I love the book I am presently reading, “My Life in Service to Lady Astor”, by Rosina Harrison. A wonderful autobiography. It takes place in the early 1900’s in London. Tea Service was a big part of high society life. Here are some excerpts. This is about Rosina’s simple family life before she became a servant.
“I am up by 6 am must lay the kindling to get the fire going. Fetch the water from the pump outside. Get the boiler in the fireplace fulled. This and the kettle are the only supplies of hot water. Get Dad’s breakfast. Get brothers and sisters dressed and hurried out. Then I am off to school. Lunch break is my dinner hour for a home meal. I go to the wash- house turn the mangle while Mum fed it with the morning washing. Get Dad’s Tea- his meal of the day. After school, there is daring, mending, getting the children to bed.
On Saturdays I shine and clean the kitchen range with blacklead that comes in blocks like soap. When I am finished I am covered with it. The oven is on one side, the boiler is on the other. There is an iron bar across the top to hang the kettle, a big black iron one that was permanently over the fireplace. One cat sits on the oven and one on the boiler. That is a family scene you never forget”. Despite the hard work you get the sense that she was proud of her family and her cosy little home.