Becky lives with her parents and has been working for Tourist Information.
She read History and Ancient History at the University of Reading but it was
memories of her grandmother that inspired her to join the project:
"She was in service. She was only fifteen when she first went away -
she was scared, but she had to. Her father had died and they needed the money. She'd lost all feeling in her hands and she was quite proud of that because
it showed how hard she worked. I remember thinking that I wouldn't want to work
Becky is expected to work a 120 hour week for the yearly sum of £28 (just over £1700 today).
And as with all the other servants, any time off is completely at the discretion of the master,
Sir John. Unlike today, there was
no legal right to time off for such domestic workers in 1905.
The female servants have to learn to cope with their
corsets. These are not only
complicated to put on, but also restrict breathing and movement. Not so bad if all you
have to do is look pretty like Lady Olliff-Cooper,
but difficult if you are doing hard physical work all day.
As far as Becky's place in the hierarchy goes, the rules state "The first housemaid
is the highest ranking of the Lower Female Servants.
Your direct counterpart in the Male Staff is the
first footman. You answer
directly to the housekeeper,
and look to her to learn the skills of your trade.
Your status is senior to the
second housemaid, with whom you
work in close conjunction. You must supervise her work and delegate tasks to her as you see
fit. Although most of your duties fall directly into the department of the
housekeeper, you can also expect to take orders from the chef de cuisine,
and the most senior ranking member of Staff, the butler."