14th July Monthly Meeting Report:
Vice President Jeanne Doorne welcomed 52 members to the July meeting. The record of the last meeting was available for members to read and was signed as read and business matters were speedily dealt with.
Castle Green has gone global and Julie Andrews, her husband Richard and Daphne Gazeley were thanked for setting up our new website castlegreenwi.org.uk. Daphne will be our new webmaster and will update the website with Julie’s help.
Click on feedback to read members’ reactions to this new website.
During coffee time members could check out future events being organised by East Kent Federation and to socialise.
Our speaker was Ian Porter who gave a talk entitled ‘The Real Downton Abbey’. Ian started by comparing the reality of life ‘downstairs, compared to the rather cosy version portrayed on television. Servants were overworked, underpaid and constrained by petty rules. There was a strict hierarchy with the Steward at the top and the scullery maid at the bottom. There were also outdoor staff to maintain the gardens and the estate. In 1901 the school leaving age was raised to 14 and there were more work opportunities especially for girls which lead to a shortage of servants. There was a further decline in the number of people going into service following the Great War and the Spanish Flu epidemic and there was a perceived lack of status in being a servant. In 1920 Unemployment Insurance (dole money) came into being but interestingly servants were exempt until 1946.
Ian answered the many questions put to him and Barbara Thorburn thanked him for an interesting and informative talk.
Julie Andrews was the winner of the competition for photography related to the subject.
For a report on our July Pot Luck Lunch please click on the link Past Events