Nellie was brought up by her grandparents and lived in the East End of London. At the age of 19, she was able to start the job she had wanted, in a large J. Lyons & Co. Corner House tea room in London, where she became a ‘Nippy’, as the waitresses were called, where she also met her lifelong friend Connie.
Soon after she also met the love of her life, Tommy Brown, but her idyllic life was soon to change with the outbreak of WW2. The comfortable and safe routine of life was soon turned on its head.