Page No:148
Page No:149

 


Elsie, third from the right.


Elsie, back row, second from the left.

Then Ivy started earning a lot of money and her attitude towards us began to change. We'd never known her like that and we took a bit of a poor view of it at times, and some of us said what we thought. She was a changed person. She was famous and she played on it. She was 'in the money' and she was getting young girls up from Yorkshire for next to nothing.

 


They called her Miss Benson; the older ones never called her Miss Benson. I called her 'Ivy. She was one of us. But then she didn't like us calling her Ivy. We were paid on the night before we left to come back to England from Sweden. I wasn't going to have a row; I was just going to take my money, get on the boat and go. But that didn't happen.

We'd just been paid and we had our coats and hats on ready to go home that night when Norma said to me 'Hey, just a minute, there's somebody in Ivy's dressing room and they aren't half having a right to-do with her. Their voices are getting louder and louder and it's turning into a real shouting match.' She was curious and she wanted to know what was going on - you know what girls are like. So she stood in the doorway listening and all of a sudden she heard Ivy say 'And as for Norma Cameron, she's the most untidy girl I've ever had in the band. Her music is in a terrible state; it's dreadful. I don't know how she reads from it' - a lot of our music was manuscripts, special arrangements. Of course Norma said 'So that's what she thinks of me is it!' and off she went down the corridor and joined in the row that was already going on in Ivy's office.

I stood there, not knowing quite what to do: I wasn't going to go home without Norma. The voices were becoming louder and louder and then I heard Ivy say 'And as for Elsie Ford, she's the biggest troublemaker I've ever had.' She always used to say 'Oh, I couldn't do without Elsie. She's the best bass player in England', but I was one of those who spoke their mind a bit. I thought 'Well, fancy her saying that about me! I've never made any trouble for her' and off I went down the corridor. I said to her 'So that's what you think about me is it? I'm a troublemaker! What trouble have I ever caused you?' It was