Diary of a Housemaid #4


Diary March

March 1935:

The family have returned from London and guests are expected to arrive in a couple of days. Suddenly the whole house has come to life. The corridors are busy again with the clip clop of footsteps hurrying every which way, back and forth, to and from every corner of the great house. Miss Stringer calls this ‘The Great Spring Clean’ season. Each room has to be swept, every ornament dusted, and every piece of furniture polished. For the past week I have spent the afternoons making polish out of beeswax and turpentine. A horrid, smelly job, but one that has to be done since the household budget does not allow for the purchase of modern cleaning products.

It is not just the house that has sprung into life this week. Finally Spring has arrived! The sun is starting to get a little warmth to it and in the mornings I now wake up to the sounds of lambs playing in the fields. A few days before the party from London arrived I spent my half-day with my brother William. He had taken the afternoon off from his work as a bricklayer in the village and joined me for a walk around the estate. When I saw him waiting for me by the gates I could not help but laugh. He was covered from head to toe in brick dust. I was in a similar state after a day of dusting cobwebs and removing dust-sheets. We must have looked a right sight! Of course the little lambs did not care how we looked and we spent the afternoon watching as they skipped and jumped to their heart’s desire.

Rose Bailey


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