Upstairs, Downstairs
Miscellaneous 4

The two great female pillars of downstairs life at 165 Eaton Place – Rose, the head houseparlourmaid, and Mrs Bridges, the cook.

After it was discovered she was carrying James' child, Sarah was confined to the family estate at Southwold for the duration of her pregnancy. She ran away and presented herself back at 165 just as she was giving birth. Though Sarah miscarried, Lady Marjorie recognised her duty to what would have been the mother of her grandchild, and thought it best that Sarah stayed on at 165 with some light duties to keep her occupied. Sarah was appointed nursery maid to Elizabeth's daughter Lucy and, acting responsibly for once, saved the infant from the incompetent attempts of the elderly family nanny. However, it wasn't long before Sarah returned to form...

Sarah: What you staring at me for?
Mrs Bridges: You know what I think, Sarah? I think you're eating for two. Am I right?
Sarah: I dunno what you're talking about.
Mrs Bridges: Oh yes you do, my girl! I've noticed – I'm not blind. You've been putting on weight, haven't you? Eating in between meals, dropping trays... Feeling a bit dicky in the mornings, I shouldn't be surprised?
Hudson: Is this true Sarah?
Sarah: Just 'cos I had a rotten bit of cake...
Hudson: Sarah, I demand a simple answer – are you, or are you not, expecting?
Sarah: What if I am?
Mrs Bridges: There are, what did I tell you?
Hudson: I am shocked, Sarah. Shocked to my very fibre.
Sarah: It wasn't my fault.
Mrs Bridges: The cry of the hussy, Mr 'Udson – it's never her fault. You're talking to me and Mr 'Udson, my girl. We know you don't get babies by smelling the flowers.
Sarah: It's not fair, you know. It's always me what's put upon, ever since I first come to this house. Go on, sack me. I don't care – wish I could die. You sack me without a character.
Mrs Bridges: Character? It's a bit late to talk about character!
Hudson: Mrs Bridges...
Mrs Bridges: It's the truth. Now, come along, who is he?
Sarah: I'm not saying.
Mrs Bridges: Don't know which of many, eh?
Hudson: Mrs Bridges, please...
Mrs Bridges: Well... the little trollop!
Sarah: Last time you wasn't 'orrible. You was understanding last time.
Mrs Bridges: Last time was bad luck. This time it looks like it's becoming a bad habit!

Virginia Bellamy (née Hamilton) was the third mistress of 165 Eaton Place. She first met Richard Bellamy in 1916 when she tried to solicit his help in setting up a charity to help war widows – he brusquely palmed her off onto an underling. She again asked for his help in 1918 when her son was being court-martialled for cowardice under fire. Richard's admiration for Virginia's sprit and pluckiness brought the two close together and they married in 1919. Originally intending to live away from Eaton Place, unsubtle pressure from James persuaded the couple to change their plans and, together with Virginia's two earlier children, they took up residence at 165 until the house was sold off in 1930.

A montage of some of the other screen roles of the Upstairs, Downstairs regulars. Click for a bigger version.

Top row: Nicola Pagett in Anne Of The Thousand Days (Universal, 1969); David Langton in The Avengers: The Mauritius Penny (ABC, 1962); Joan Benham in Carry On Emmannuelle (Rank, 1978); Gordon Jackson in The Quatermass Xperiment (Hammer, 1955); Jean Marsh (with Will Geer et al.) in The Waltons: The Hiding Place (Lorimar, 1977).
Second row: Nicola Pagett (with Roger Moore) in The Persuaders!: The Long Goodbye (ITC, 1971); David Langton in Quintet (20th Century Fox, 1979); Lesley-Anne Down in Sin Un Adiós (Mercurio, 1970); Gordon Jackson in The Shooting Party (Curzon, 1985).
Third row: Gordon Jackson (with Patrick McNee) in The Avengers: Castle De'ath (ABC, 1965); Nicola Pagett in The Avengers: Have Guns – Will Haggle (Thames, 1968); Patsy Smart in Blake's 7: Duel (BBC, 1978); Nicola Pagett (with Peter Sellers) in There's A Girl In My Soup (Columbia, 1970).
Fourth row: David Langton in A Hard Day's Night (United Artists, 1964); John Alderton (with Joan Collins) in Tales Of The Unexpected: Georgy Porgy (Anglia, 1980); Rachel Gurney (with Jack Hawkins) in Mystery And Imagination: The Open Door (ABC, 1966); Meg Wynn Owen in Mystery And Imagination: Frankenstein (Thames, 1968).
Last row: John Alderton in Zardoz (20th Century Fox, 1974); Nicola Pagett in The Viking Queen (Hammer, 1967); Rachel Gurney in A Touch Of Larceny (Paramount, 1959).

The first part of Alexander Faris' memorable waltz theme for the show.

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