tries to get back to life in the 21st century.
girl Antonia Dawson, has just took part in a new docu-soap called
'The Edwardian Country House.'
She joined 18
other volunteers to recreate the upstairs-downstairs life of the
early 20th century.
Antonia was a police switchboard operator, but gave it up to take
part in the programme for three months. She chose to take on the
role of a kitchen maid.
The series hopes to turn back the clock and recreate the Edwardian
life as it was for the upper classes and their servants before the
First World War.
Everything is traditionally British, there's a grand country house,
croquet in the garden and a stable full of horses.
Nowadays of course, class is not as important or defined. But back
then life was utterly divided and ruled by class.
with Antonia Dawson:
much fun was it?
I wouldn't use the word 'fun', but it was a hard experience
and worth doing.
did you chose to be a kitchen maid?
That was the position I applied for, so I could go downstairs.
I thought it would be more relaxed, we'd have more fun. I knew
it would be hard work but I wanted to be in with the nitty gritty.
did you want to be part of the programme?
I wanted to appreciate where we come from, as a 21st century
person who's got her own house and car, a good job and no one
reliant on me, I wanted to see what options I'd would've had
100 years ago and what would've been open to me.
were your duties?
I used to get up at 7:00am, put the porridge on, get the
servants breakfast ready and start preparing the veg. Our breakfast
was at 8:15am and the servants dinner was a full roast. In the
evening we'd have what remained from the meal upstairs.
must be crackers!
At the time it seemed completely sane! When I got back and
told people, that the first thing I did in the morning was to
look out the window and see how windy it was, so I knew how
hot the ranges were going to be that day, they look at me and
say 'oh my God , I don't believe it'.
long did it take you to get the hang of it?
Surprisingly quickly, after a couple of weeks when you knew
how to work the ranges, every day was the same, so it didn't
take that long.
were the people you were waiting on like?
We only saw them at morning prayers, I wasn't in regular
contact at all, I went around once when the family were in bed
and I was slightly drunk! My life was downstairs.
they horrible people?
They liked their role and there you go. They got a little
bit used to their role!
you do it again?
It wouldn't be the same if we did it again, I'd just like
to perfect what I learned.
have you learned from it?
It's not what I've learned, but what I've come to realise
about myself, I thought I was quite subservient, but I've learned
I'll stand up if something is wrong.