"Life Below Stairs" - Celia Graham from The National,Trust
Although I was on holiday and unable to attend this particular meeting - it sounded so interesting I still wanted everyone to have the chance to read about the events, although unfortunately. ( or maybe fortunately you may say!) this a very short description of a talk that I feel sure deserves more.
Celia's presentation began by referring to the stunning Ickworth House where on re-enactment days, you will find her volunteering.
She painted a picture for us from the building of the Rotunda in the 18th century right up until the 1950's when the house was given to the nation in lieu of death duties- The house had, as expected, fallen into some disrepair but by the early 20th century it had been restored to its former glory by The National Trust as I'm sure many of you who have visited this superb House have seen for yourselves.
She explained that an unusual feature of the House is the dry moat, it's purpose being to allow light into the very dark quarters where the many servants lived and worked, but even more importantly it provided a means by which the servants could pass from one side of the House to another without anyone being seen by anyone in the main House. She gave us an insight into the life of servants below stairs in that period of time, and if you have ever watched "Downton Abbey" you would be aware a strict hierarchy was in place from the lowest scullery maid to the highest accolade of Butler.
The re- enactment is from the period between the two World Wars and how life has changed for both family and servants - she explained her role which sounded extremely interesting and I am sure her talk has whetted the appetites for those who have never visited, to plan on putting a date in their diary and for those who already have been to make a date for this re-enactment.
After a vote of thanks to Celia - an update on our Handbag Appeal for Hope & Direct was given and I am delighted to say that 27 bags have been filled ready to pass on to Jack Storer for this wonderful charity.
Cathy Ryan also asked if anyone has an old mobile no longer in use she is collecting for "WaterAid" and would really welcome whatever you have finished with. Please drop them into the surgery or if easier bring along to our next meeting.
After the usual excellent refreshments and raffle and "any other business" Sue Dabbs our Chairman bought another resoundingly good evening to a close.
Our next meeting is on Tuesday 16th October at 7.30 in Reydon Village Hall when we will be having a Recipe Swap and Quiz so don't forget to bring your favourite one along with you, and better still a taster!