The Hall Boy’s Journal – “Those Footmen…”

2 November 1935

Those footmen really think a lot of themselves! Prancing around in their red waist-coats and acting as though they were the Lord of the manor hisself. It makes me blooming mad! They need to get down from their high horse (or whatever that saying is) and join the rest of us in the real world. A servant is a servant, after all!


those footmen

Two footmen, Laurence and Martin – Photograph taken by NT photographer Philip Mynot


I suppose I should explain my little outburst there – letting my feelings get the better of me again. I mean, Laurence, Martin and Harry are nice enough chaps. They just make me feel so inferior sometimes. I know I am actually lower than them in the pecking order of things here, but surely us chaps should stick together. The whole House is full of girls – there is only a handful of us men.

What really got my goat yesterday was when Martin and Laurie dismissed me from the servant’s hall. I had just finished cleaning the grate and decided to join them for a cup of tea, a bit of a rest, when Martin gave me a right funny look and said,

“Hello Laur, who’s this sooted scamp headed our way?’

Sooted scamp! Well, I know I might have taken on some of the dust from the grate but I’m no sweep’s boy! Laurence smirked and joined in the game, waving his hand at me,

“Away with you soot boy! You’ll mess up our threads.”

Of course I just stood there, expecting them to laugh at their joke and then invite me over, but instead they turned their backs on me and started sniggering. I stormed out of the room, and I am not too proud to admit that the anger I felt inside me erupted into a tear or two. I know they were only cheeking me, but still – they were hall boys once! Why pick on me now?



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