Risque-Edwardian-ladyToday’s Dodgy Perth deals with a delicate story. As a consequence, we will use first names only. The protagonists are certainly passed on, but we wish to minimise the chance of young descendants stumbling across Great Grandma in this particular setting.

Let us introduce Violet Rose and Geoffrey Neville. She grew up in North Perth and he in Inglewood. Both were born around the time of World War I.

Geoff was tall, broad-shouldered, olive-skinned, wavy-haired, and moustachioed. Looking every inch like a sportsman, he cut a handsome figure in his natty, gold-braided Flying Squadron blazer.

Violet was dainty, but extremely pretty with her raven black hair and noticeably high heels.

Their parents must have been delighted when the young couple met, fell in love, and married in 1940. It seems likely that the pair moved in with Geoff’s mother in Crawford Road, directly opposite Inglewood Primary School. (The house still stands, not looking at all like a home for the scandal which follows.)

Her parents were probably less than ecstatic when the following year Geoff was convicted of theft. Oh well. Newlyweds always have a few problems at first.

But the problems kept coming for poor Violet.

It turned out the Geoff had a bit of a thing for laying her across his knee and spanking her bare bottom.

Perhaps she could have lived with this if it wasn’t for Geoff’s habit of collecting pictures of men and women in (let us say) unusual poses and demanding that Violet act out the scenes with him.

No matter how many times she burned his stash of photographs, Geoff always seemed to be able to find more.

When Violet finally cracked and threatened to take the porn stash to the police, Geoff blackmailed her by claiming he had taken photos of her sleeping. If she said anything, these would find their way into the public gaze.

In the divorce court in 1943, Geoff got a chance to put his side of the story. “I am not a sexual pervert”, he protested. “Every time we went to bed I was always too tired and wanted to go to sleep.”

In any case, Violet was difficult to live with, he claimed, alleging that his petite wife had hurled a heavy engineer’s hammer at his head, and made him beg on his knees just to get his trousers mended.

No one believed him, and maintenance was fixed at £2 10s a week.

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