Year Two travelled back in time to 1891 to kick start their Victorian topic. Modern day minibuses transported them to Holdenby House in Northamptonshire where they met Mrs Bumbridge, the Housekeeper and Mrs Crumpet, the Cook. Mrs Bumbridge allocated job titles to each of the children including Bell Boy, Chamber Maid, Laundry Runner, Gardener and Tweeny (a maid who worked wherever she was needed). Before starting work Mrs Crumpet administered a dose of purge to everyone, including the big girls (otherwise known as the teachers!).
During the course of the morning many jobs were completed. Bread was kneaded, beans and courgettes were sliced and salted, stale bread was ground into breadcrumbs and apples were
peeled and sliced ready to make a crumble. On the other side of the kitchen the posser, dolly and mangle were put to good use by the Laundry Maid, whilst flat irons were carefully handled to iron the sheets. A group of boy servants were set to task cleaning the range and cold box as well as setting the table. Meanwhile in the bedroom much cleaning and tidying was being done. In the boot room, polishing was the theme – brass, boots, saddles, cutlery and garden tools all needed a bit of elbow grease!
Before we left we were lucky enough to be presented to Lady Annaly. We recited the house prayer and entertained Her Ladyship with a beautiful rendition of Twinkle Twinkle. Everybody worked extremely hard but four children were given certificates so that they could return to Holdenby House to begin work at the age of eleven. Mrs Crumpet and Mrs Bumbridge commented, ‘The children have been delightful and all worked well, taking on their roles with enthusiasm.’