»  My Mother's Feb. 1992 Notes

        Page 14

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no silk straps, petticoats either embroidered by own self or very plain & shapeless. Girls were put on a list in an employment agency, always for maids cooks, nannies & mothers help etc. Someone came to interview one & ones mother would extol your virtues & it was Madam this or Madam that practically grovelling to said Madam  I found it humiliating & nauseous. Young children were called Master or Miss & lived in a world apart. I had 4 years to wait before I could enrol for a 3 yr nursing course & one had to be well educated & lady-like!!  so it gave me time to learn  The entrance exam was very stiff, but I continued to read & in my first job as under nurse I had access to a wonderful library & books of every description. What joy! This was a small mansion house in Edgebaston, a Major Parker, a very important strutting little man, but kind to staff. Madam Parker, an ageing chorus girl but again very kind, would pass on her cast offs to us. There were a cook, a scullery maid, lowest down the scale, who worked long & hard, preparing vegies & doing all the dirty work, forever scrubbing & cleaning & waiting