Daisy and Edward Come To Tea. Upstairs Downstairs Oneshot.
The year is 1939. Miss Buck is recovered from her tuberculosis and she has invited some of her old friends to have afternoon tea with her. I also thought about what happened to the other characters after they left Eaton Place in 1930. I thought of this after watching Series 2 Episode 5. It is set in a state of flux between Episode 5 and Episode 6. I started it at 4 in the morning due to lack of sleep in student accommodation and finished it on the train 12 hours later.
Please enjoy. Rate and review and check out my Downton Abbey fanfiction The Way I See It.
There was a knock on the door to the servants entrance to 165 Eaton Place. Johnny answered the door to find two middle-aged people standing behind it.
"Mr and Mrs Barnes to see Miss Buck." The woman said.
"Come in. Miss Buck is just upstairs." Johnny replied. He took them into the servants hall.
"Doesn't it look different Eddie." Mrs Barnes whispered to her husband.
"Yes it does Dais. Things have changed since we were last here." Mr Barnes replied.
"Mr and Mrs Barnes I am Mr Pritchard the butler. Miss Bick will be down in due course. Would you care to take a seat? Eunice will bring you a cup of tea. Tea will be served shortly." Mr Pritchard said in his usual solemn manner.
"Eunice set the table and see to the guests. Beryl go and call Harry he must be done with the pram by now. We will eat in 5 minutes." Mrs Thackeray shouted.
"Yes Mrs Thack." Eunice grumbled. She brought through two cups of tea and the cutlery and plates for the table.
"Let us help you." Mrs Barnes said
"Nah it's fine. If Miss Buck catches you she'll beat me round the ears for making guests work. She'll say 'It's Not Your Place'" Eunice replied mimicking Miss Buck badly.
"Don't let Rose catch you doing that she'll eat you alive." Mr Barnes cheekily remarked.
"We're no stranger to hard work. We've set tables most of our lives. We don't like being idle." Mrs Barnes pressed.
"Unless it's with the children." Mr Barnes joked.
"Eddie you shouldn't say such things. They are your children." Mrs Barnes reprimanded.
"All right you can help. Johnny come give us a hand." Eunice hollered. Johnny brought through the tea things and between the four of them they had the table made up in quick time.
"How do you know Miss B?" Eunice asked
"We were in service together for 20 years." Mrs Barnes replied.
"Wow I'm not even 20 and you've been in service all that time." Eunice responded.
"That is nothing. Miss Buck was in service with the same family for over 40 years. "How long has this house been occupied?" Mr Barnes asked
"It was bought in 1930 by Sir Greville Holland but wasn't lived in till 1936 when his son Sir Hallam came to London from America with his wife Lady Agnes." Mrs Thack butted in as she came through and took her place at the table. Daisy and Edward looked at each other remembering the old days.
"Where is Beryl? It doesn't take 10 minutes to find Harry. He's always in the garage." Mrs Thackeray complained. On that Harry and Beryl came through.
"Sorry Mrs Thack I had to change what with Miss B's special guests. Beryl needed something as well." Harry said giving Beryl a quick squeeze round the middle.
"Did you get that pram fixed for Nanny Lyons?" Mrs Thack asked
"Yes that is what I was doing. Sir Hallam doesn't need picking up from the foreign office till 7. Sometimes there's not enough work for a chauffeur." Harry and Beryl sat down along with Mr Pritchard and Mr Amanjit.
"Eddie is that a Sikh?" Daisy asked Edward
"I don't know Dais." Edward replied. There was footsteps on the stairs.
"Edward, Daisy good to see you again." Miss Buck came down the stairs and greeted Edward and Daisy warmly.
"And you Rose. You look better then when we last saw you in the sanatorium." Edward said smiling.
"I feel better. Work makes me well. I wonder what our old friends would say about me convalescing." Rose replied
"They would say to get well. Remember what happened to Mr Hudson after his heart attack. He was off for weeks. He wasn't the same afterwards. It is a shame." Edward looked down remembering that dinner when Mr Hudson had had the heart attack.
"What happened to them after they left?" Daisy asked. Rose was the only one to keep in regular contact with the Hudson's after they left.
"They died in 1932. I don't think they ever recovered from leaving service. Ruby ran off to work in the cinema. I haven't heard from her since. How is Miss Georgina?" Rose asked. Miss Georgina was now the Duchess of Buckminster but to Rose she would always be Miss Georgina.
"The Duchess is fine. She runs the household well. That time with Ruby leaving taught her something."
"The Duchess of Buckminster was always cautious about what to do with her duties."
"You know the Duchess of Buckminster?" Mrs Thackeray butted in from the other end of the table.
"Yes we are the Duchesses Butler and Housekeeper." Edward replied. He didn't like people listening into their conversation.
"She's well revered in the Tatler." Mrs Thackeray added.
"How is the Duke?" Rose asked
"He is well. They have three children now Rupert, Claire and Michelle. They are little devils. Polly, Angus and Kate love playing with them." Edward said proudly.
"Who are they?" Rose questioned
"Our children. The Duchess said that if we had a baby it would be alright. Polly was born 10 months after we left here. She and Rupert share the same birthday. They are as thick as thieves." Daisy had named the youngest two after Mr Hudson and Mrs Bridges. Edward didn't seem to mind.
"Good for Miss Georgina. Whenever I read about her she seems happy. I can't believe it's the same person who came here fresh from finishing school in 1912."
"She is happy. They are still in love. He's a romantic is the Duke and good to me and Eddie. When I was having the children he gave Eddie a week off to help me. I'm glad she married him. He painted her portrait once and now it hangs proudly in the dining room. They are proud parents and with what happened to her parents I'm not surprised. How are Lady Bellamy, Master William and Miss Alice?" Daisy said. She was proud of her mistress. She had grown up with her from the age of 18 and was good friends after all these years.
"Miss Alice married the Viscount of Chesterfield. Mrs Bridges trained her well. She's always in the kitchen according to her letters. Master William married in 1934 to the Miss Elizabeth's youngest daughter Tabitha. They met when his Lordship took them over to visit her in 1931. Both children made good marriages. Lady Bellamy is still living her quiet life on the outskirts of Bath. As you know his Lordship died in 1932. She came to see me in the sanatorium. All of my friends did. I have forgotten myself. Edward, Daisy may I introduce the staff of 165 Eaton Place. Mr Pritchard the Butler, Mrs Thackeray the Cook, Mr Amanjit the secretary to Sir Hallam and Dr Mottershead, Johnny the footman, Eunice the nursery under house parlour maid Beryl the head house parlour maid and Harry the chauffer who is also engaged to Beryl."
"A married chauffer and housemaid. It is me and you all over again isn't it Daisy. Will you be living in the mews?" Edward asked jokingly?
"We haven't decided yet have we B." Harry replied.
"Have you all been here since 1936?" Daisy asked curiously
"Most of us have. Eunice came in 1937 when Ivy the other maid left for another job and then Beryl came in 1938 when Lady Agnes had her second baby." Mr Pritchard responded
"I'm surprised you found someone to replace Mr Hudson. You know his standards." Edward said
"Edward you never change. Mr Pritchard was the best candidate.I thought fatherhood would have changed you." Rose shook her head.
"Nothing ever changes him. As soon as the door to our cottage shuts the front comes off. Angus is the picture of his father cheek and all. They are constantly getting into trouble and he won't discipline them leaving me to be the disciplinarian. These macaroons are delicious Mrs Thackeray. I have never had macaroons like them." Daisy complimented Mrs Thackeray and chastised her husband in one breath something she was having to do a lot of but she still loved him.
"Thank you Mrs Barnes. What is your cook like, You must have a good one since it is a ducal household." Mrs Thackeray questioned inquisitively. Desperate to extract information she could pass on to her friends.
"She is terrible not up to Mrs B's standards. Remember when King Edward VII came to dinner Rose and Mrs B had a flap but apart from that she never did. Our cook flaps everyday I want to get rid of her but Miss Georgina won't. She's been with the Duke since he was a little boy."
"Yes I do Edward."
"If I flapped every time the Duke of Kent came here I would be in an asylum." Mrs Thackeray hollered again.
"Do you see the Duke often?" Edward asked
"He is Sir Hallam's particular friend." Mr Pritchard glowed proudly.
"Do you hear much from Miss Elizabeth?" Daisy asked. She never knew Miss Elizabeth but had heard a lot about her.
"Occasionally. She is a grandmother now. Miss Lizzy a grandmother. I would never have thought I would see it. She had two other children with her husband after Mr Kirbridge, Franklin and Tabitha. As I said Master William married Miss Tabitha and my Miss Lucy grew up to be a beauty."
"Did the Bellamy's live here before the Holland's?" Eunice asked vacantly.
"Yes they did and I and Mr and Mrs Barnes served them along with Mr Hudson, Mrs Bridges and Ruby. I served them for over 40 years. Mr Barnes 30 years and Mrs Barnes nearly 20 years." Rose replied.
"Have you ever met the King if you have served the Duke of Kent?" Daisy asked
"No but we have met the American Ambassador Mr Joseph Kennedy. His son is a sweetie." Mrs Thackeray said spitefully. The bell rang.
"Front door. Johnny go and get it. Eunice it is time for you to start the dishes." Mr Pritchard commanded.
"I'd better start on upstairs dinner. Mrs Thackeray left the table along with Mr Amanjit.
"Let's go to the garage B and leave these old friends to chat." Harry took Beryl's hand and led her away. Mr Pritchard discreetly left the table leaving Rose, Edward and Daisy alone.
"Are you truly well Rose?" Daisy said when everyone had left.
"Of course I am." Rose replied cheerily
"It is not too much for you to be still in service?" Daisy asked
"No of course not. I could never retire look at what it did to Mr Hudson and Mrs Bridges. The Holland's are a nice couple. I've revealed more of my past today than I ever had before. They are all good people."
"They would have to be to work for you. You taught us everything we know. Being heads of a large staff isn't the same as being the same in a small staff. It is cosier in a small staff. We miss it. We could never have had children here that is the only problem with a small staff as we would be missed. I hope that Harry and Beryl realise that." Daisy remarked.
"I am sure they do. What with war coming young love will be hard to come by. He will no doubt be called up along with young Johnny who's already had his notification papers unless Sir Hallam pulls some strings. Eunice will go off and work in the factories or on the land like Ruby did. Beryl might go off as well and earn money for the future."
"Times change Rose. I am glad Mr Hudson and Mrs Bridges aren't here to see this. Lord knows what they'd say probably that we didn't do anything before or that Hitler is a good thing. Remember what he said about Mussolini." Edward said being serious.
"How could we forget." Rose replied
"How did Mr Amanjit come to work here?" Daisy asked.
"He came with the late Lady Maud Holland from India as her secretary and after she died he stayed and became the secretary to Sir Hallam and Dr Mottershead. He deals with Sir Hallam's ward Lotte."
"Mr Hudson would faint if he knew that a Sikh was working here but he seems nice enough. I'm sorry Rose but we must get back. We left Miss Pearson in charge no doubt Angus, Polly and Kate have caused havoc as usual. They normally do." Daisy and Edward got up.
"Please send our regards to Lady Bellamy, Mrs Wallace, Mr Hamilton and Lady Carlton." Daisy said as they walked towards the door.
"I will do. Would you like to look round the old place before you go?" Rose asked. Edward and Daisy looked at each other.
"Why not." They said together. They held hands as they went in to the kitchen and saw Mrs Thackeray up to her eyes in vegetables. It could have been Mrs Bridges. They watched Johnny clean the silver. It could have been Edward, Frederick or Albert. Eunice was washing dishes. It could have been Ruby. They watched Mr Pritchard in the cellar. It could have been Mr Hudson. They looked in the garage. Harry and Beryl were talking while he mended the car and changed in to his chauffeur's uniform. It could have been them. Rose, Rose, Rose. The house had changed, the staff had changed but she never did. Her eyes were tired but she was still there. The one constant in the life of the house that was 165 Eaton Place.