About the Series:
With just a week to go until everyone has to leave the house it's time for reflection
upstairs and a loosening of the rules downstairs.
Sir John announces that there is
to be a Servants' Ball to celebrate the end of their time in the house. This will
be a unique opportunity for upstairs and downstairs to meet socially and would have
traditionally involved the Lady
of the house dancing with the butler and the Master dancing with the housekeeper.
There are those downstairs that are determined to use the event as an opportunity to
let the family know what they really think of them.
In the build up to the Ball, gambling fever overtakes the house. It's 1911 and
gambling had become respectable in high society. The family go to the races and
see their horse win. Meanwhile the servants are making a guy for the bonfire and
fireworks that will take place on the same night as the Ball. The guy seems to
bear an uncanny resemblance to Sir John.
As the Edwardian era draws to a close we look forward to what the future might have
held for the inhabitants of the house. For the young men things look bleak. The
First World War claimed thousands of lives and deprived the country of a whole
generation of its finest. By contrast the women of the house might face slightly
better futures. There would be new employment opportunities for them and soon after
the war a chance to vote and have their voice heard. The older members
of staff, the butler and the housekeeper could look forward to being recipients
of the very first state pensions. But these would be less than their wages and
they would still have to depend on the generosity of their masters.
The night of the Ball finally arrives and for the first time ever the male members
of the family visit the downstairs part of the house. No sooner has Sir John and
his family entered the servants' hall but
chef launches into
a personal attack on
Sir John and complains bitterly that he has not been living like a true Edwardian
as he was constantly demanding modern food.
Sir John brushes him off and chef walks out of the dance. Everyone else is determined
to have a good night and Sir John does dance with
Mrs Davies and
Mr Edgar the butler partners
Next morning the family is to leave the house while the servants leave the day
after. At his final morning prayers Sir John is overcome with emotion and the
whole family are clearly finding the wrench hard to bear. The lower servants
remain unmoved during the lengthy goodbyes but there are tears when Morrison
embraces her mistress and a big bear hug between Sir John and his steadfast
Left alone in the house the servants find their own ways of saying goodbye to
Manderston. Becky the first housemaid
decides to do something that she's never been able to do -
she mops the hall floor one last time knowing that now the family has gone there's
no one to walk over and ruin all her hard work.
Charlie the first footman
has always wanted to sit
on the steps of the front door while others seem to have rather different priorities.
Kenny the hallboy and
Ellen the scullery maid
are discovered in the Master's bed by Mr Edgar and Mrs Davies but
what would not longer ago have been a sacking offence is now laughed off by all.
Chef stops the clock in the kitchen and fittingly, just as Edgar was the first
to arrive all those weeks ago, he is now the last to leave - having fulfilled his mission to honour
grandparents by behaving as an Edwardian.