Unknown
Date:Unknown
Copyright:Southampton City Council
Partner:SCC Oral History Unit
Partner ID:Unknown

Transcription

I worked in the Veranda Grill at the Queen Mary, I was head waiter up there and it was a restaurant on its own.  It only accommodated 70 passengers and passengers had to pay a cover charge to sit in there. In those days there was 10 shillings per passenger.

Question: This is 1952?

Uh, yes.  Cover charge of 10 shillings for each passenger and that kept the...how can I put it...the … the normal passengers away from the Veranda Grill because the Veranda Grill used to have all the personalities, wealthy people, business men, film stars, politicians, they always used to travel in the Veranda Grill because it was an exclusive room.  We only had the 70 people, only one sitting. I had 8 waiters in the restaurant, myself as head waiter and the Verandah Grill manager who was in charge of the whole room.  We had our own separate kitchen and people never used to eat off the menu they used to...I used to approach them at lunchtime to see what they would like for dinner and they would give their order for dinner to me and of course I would put it through and inform the chef and he used to cook everything for these different people.  As I say they were all notable people, film stars and...a lot of people really wanted to get up the grill but it was always full up.  As I say, it was a nice little room but it was very high up in the...it was on the boat deck more or less...high up on the ship and overlooked the stern of the Queen Mary.  We used to get a bit of vibration there when weather was bad, you'd feel the rolling probably a little bit more up there than you would in the main restaurant, but a very pleasant outlook during the good weather, you know, looking out at sea watching the stern of the ship and sometimes mid-Atlantic we used to pass the Queen Elizabeth halfway across the North Atlantic and sometimes they used to come within oh 4 or 5 miles of each other, quite close, at sea that is.  It used to be a highlight of the voyage if the two ships...and they had a big map in the restaurant of the Queen Mary with the two models of the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mary and as the ships were proceeding so these models used to proceed on the map and so everybody knew where each ship was.  And as a matter of fact it is still there to this day.

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