Saturday, July 02, 2011

Stephanie Thomas's memories of Shrubland Hall

An archived post from the (now-defunct) Shrubland Revisited website...


I started work at Shrubland Hall as a Receptionist in approx 1981.

Mrs Smith was the Manager and other staff in the reception were Molly Kerry (who I am still in contact with),Mrs /Fayers, Margaret Peacock.  Shifts 9 – 3  and 3  – 10 Reception days – Mon & wed
Lord de Saumarez had his office in the Reception Office which was also the library. It was interesting being on the evening shift as the guests would come into the library and spend time talking to us.
Mrs Betty Bacon was secretary to Lady Julia de Saumarez

Mrs Gooding was the Housekeeper

Jane Blackburn was manager of Light Diet & was also cataloguing the Archives

Sister Waters was the resident nurse and Dr Boag was a manipulative physician.

Dr Boag lived in the Russian Lodge halfway down the drive, later it was used as an additional room for guests.

Joan Stone – Treatment Secretary

Most of these staff lived on the estate, I lived in Bramford.

We met a lot of interest and distinguished guests, however he highlight of our employment was the occasion on Louisa de Saumarez’s wedding. The house looked magnificent and the wedding took place in Coddenham church, the reception was held afterwards in Shrublands. We (the staff) lined up with the family to greet family members and staff and were then assigned the task of looking after guests and serving food and drinks. It was a fabulous wedding and was featured in Bride’s magazine ( I still have a copy)

The Sorrel Horse at the bottom of the drive was a popular place for patients to disappear off to for forbidden drinks etc ?!

Victor and Eric were latterly involved in the running of the estate.

I remember the Turkish baths being installed after Lord & Lady de Saumarez had purchased a Turkish gilet for holidays and brought back Turkish tiles for the baths.

I was at Shrublands for approx 4 years. During this time my son was very ill with asthma and Lady de Saumarez very kindly arranged for him to visit her homeopathic doctor in Harley Street. This was a very generous gesture and much appreciated.

I enjoyed my time at Shrublands, I made a lot of friends and met many interesting guests.