Home > Servants: The True Story of Life Below Stairs > Miniseries > Episode 3
No Going Back
Series about the real history of Britain's servants. Dr Pamela Cox explores how the 20th century dealt a hammer blow to domestic service as we knew it. It's the story of how - the moment they had a choice - servants left domestic service, leaving the master servant relationship spiralling into decline. The Great War dealt the first blow, as menservants enlisted and women stepped in to fill their roles, both in stately homes and factories. Having had a taste of better working conditions, women were reluctant to return to service, with its hated, now old-fashioned starched cap and apron. Mistresses tried to tempt women back with prettier uniforms and even a Masters & Servants' Ball. Yet radical change came from suburban housewives in a new type of house springing up in the 1930s: the semi-detached home. Here new 'daily' servants used novel technologies like the vacuum cleaner - but still had to use the outside toilet.
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