Teenagers in Service

Settle Streets, © Settle Stories and Stuart PetchSettle Streets, © Settle Stories and Stuart Petch

During the ‘roaring twenties’ at the age of 15, Alice Maunders left home to become an ‘in-between maid’ employed by the wealthy McEvoy family at Stackhouse’s, near Giggleswick. She discovered a world of contrasts with new labour saving innovations such as electric lighting but was still constrained by social structures that had changed little since the age of the Victorians.

Impelled by the economic necessity of finding work during the General Strike, Alice recounts her life, including learning of the death of her father during WWI, to her homesickness on leaving the pit village of Medomsley, County Durham, to the hard chore of wash day and the revolting reality behind some of the food served at country house parties.

The archive contains over an hour of recorded interview; we have put together these handy extracts for educators:

Extracts 1 Alice Maunders and World War One and Extract 2 Alice Maunders and the General Strike cover Alice’s family background and how the economic hardship of the General Strike directly led to her joining the McEvoy family estate.

Extract 3- Alice Maunders and the McEvoy Household. The household structure, roles and responsibilities of estate staff.

Extract 4- Alice Maunders and Dinner Parties- Alice recalling dinner parties, conditions of service and the enforced social segregation of the ‘tradesman’s entrance’

Extract 5- Alice Maunders and Household Arrangements. Here she describes daily household arrangements for meals and food storage.

Click here for ideas for Teachers for using these extracts with KS1-3 exploring the theme of Teenagers in Service.