A Short Introduction to Life At A Country Manor

The staff of Grace Brothers' Department Store found themselves rooked out of their retirement; Young Mr. Grace, the CEO of the firm, has squandered their retirement investments. Upon the reading of his will, they discovered they were the beneficiaries of an old country manor in which they could live out the remainder of their lives in peace and quiet. They could use the manor as an inn and generate income from it since it could not be sold. Their pension amounted to about £243 per month; they realized they had been diddled.

Those remaining were members of the Ladies' and Gents' Departments: Mrs. Betty Slocombe, Miss Shirley Brahms, Mr. Claybourne Humphries, Mr. Cuthbert Rumbold, and Captain Stephen Peacock. Mr. Ernest Grainger had long since retired and Mr. James Lucas moved on to another firm: Austin Reed. No one had heard from either of them since.

The country home, Millstone Manor, was situated in the village of Great Tender, a good ways outside of London. Being short on staff, the Grace Brothers staff would have to muck in and become a team, taking on the duties of running the farm and the inn. The only help they would have would be from the only two remaining house staff members- Mr. Maurice Moulterd and his daughter, Mavis Moulterd. Mr. Rumbold was left in charge of the Manor.

Mrs. Slocombe had some experience working on a farm, as she had been evacuated to a farm in Tiverton during World War II. She was a land girl and knew how to milk cows, muck stalls, gather eggs, plant and harvest crops. Her knowledge and experience would prove invaluable. Mr. Moulterd claimed to have a long-term relationship with Mrs. Slocombe during the war and brought up the subject quite often hinting at what supposedly happened. Mrs. Slocombe vehemently denied any impropriety.

Miss Jessica Lovelock, Young Mr. Grace's personal assistant, who was with him in his last hours, also joined them. He left a portion of the estate to her.

Her presence would be a constant source of friction at the Manor.

After some initial teething troubles, the staff settled into life in the country.

Despite the quiet charm of their home and the fresh air and sunshine, the staff had very few visits from their old friends and family. Captain Peacock's wife had died 10 years earlier. Mr. Rumbold's wife left him. Mrs. Axelby moved away before Mrs. Slocombe retired. Mr. Humphries' mother moved into a retirement home several years before Grace Brothers closed their doors for good.