J. Lyons & Co.
Lyons Waiting Staff
The 'Gladys' and the 'Nippy'
In the early days the J. Lyons waitress was known as a 'Gladys'. The name 'Nippy' was not coined until 1926.
The top image (right) is an 1899 drawing of a 'Gladys' by well-known illustrator Mars.
This photo appeared in an old issue of Lyons Mail (Lyons' in-house magazine). It was taken at the Frano-British Exibition held at Shepherd's Bush in 1908. The girl at the front left is thought to be Nell Bacon, who was later to rise to become Superintendent of Teashops.
Women dressed in 'Gladys' uniforms (date unknown). The styles must have changed over the years as can be seen when comparing the group photo above.
Binnie Hale, a well-known actress of the day.
Nippy waitresses, wearing specially designed gear, preparing for a cycle event at Herne Hill in 1930.
Nippies meeting Prince George during fundraising for St George's Hospital on 23 April 1920 (Read Rose of St George).
Nippy images from a training film.
Nippy outfits became popular for children to dress up in for local fetes and pageants.
There were Nippy sandwiches, Nippy cigarettes and even a Nippy rose. Binnie Hale (above) starred in a dance show called 'Nippy' in 1931. Pathe footage of it can be seen on the British Pathe site.