I was volunteering out at a heritage property the other week. I do a few hours a month acting as room guide and general helper. One small group had finished their tour and were milling about in the foyer, just as the second group came in – they knew each other and there was some banter between the parties. I overheard one old lady excitedly reporting to her pals that she’d had a fabulous tour and it was wonderful to see the below stairs experience – which is carefully reimagined set of rooms that the servants would have worked and lived in whilst in the employment of the house. She was animated and almost did my job for me. So at least one very happy punter. Yet strangely after the second tour had completed, I heard two much younger women discussing the very same part of the tour – they had found it tediously uninteresting. They couldn’t believe that any young men would put up with that sort of life. They were really uptight about how small the staff quarters were. I explained that for poor families, getting one or two sons working ‘up at the big house’ was the best thing ever – it meant board, lodgings and a wage. Those rooms were very highly prized, even with the tiny windows and three or four beds per room. Luxury!