Winter cleaning

Cleaning in progress

Now that we are closed for the season, the house team are starting the winter cleaning and conservation programme. Work has begun in the attics cleaning and re-organising stored items, and this week Angie and Sara gave what we call the “Maids Room” a complete overhaul. This room is part of the tour for school visits and shows the students how a maid’s bedroom would have looked at the time Mr and Mrs Bruce Ward purchased the estate in 1918, comparing the starkness of the furnishings to the students bedrooms today. Seeing Angie and Sara working in their face masks made me wonder how the maid who occupied this room would have coped with the “Spanish Flu” pandemic that swept the globe from 1918 to 1920. In contrast to our current pandemic, the Spanish Flu killed young, healthy adults, and was spread by soldiers in the First World War – with ideal conditions on troop ships and in the trenches for transmission of the virus. Without any viral medicines, or the chance of a vaccine, this deadly flu killed over 50 million people and infected a third of the world’s population at the time. We know that workers on the Godinton estate fought in the war and would have returned to Godinton on leave, but we have no information on how this impacted on the community here. Hopefully all were spared.

Sewing box