Obituary: Thelma Holland
Friday 07 April 1995
One day in 1949 the Hollands gave a dinner party before a fancy-dress dance at the Chelsea Arts Club, in London. We the guests, in our various hired or makeshift garments, were put to shame by Vyvyan and Thelma immaculately turned out as a Circus Master and his horse. Thelma had long, silky blond hair usually piled up on top but she could do anything with it - and frequently did. This time her Godiva-like tresses fell around her closely fitting, all-over white leotard ("to disguise the larger curves", she said), a garment barely known then beyond the circus and dance worlds.
Her pice de rsistance was her tail, of her own spare switch of hair, pinned to the appropriate place. They could have stepped out of a Toulouse- Lautrec poster, Vyvyan with his rakish top hat and wonderfully lop-sided smile, and Thelma cavorting and swishing her tail.
Another time Thelma decided to stage a protest against the more than occasional evenings when Vyvyan would disappear with his cronies to all- male establishments such as the Saintsbury Club, or the dining club known as "Ye Sette of Odde Volumes".
She invited the abandoned wives, some six of us I think, to a rival gathering, matching the menu and the wines as closely as could be. "Who needs men?" we unwitting feminists declared as course followed course and bottle after bottle was ritually opened. So lavish was our wives-only gathering that we had not even got to toasting the Queen before our husbands made their somewhat unsteady return. They were suitably mortified when Thelma refused to let them join the ladies until such time as our celebration was all spent.
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 3 Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
- 5 Teen suffers embarrassing wardrobe malfunction in front of deputy PM
Which country would be hardest to invade?
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
UK weather: Severe weather warning for snow and torrential rain over bank holiday weekend
Royal baby girl born: Duchess of Cambridge's second child will be a princess thanks to Queen
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...
£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...