Real life Downton maid is 100

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A WOMAN who ex­pe­ri­enced the maid’s life il­lus­trated in the hit TV se­ries Downton Abbey has cel­e­brated her 100th birth­day.

From the age of 14, Pru Mis­sel­brook worked be­low stairs as a maid for a rich fam­ily in London.

Over the years she worked her way up­stairs to be­come a lady’s maid where she met her hus­band Bert, who was a but­ler and later be­came a per­sonal as­sis­tant to the Amer­i­can am­bas­sador.

After spend­ing the Sec­ond World War in Black­pool, the cou­ple moved to London where they had their only daugh­ter Les­ley in 1946.

Pru con­tin­ued to work in nu­mer­ous roles as a cook un­til she fi­nally re­tired aged 77.

When Bert died, Pru moved to Keats Drive in Mac­cles­field to be closer to her fam­ily in the early 1990s.

She has four grand­chil­dren and six great grand­chil­dren.

The church has played a big part in her life. She has been a mem­ber of Bro­ken Cross methodist church, the church of the Res­ur­rec­tion, St Michael’s Church and Tyther­ing­ton Fam­ily Wor­ship Church.

Her daugh­ter Les­ley said: “Mum has al­ways been a fiercely in­de­pen­dent woman. This came from the fact she left home to start work at just 14 and had to look after her­self in a strange new en­vi­ron­ment.

“The way she de­scribed her first job is some­thing we recog­nised in Downton Abbey, with the fam­ily life up­stairs and the staff life down­stairs.

“She met dad there and they eloped to marry in 1937, which is very ro­man­tic.”

Un­for­tu­nately Pru had to cel­e­brate her land­mark birth­day on De­cem­ber 14 at Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal after be­com­ing ill.

Les­ley said: “The staff on ward 11 were bril­liant and made a great fuss of mum.

“We had a party with fam­ily. Mum loved her card from the Queen.”

●● Pru Mis­sel­brook

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