Esther Dean’s memories of Sidney Bernstein

Bernstein used to walk round the building. He always used to walk round the building in a white shirt with rolled up sleeves. So all the managers used to walk round the building with white shirts and rolled up sleeves.

He always used to eat in the canteen. Most places had a posh place for the posh people to eat but at Granada there was always just the one canteen, which was eventually closed. When he was there he would always eat in there.

The other thing we used to have to do, we used to have the penthouse flat upstairs and obviously there were clothes there and stuff, and there was a housekeeper. And the housekeeper used to come down every so often with a pile of white shirts which were Sidney’s white shirts. One of the women who used to work in the wardrobe department had started life as a machinist making shirts. It was the old days. I remember my mother doing this for my father but it stopped happening, you’d have a pile of shirts, especially with white ones, and the collars would go, so you’d use one shirt to make a whole load of new collars. So Marjorie in the wardrobe department, one of her jobs was to put new collars onto his shirts.

You would think they could have afforded that.

I know! But I think they quite liked doing it. So then Marjorie retired. I can’t remember what the housekeeper was called but she came down one day with a pile of Sidney’s shirts and we all just sort of turned round and said, “Look, tell him to buy some. We’ll buy him some new ones. This has got to stop.” It was quite funny.

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