Upstairs, Downstairs
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The post-war years 1

Not for nothing were they called the roaring twenties. After the Great War, which had claimed a father or son of almost every family in Britain, those who had survived launched themselves into a round of escapism. It was the age of the flapper, the short-skirted, emancipated girl who smoked, danced the Charleston till dawn, and threw parties which progressed from the jolly to the bizarre. This crazy period could not last, but it eased the pain of the war and made the brave new world tolerable, if still far from the perfection for which millions had fought. While Georgina threw herself into a round of parties – trying to forget the suffering she had seen as a nurse during the war – James was different. His pre-war antics gave way to post-war concern, and he was bored with Georgina's friends and her frivolity.

Despite her initial reluctance, emotional blackmail from James made Virginia decide to move back into Eaton Place after her wedding, along with William and Alice, the children from her first marriage.

The last season required Virginia's children (a boy and a girl, from her first marriage) to appear. Anne Yarker, aged 14 and training in ballet at Elmhurst Dance School, won the audition. During her four episodes, she had to "age" by 11 years, and the series just about managed to pull off this tall order. Her final appearance in UpDown was a small walk-on role as a bridesmaid at Miss Georgina's wedding.

Two new staff joined 165 after the war too – Lily (played by Karen Dotrice) and Frederick (played by Gareth Hunt). In spring 1924, Hudson developed a crush on Lily, and she quietly left Eaton Place to avoid a fuss. June 1927 saw Frederick leave too, planning a new "career" in society as a kept man – both upstairs and downstairs were duly appalled.

Whilst the other Bellamys resisted the changes of the post-war world, Georgina threw herself into the roaring twenties with all the abandon of the "gay young things". Girls cast aside the last vestiges of Edwardian clothes and Victorian inhibitions, bobbed their hair and kicked their legs and, less innocuously, started experimenting with drugs.

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