Charlotte Dorothy Meadowcroft (b.1901) Habits, Culture and Belief

In Charlotte’s handwritten memoir, she details her life spent as a maid in various schools around Derbyshire. She doesn’t speak about culture, in terms of recreational interest, due to her working life being spent living at schools, however, there are a few clues.

She was definitely aware of and involved in pop music culture. On page 24 she mentions dancing the ‘Maxino’ with her friends to ‘Home in Pasadena’, ‘Give me the Moonlight’ and ‘Row me on the River’, but this is the only time pop culture, or any recreational activity, is mentioned. That isn’t to say that Charlotte was uncultured: because of the nature of her work, and the isolated location, there would not be the options that other may have had in large towns or cities. Because of this, socialising was her main recreational event, this can be seen throughout her memoir, and the anecdotal, gossip fuelled style enforces this.

There are some times when her beliefs are mentioned. While she doesn’t elaborate on why she thinks these things, it is clear that she has a strong set of beliefs. On page 10 she talks about one of the other maids she works with:

She would talk to me when I was tired & tell me things that I had never heard of, such as sex, up to that time I was innocent & to me it came as a blow I was shocked & I remember thinking how crude & vulgar she was, any way, I already considered that she was very common, I could not do anything about it.

This is one example, and it exposes a number of things. Firstly, it shows she identifies herself as being above common. She could also mean immoral for this, but it certainly shows that she sees herself as decent and with class. It is possible that this is an inaccurate account, as the style she writes in suggests that her memoir is for people very close to her, so she could be censoring or slightly altering these situations, now she is aware of a reader.

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