MEMORIES OF A PARLOUR-MAID

I came to take up the post of parlour-maid at Hackthorn Hall in 1935, aged tvventyone.  At that time the staff consisted of cook, kitchenmaid, parlour maid, housemaid, nanny and nursery maid.  There was also a tweeny-maid (one who had to help where needed) two laundrymaids, (one of whom had to scrub the floors),  plus a chauffeur and the garden staff.

I had to supply my own morning uniform, but in the afternoon wore an official uniform of blue dress with ecru cap, collar, cuffs and apron.   I was responsible for cleaning the dining room, and the care of the silver and glass and everything used on the dining table.  Meal times were very formal.  The dining table  was  laid  with  all  thaccoutrements  necessary  for whatever  meal  was  being  served.    The  parlour maid  was always in attendance at dinner.

In  my  previous  employment  I  had  been  taught  the  skills required for valeting gentlemen’s clothes, so in addition to my duties as parlour-maid I took on the valeting of Major Weston CracroftAmcott‘s wardrobe.  My salary was about £50 a year, with half-day off a week and every other Sunday.  

During my three and a half years at the hall I never visited the kitchen gardens.  It would seem that the hierarchy of the staff was such that very rarely did jobs overlap.  I left the hall in September 1938 to  marry  Dick  Teather,  the  younger  son  of  Charles Teather the wheelwright and joiner.

 

Kathleen Teather