Stretham author to talk about her new book at festival

Author Ellee Seymour signs a copy of her book Shop Girls

Author Ellee Seymour signs a copy of her book Shop Girls - Credit: Archant

The lives and loves of shop girls during the 1940s-60s will be told at Cambridge Literary Festival by Stretham author Ellee Seymour, author of The Shop Girls.

The book is based on a collection of memories of women who worked at Heyworth’s Fashions, on the corner of Sidney Street and Market Passage, close to Eaden Lilley and Joshua Taylor.

It closed 50 years ago and had all but faded from living memory until Ellee researched this gem of an elegant ladies department store, her interest spurred following the success of Mr Selfridge and The Paradise on television.

Ms Seymour will speak at the literary festival on Friday, April 17, at 2.30 pm, and will show many pictures of the shop girls, as well as reveal Mr Selfridge’s connection with Cambridge.

Ms Seymour said: “The book is rich in social history and describes the shop girls’ lives during the war years, as well as the American GIs in Cambridge and the swinging 60s scene.

“It was a golden age of retail during an era when the customer was king, when shop girls were not allowed to stand idle and could be sacked on the spot for slouching against the fixtures.”

The Shop Girls, which was included in the 2014 Sunday Times list of best reads, ranked No 2 for biographies, will be available as an audio book from May 1.

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Tickets for the literary festival can be booked by calling 01223 300085.

Ellee is also happy to speak to local groups about The Shop Girls, for further information, call 01353 648564.