Charlie, a former model and Area Sales Manager for an international
coach building company, is currently setting up his own Model Agency.
He was educated at public school and has since spent some time working
his way round America.
On entering the house, he reckoned that "working in a Edwardian house will be like public school."
He is not reticent about his charms. "I've done some modelling, and I rather like
to be the centre of attention," he says. On entering the house, like most of the younger
servants he wondered how he would get on without clubs and bars, but reckoned that he could provide some entertainments for his fellow below stairs staff. Taking orders, though, was not his strong suit. It had got him into trouble at school - how would he adapt to Edwardian discipline?
The footmen, Charlie and Rob have a dual role in the household - while doing a lot of hard manual work, they're expected to look good at the same time.
Coal had to be carried upstairs for the fires and blocks of ice manhandled into the storeroom. And then there's the washing up in the butler's pantry, of the glasses, fine china, the silver and plates that the family used.
But as well as having to work hard downstairs under the direction of the butler, footmen had an ornamental role upstairs: serving at table; assisting guests; riding at the back of the carriage in imitation of their forebears who would run alongside their master's vehicle, (partly for security but largely for display).
Footmen brought prestige to the families they worked for. Being waited on at dinner by a manservant carried higher status than a mere parlour maid. A tall, handsome, liveried footman, his posture erect, his hair powdered on grand occasions, who was confident in the rules of etiquette and served adroitly, brought glamour to a household.
Charlie is tall, so could have earned good money in 1905 as a footman - a first footman who stood 5ft 6in would earn from £20 to £22, whereas one who could draw himself up to 5ft 10in, or even attain 6ft, could command from £32 to £40.12 (about £2500 a year today).