Between-maid, continued


After lunch was washed up I had to ride one and a half miles (on my own bicycle) to fetch 2 cans of milk. Then we started on the evening meal - always 5 or 6 courses. I didn't finish work until the washing up from the dining room and servants' meal had been done; sometimes it was 10pm before I finished.

I used to have one afternoon off a week, off at 2pm, back by 9pm. I used to cycle 14 miles to spend a couple of hours with my family, then one of my brothers would ride with me halfway back, then I went on alone. But we never used to worry being out in the dark at night, we were used to it. I had a week's holiday once in the one and a half years I was there.

When I started there I had to provide my own uniform. I had to have 3 dark blue morning dresses, 6 white aprons with a bib, 3 caps, a black dress for afternoons and small afternoon aprons. My mother had put aside 6d a week for us girls right from when we were little. This paid for the material to make my uniforms.

The worst job I had to do was cleaning the saucepans. There were brass saucepans hung on the wall, all sizes. I had to clean those every week with sand and vinegar - no hot water. It was really hard on your hands. My hands and arms were chapped to the elbows.

start again