Eric Harrison describes the social side of Granada

The social side of Granada… Granada was a dry station. There was no bar or anything, there was no club on the station. You were only allowed to give alcohol to MPs and above, which was dispensed in the executive dining room. So there was no club until much, much, much later, then they got The Stables. But the entertainment as such was provided by everybody else. So for instance we had a gardening club where we got stuff for trade price. And the canteen was marvellous, absolutely marvellous. The chef eventually became the Mayor of Bury! Vic was the Mayor of Bury for a year. The tables in the canteen, and it was under very strict instructions, the tables in the canteen were not allowed to be wiped until half an hour after any meal had been served. The reason being the fact that half the time people would do their planning and things right on the table top, and if they had forgotten what they were doing, they would rush back to the canteen to find out what was written on the top of the table top – so the canteen ladies weren’t allowed to wipe the top of the table until half an hour after everybody had a meal. Miss Longhurst was the lady in charge. And Vic, the chef, if you didn’t feel very well, would say, “What do you fancy?” etc.

And you’d see the Bernsteins there in the canteen?
Yes, every time. I mean, all of a sudden you were suddenly aware of him or Denis or whatever, and they would be talking the whole time, you know, what are we doing wrong. As I say, this glass ceiling didn’t exist. So if Denis sat down by the side of you and you said to him, “I’ve got this idea,” he would listen to you, and you would either hear later, the fact that they decided to do this, that and the other. But they were there, and they queued just like everybody else. And in the canteen, of course, you got all the actors and actresses and so on. And there was no side to anybody at all. Everybody sat down with everybody else and everybody was the same level. Oh jeepers, what’s she called? The actress. Gone with the Wind.

Vivian Leigh.
Yes, Vivian Leigh. I’ll never forget Vivian Leigh being in the queue at Granada I her full gear and all the rest of it, with a tray And you know, all the people from Coronation Street.

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