By Margaret Powell
Arriving on the nice homes of Twenties London, fifteen-year-old Margaret's lifestyles in carrier was once approximately to start… As a kitchen maid – the bottom of the low – she entered a wholly new global; one in all stoves to be blacked, greens to be scrubbed, mistresses to be appeased, or even bootlaces to be ironed. paintings begun at 5.30am and went on till after darkish. It was once a much cry from her formative years at the seashores of Hove, the place cash and meals have been scarce, yet heat and laughter by no means have been. but from the gentleman with a penchant for stroking the housemaids' curlers, to raucous tea-dances with errand boys, to the heartbreaking tale of Agnes the pregnant under-parlourmaid, fired for being seduced by way of her mistress's nephew, Margaret's stories of her time in provider are instructed with wit, heat, and a pointy eye for the prejudices of her scenario.
The Pan genuine Lives Series brings jointly a few actually impressive tales. From relocating money owed of discomfort and redemption to enjoyable and impressive confessions, enjoyable adventures and touching stories of devotion, those are life-changing tales informed from the heart.
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Additional info for Below Stairs: The Bestselling Memoirs of a 1920s Kitchen Maid
And work hard because if you didn’t there were half a dozen people queuing up to take your place. But when you got in the pub you were your own master. Yes, then a man had money in his pocket regardless of the fact that it was supposed to last him all the week. So he let go. He went in the pub and aired his opinions and there was no boss to dictate to him. He could say what he liked. Mostly the men got over there as soon as the pub opened and the women as soon as they put the kids to bed. Many women took their children with them – leaving them outside the doors.
Yet in the neighbourhood where we lived, there was hardly any work in the winter. People didn’t want their houses done up then; they couldn’t be painted outside and they didn’t want the bother of having it all done up inside. So the winters were the hardest times. My mother used to go out charring from about eight in the morning till six in the evening for two shillings a day. Sometimes she used to bring home little treasures: a basin of dripping, half a loaf of bread, a little bit of butter or a bowl of soup.
It will do them good. Our teacher used to come around and give us a mighty clump on the neck or box on the ears if she saw us wasting our time. Believe me, by the time we came out of school, we came out with something. We knew enough to get us through life. Not that any of us thought about what we were going to do. We all knew that when we left school we’d have to do something, but I don’t think we had any ambitions to do any particular type of work. 7 I WON A SCHOLARSHIP when I was thirteen which was the age one sat for it then.