Progress - Downton to Deuces
The Guest Speaker for the February monthly meeting was Ms Katharine Collett who described herself as a Singer, Speaker and Entertainer and she certainly lived up to those descriptions, with the emphasis on entertainer.
Her theme, accompanied by relevant songs, was the dramatic changes in Britain from the Edwardian era up to the 1930s.
She started by expressing the view that Edwardian times represented the start of Modern Britain which we could identify with from TV series such as Downton Abbey, the Duchess of Duke Street, Upstairs, Downstairs and many others set in that era. It was a time on the threshold of change which she illustrated by singing Alexandra's Ragtime band. However, most women were confined to domestic work, representing 90% of all female workers with little chance of improvement, as heard in the song ‘I'm forever blowing bubbles’. However new inventions such as telephones were starting to introduce new working opportunities and skills whilst, for those who could afford them, items such as washing machines, electric vacuum cleaners and refrigerators were lessening domestic burdens while, at the same time, reducing the number of domestic staff required.