Hinge and Bracket

Dear Ladies DVD setThe Dear Ladies were Dr Evadne Hinge and Dame Hilda Bracket. They were two elderly, intellectual, musical women who sang light-hearted comedy songs and motored around the English countryside visiting fetes and eating cucumber sandwiches. They played croquet and talked about the vicar and were generally very genteel Englishwomen. Sometimes they argued and that was funny too. I loved them.

I planned that when I was an old lady, I would find another old lady, and we’d live together like Hinge and Bracket did and I’d suddenly develop this very upper class accent and learn to play croquet and eat cucumber sandwiches. This was my childhood vision of lesbianism. There were no other ‘strong women living together openly’ celebrities/characters on which to base my dream. I would be Hilda because she was the more tomboy-like one. And I would let someone like Evadne boss me around.

Gala Evenings with Hinge and BracketUnfortunately it was not to be. I discovered in the eighties, when watching Hinge and Bracket on TV with my mother (not the first choice of TV-watching companion as she tends to talk all the way through the best bits), she announced that you could tell because of his ankles. I asked what on earth she meant. She pointed to Hilda, who was bending to roll a bowling ball on the green, and said that his ankles were a man’s ankles so you could tell. The other one would pass, she reckoned, but Hilda was too obvious.

Aghast, I asked her to repeat and explain, please. She incredulously asked if I really hadn’t noticed after all this time that they were a couple of blokes in drag. Mortified and heartbroken at seeing my lesbian dream shattered, I refused to watch them any more. I felt deceived as I’d never seen them dressed as men, unlike other drag artists such as Kenny Everett and Dick Emery. I think the worst part of it was losing my lesbian icons as I’ve got no problem with men in dresses. Anyone who reads my novel will realise that actually I’ve got a bit of a ‘thing’ for men in dresses. Which might all have stemmed from my childhood penchant for Hinge and Bracket.

I’ve come back to them now, especially since some new DVDs have been released. I think they’re fabulous, and even though they are blokes, they remain the perfect image of elderly upper class lesbianism.

George Logan (Hinge) and Patrick Fyffe (Bracket) may you forever be Dear Ladies to me. www.hingeandbracket-official.co.uk

Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room


One Response

  1. And don’t forget the other iconic drag couple, Les Dawson and Roy Barraclough as Ada Shuffebotham and Cissie Braithwaite!

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