Living History Event: Saturday 28 June


Weather in 1935: Warm, sunny.


Lord and Lady Bristol have a small gathering of guests who are staying for the week, including four of their grandsons, the children of Lord Erskine and his wife Lady Marjorie. The boys love nothing more than a game of tennis and have spent every day of their visit so far on the South Lawn playing a mini-tournament.

John Gayfer, hall boy and footman at Ickworth House in the 1930s, remembers how he was encouraged to keep the Erskine boys entertained, taking them around the gardens. He hated this because they were anything but fun. He was also encouraged to play tennis with the younger relatives of Lord Bristol who could find no-one else to practice with.

The younger house staff are jealous that the hall boy can enjoy such freedom and are finding it hard working through the sounds of laughter that filter through the windows and echo around the basement.


Conversation topics for actors:

All: when you find a bit of spare time you might want to sneak a peek of the tennis match – the window by the bathroom on the first floor might offer a view / or the housemaids cleaning the Pompeian corridor might peer through the windows etc.

Senior Servants’ Sitting Room: on the 7th June the Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald, retired because of his old age and Stanley Baldwin took over. What are your opinions on this?

Ramsay MacDonald was losing favour amongst the people. His physical and mental health were in decline from the early 1930s and he was becoming an ineffective leader. His speeches became more and more incoherent.

Stanley Baldwin had already been PM twice before 1935, in 1923-4 and 1924-9.

[see newspaper clippings attached]


Other News:

On the 28th of June the first feature-length three-colour film was aired: Becky Sharp (Vanity Fair), starring Mirium Hopkins. Though none of the housemaids would have a chance to pay the high price to see the film they could chat about it having read an article about the film in the press and in film magazines.

The trailer for the film can be accessed at:


Images from The Times: The Downing Street Shuffle:





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