Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

All British Shopping Week – 1911

Famous Actresses as Saleswomen.

The All British shopping week at Harrod’s has provided an opportunity for a further appeal on behalf of the Middlesex Hospital. The hall, which was formally devoted to costume models from Paris, has been transformed into “a salon of fragrance and fair women,” a title which suggests the scene in the afternoon when some of London’s most famous actresses temporarily assumed the duties of saleswomen.

On a number of tables daintily draped in lavender and gold, with a plentiful splashing of the national colours were displayed the wares of which they had undertaken to dispose – neat little bottles of British eau-de-cologne made by the British house of Luce who are established at Jersey and Southampton. This form had supplied the perfumes gratuitously in order that the hospital might benefit to the fullest possible extent.

All approaches to the salon were closed at two o’clock and at a quarter to three, when the sale began the hall speedily filled by a crown which had been gathering in volume for the previous half-hour. Prince Alexander of Teck was unfortunately unable to attend, but he was represented by Lord Duncannon. Among the ladies who gave their services were: Miss Maud Allan, Miss Phyllis Dare, Miss Lillian Braithwaite, Miss Pauline Chase, Miss Marie Lohr, Miss Lillah McCarthy, Miss Gabrielle Ray, Miss Audrienne Augarde, and Miss Constance Drever.

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser – Tuesday 28th March 1911

  New Zealand Herald  8 May 1911 Page 9


[from our own correspondent.]

London, March 31. This week has been a great time in shopping centres—it has been the ” All-British Shopping Week,” and all the shopkeepers gave undertaking to dress their windows with goods ” all guaranteed British fabric and manufacture,” or ” mainly British”— this latter saving clause sometimes merely meaning that though the materials have been imported from foreign countries, British labour has brought them to their present state of completion. Brisk buying is reported, and not only have the displays resulted in business, but they have furnished many useful lessons which will doubtless have an important bearing in the future of British trade.

Until this week no one had any idea of the vast range of things having origin in some part of the British Empire. At the outset of the awakening, one is, inclined to wonder why anything of foreign origin is ever asked for at all, for, apparently, everything that is a necessity can be produced within the Empire, to say nothing of much that is luxurious.

Without a doubt Harrod’s was the centre of principal attraction, for arrangements had been made that a number of actresses, well known and popular, should preside over the Salon of Fragrance and Fair Women, in order to sell All-British Eau tie Cologne, the proceeds to go to the Prince Francis of Teck memorial fund, now being raised to clear the Middlesex Hospital from debt. The sale was organised by Miss Gertrude Robins, and the whole of the scent Mas supplied free for the benefit of the fund by Messrs. Luce, of Southampton and Jersey. Most of the purchasers went away with more bottles of scent than they could comfortably carry, to say nothing of securing a souvenir in the shape of a book of photographs of the saleswomen and of obtaining their autographs. Some who volunteered for this duty for “sweet charity’s sake” were: “Miss Pauline Chase (of “Peter Pan” fame). Miss Lilian Braithwaite, Miss Phyllis Dare, Miss Ola Humphreys, Miss Lilah McCarthy, Miss Made Titheradge, Miss Marie Lohr, Miss Olive May, Miss Gabrielle Ray, Miss Adrienne Augarde, and others too numerous to mention. Every day keen business resulted, and “fancy prices” were not permitted. It is expected that when the accounts are made up the hospital will have benefited in this way to the extent of at least £500. Miss Olive May remarked that the men looked extremely funny with their arms full of scent bottles and their pockets bulging with, more but they paid up splendidly, and were more generous than the women in paying for souvenirs. Some of the men must have taken away enough scent to last ten families a lifetime.” Each bottle displayed a miniature Union Jack on the stopper, and this immediately attracted attention. The room in which these actresses wore busy saleswomen was lavishly decorated with British blooms.

New Zealand Herald – Monday 8th May 1911

Salon of Fragrance and Fair Women – 1911


January 2, 2015 - Posted by | Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

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