Anecdotes & Information from past Employees | Larchfield Estate

Anecdotes & Information from past Employees

Dec 10 2018

Larchfield Estate is full of history and heritage which it has accumulated over the past 400 years. In 1997, the current owner Mrs Anne Mackie invited employees of the past back to the Larchfield House. The hope was to gain knowledge and remember Larchfield Estate as it was many years ago. At one time, the House had 22 workers and 6 were recalled here from the mid 1900's.
The Footman
The footman wore a black tail coat finished with brass buttons on the sleeves and tails. This was paired with a white shirt, high collar and bow tie. The footman was given just 2 uniforms per year and earned £2 each week. Duties of the footman included cleaning all shoes, trimming and washing lamps, and leaving lit candles at the bottom of the stairs at 10pm every night. The family members and guests could pick up their candles to take upstairs to bed.
The Pantryboy
The pantryboy washed floors, lit fires and help serving the dinner. There was no gas in the house at this time. The pantryboy had free time from lunchtime until dinner.
The Housemaids
At 7am the housemaids rose from their beds. Their first call of duty was lighting the fires before breakfast and bringing Mrs Graham her hot water bottle at 7.45am each day. The cork matting in the hallways were scrubbed and carpets were cleaned with a brush and pan every morning. The coal scuttles were to be filled for the fire and grates black leaded.
The Cook
Miss Harrison was the cook and remembered not so much for her delicious meals - she picked up any food dropped on the floor and served it regardless!
Casual Workers
Mr Piper was the head gardener. The Yardsman was responsible for filling the coal hopper every day. There were two chauffeurs, Beattie & Christie, who drove a Star with a canvas roof when Mr Graham wasn't driving his Lagonda about.
Staff
All staff ate in the basement and used their recreational room which had table tennis! The staff originally ate in the servants hall but as staff members reduced they moved to a room with a bread oven - cosy!