Relatives were today comforting a 56-year-old Bacup woman after her bungalow’s lounge was downgraded in status to living-room.
Mrs Hilda Williams said she had been looking forward to a visit from the Royal Drawing-Rooms and Lounges Society to inspect her ‘lounge’.
Sitting in her living-room on a DFS red five-seater settee in imitation leather, she said:
‘I was confident that they would confirm we had a lounge. I even hoped they might award me drawing-room or sitting-room status. I couldn’t believe it when the assessor said, ‘Sorry, all we’ve got here is a living-room’. It seemed so brutal.’
Margot Smyth-Taylor, assessor for the Society, said that thousands of British housewives wrongly believed they had a lounge.
‘I’m afraid it’s a common misunderstanding. Last week we had the tragic case of a woman who believed she had a drawing-room when in fact she didn’t even have a lounge. When I broke the news to her that she was just a living-room, she was heartbroken. Later, she attempted suicide in her living-room – which is quite amusing when you think about it.
‘For starters, one cannot have a settee and a lounge. It has to be a sofa.’
‘I feel so ashamed,’ a distraught Mrs Williams said. ‘For years I’ve been talking to my friends about my lounge and now I’ve to admit I’ve been living a lie. I think we’ll have to move to Cheshire where we’re not known.’
Margot Smyth-Taylor said that the Society offered counselling.
‘But, you know, it’s really the lady’s own fault. Mrs Williams had wholly unrealistic expectations. I mean, there was that settee - and the 72” tele nailed to the wall didn’t help,’ she said.