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Maid returns to 'in service' house

By gail robinson, Town Reporter Thursday 27th March 2014
The Cooke family lived at Darley Cliffe when Brenda was in service
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Pd50199-1 Brenda meets Darley Cliffe's new owner Andrew 1 of 2 Pd50199-4 Brenda returned to Darley Cliffe Hall 2 of 2

WHEN Brenda Sykes started work at Darley Cliffe Hall in 1943, she suspected life "in service" might be a little hard.


But the tiny 14-year-old had not expected anything like the gruelling 16 hours a day she had to work. From lighting all the fires at 6am every day in the imposing 17th Century house, she worked without stopping until 10pm. When she had finished cleaning windows, polishing silver, ironing, sweeping, dusting, scrubbing and doing everything else necessary, she went to her bedroom in the service wing by candlelight.


For that she was paid the princely sum of 10 shillings - or 50p.


This week, 70 years later, Brenda returned to Darley Cliffe Hall to meet its present owner and to see how the hall and its owners have changed.


Read all about her fascinating visit in Friday's Barnsley Chronicle (dated March 28.)

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