three of the interviewees agreed that although the hours nominally
worked are long, the hours actually worked are fairly short. For this
reason, they also agreed, the life of a shampooer is an easy one.
Bartholomew's, the men work,
nominally from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., but for the
larger part of the time the men are doing nothing, and they dress and go
out for each meal.
At the Hammam, the baths were open from 8.00 am till midnight but the
duty hours were varied so that the men get some free time during the
is on duty about 54 nominal hours a week. They spend,
on alternate days 8 and 10 hours in the bath, but on the 10 hour
days they often get away
before their proper hour if there are no bathers in the bath, so that 54
hours is really an outside estimate.
Mr Waugh has elaborate statistics
for years showing the number of hours which the men are actually at work
while in the bath. These statistics are based on a calculation of the
number of bathers, and allows 20 minutes (much more than the average
time) for each shampooing; on this basis the actual work of each man
varies each year from 2 hours and 40 minutes to 3 hours and 40 minutes
per day, the rest of the time they spend mostly in sleep. Altogether Mr
Waugh thinks it is about the easiest life in the world.
Like the Hammam, Nevill's enables the men to have time off during the
day. As usual, Mr Nevill is a little more forthcoming about the quiet
and the busy hours.
AM in all his places. Someone on duty till 9.30
PM Every man has 2
mornings a week off when he does not come in till 12.30 &
practically the evening off too ie from 7 or 7.30 PM. One hour dinner
between 12 & 2. Breakfast ˝ hour at 9 am. They are on duty 60 or 69
hours per wk.
None of their boys work
more than 74 hours including meal times.
busiest hours in the day are 4 to 8 PM. This is the time both in East
& West [End establishments]. In morning there may be a few retired merchants, tradesmen
etc but the bulk of the work comes on after the business hours.
of the shampooers life is being on duty & having
nothing to do. Young men fall to pieces with the idleness. Customers
will have their own particular men \
all must remain in on the chance of his men coming.
bathers come every day. Some every 3 months. 98% are shampooed.
not mentioned by Mr Waugh in this part of his interview, the Hammam was
also open on Sunday, though this was not the case when it first opened.
Mr Kenny noted that at Bartholomew's,
The bath is open on Sunday morning from 7 to
at Nevill's, the
Baths are open on
Sundays with ˝ staff (one week on & one
off for attendants).
Sunday bathing is
decreasing. Bicycles & Golf have accounted
for a good deal of this decrease which is
still going on. 50% in last ten years.
is interesting to note that none of these establishments appears to have
had any difficulty in opening on Sundays during this period. But this
was not the case in all parts of London, and this could affect the
working classes in particular. As William Bishop, owner of the Putney
Turkish baths, complained a few years earlier, pressure from Church and
Chapel prevented his baths from opening on Sunday—the only day the
working classes had sufficient time to use them.
Bartholomew's 'Each man is allowed a fortnight in the
year' and at Nevill's 'Men get a fortnight’s holiday
each year (in either July August & September)'.
adds that whereas August is a very slack month,
to Easter is the busiest season of all as Turkish baths is a specific for colds & rheumatism.
mentions whether the men are paid during their holiday period, but at
man gets about 16 days holiday in the year with full pay.
The Shampooers' wages