Manor House Sir John Olliff-Cooper
"I really don't have problem with having servants...if I'm not being served, they don't have a job."
Sir John Olliff-Cooper
Sir John Olliff-Cooper
Sir John Olliff-Cooper

Watch the video diaries

Sir John's Day

As a landowner, Sir John is in heaven - he gets to fish in his own lake
As a landowner, Sir John is in heaven - he gets to fish in his own lake

Edwardian Life

An Owner's Guide to Life in Manderston House

A Typical Day in the House

How to Treat your Servants

The People: John Olliff-Cooper

John: On Entering the House

How do you see yourself filling your days?
"Well, it does somewhat depend upon what is expected of me. Of course, one has a selfish 'wish list' and a perhaps rose-coloured understanding of what an Edwardian gentleman might have done. After bathing, breakfast and the newspapers, it would be duties first, I suspect."

"As a passionate anger I muse dreamily upon the thought of visiting my London rod-maker to specify a definitive new trout rod. As a shot I might be measured for a new pair of shotguns. Given leave of absence by his tutor, my youngest son Guy would love to see that process, and with his clever-little-blighter-hands-on-enquiring mind, would be a total 'pain'. Pleasant hours might be lost at one's tailor, country drives in the new motor car, and picnicking by the river would certainly appeal."

"Dare I say it? I'm sure the loss of television would be a blessing to all of us. I would very-much enjoy entertaining week-ending guests, reading and listening to whatever live music was available (now, did they have gramophones at that time?). Musical soirees would be a delight."

What do you think you will enjoy most and least look forward to?
"I'm sure I shall most enjoy the proper food from our own kitchen garden, without the absolute necessity of garlic in everything, and the pre-first-world-war security of being British when this nation was still proud. I shall revel in the idea of being transported in a time-machine, albeit with the underlying knowledge that I shall not actually be required to die in 1910 style, of tuberculosis."

"Like most twenty-first century men, I have become rather reliant on the push-button immediacy of things like hot water and central heating. I really don't think I will miss very much at all, but reality may swiftly disabuse me of that idea."

"In my egalitarian, politically-correct present, I'm pleased enough to receive politeness and civility from others, so I just wonder how uncomfortable I shall feel initially, when confronted with Edwardian servility."


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