The Duchess of Duke Street (1976–1977): Season 2, Episode 1 - The Duchess of Duke Street - full transcript

Louisa finds herself quite busy when her parents and her brother Arthur arrive for a visit. Her overbearing mother makes it clear that they would like to spend some time as guests at the hotel and Louisa reluctantly agrees. She also agrees to hire her brother Arthur, whom she has not seen for ten years. Problems are immediately apparent. The staff finds her mother's constant requests for service off-putting and eventually decides just to ignore her. It is her brother however who causes the most trouble when he attempts to displace Merriman. The last straw is her mother's suggestion that she dismiss all of the staff and let the family takes over their jobs.

Are you wondering how healthy the food you are eating is? Check it -

Your tickets for tomorrow,
sir, madam — 8:45.

Thank you very much.

Cor. Is that the right time?

Don't go breathing all over it.

heavy, if I may say so.


I say, it's astonishingly
heavy for a cake.

Well, you'd be heavy if you was

as full of fruit as that cake.

Indigestion mixture.

- Thank you, Merriman.
- All right, mum...

You old misery.

I'll tell Mrs. Trotter
you're here, madam.


Fancy her marrying a
bloke with that moniker.

Who's taking my name in vain?

Oh, hello mum, dad.

MUM: Here we are, then.

You've tarted yourself up a bit.

Happy birthday, dad.

Thanks, dear.

Who's this, then?

MUM: Surprise!

LOUISA: No, it's not, is it?

DAD: It is.

No, it can't be.

Not our Arthur?

Who else, my dear?

Good Gordon Highlanders!

That's just what I said,

just what I said.
Wasn't it, Ern?

You ain't half grown.

Time and tide wait for no man.

Well, give us a kiss, girl.

Come here.

Cor blimey.

Oh, sweaty kisses. Yeah,
that's just like the old times.

Yeah, come on
through to my room.

You lead the way, dad.

Gawd strewth. What a surprise!

Aw, full of surprises, girl.

Here, Merriman, we're going to
want an extra place, if you please.

So, when did you arrive, then?

I docked two days ago.

Then straight home to mum
and dad like the good boy I am.

Birthday surprise
for the old man, eh?

No one told me.

A surprise, Louisa.

Oh, you ain't half
filled out, Louisa.

You're quite a woman.

What about you?

You was a skinny little thing

when you went off.

Blooming, eh?
Like a peachy rose.

Or is it all out of a box?

No, it's all your own.

Of course it's all me own.

And the figure, too?

That'll do, Arthur.

You're making her blush.

What do you think then, dad?

For me?

Yeah, of course it's for you.

- You made it?
- I made it.

- Especially for me?
- Well, it's your birthday, isn't it?

I never had a cake
for me birthday before.

Does it chime?

Oh, sit down.

Make yourself comfy.

I hope you don't mind

us bringing Arthur, Louisa.

Well, I'd have been
pretty angry if you hadn't.

ARTHUR: I was coming
over straightaway,

soon as they told
me where you were.

But I said, "No — Don't
go rushing over there."

I said "Let's all go together."

I said, "She's invited
us for Ern's birthday."

I said, "Let's all go then,
make it a double celebration."

Well, let's get on
with it then, shall we?

Shall I open the
rum ration, Lou?

Oh, yeah, you do that, ta.

There you are, dad.

You needn't have
gone to all this trouble.

It's no trouble. I
enjoyed making it.

I shall enjoy seeing
you eat it and all.

Here you are.

How about a
sandwich for starters.

Ta, dear.

Here you are, mum.

Oh, isn't that lovely?

Thank you, Merriman.

Something fishy, is it?

Salmon, yeah.
That's dad's favorite.

Well, I thought we'd
seen the last of you.

The bad penny, girl.

Oh, you could have knocked
me down with a feather.

There we was,
sitting by the fire,

Ern snoring, me
listening to him,

like I always do every evening.

When all of a sudden there
was this knock on the back door.

And then the kitchen door opens

and he pokes his head round.

Oh, I gave a scream, I
don't mind telling you.

And then he winks
at me, and he says,

"No need to kill
the fatted calf.

A nice souse herring
will do me fine."

Oh, well, I laughed
and I screamed.

And then Ern woke up

and he just sat
there, of course,

saying, "It can't
be, it can't be,"

Over and over.

And then Arthur fills himself

a glass of Ern's beer and says,

"Here's mud in your eye."

Always a joke. Just like him.

Laughing since the
day he was born.

Takes after me, of course.

Don't think I've heard a joke

pass your father's lips
in all our married life.

The old man.


And a bad penny.

Oh, yeah, I'll drink to that.

She's done very well.

Ain't she, Art?

I don't know yet, do i?

I mean, it all looks all right.

Oh, she's moved up in the world.

I mean, his majesty
had his way with her...

- That'll do, mum.
- When he was prince, of course.

LOUISA: Mum! She's
talking through her hat.

I'm not.

So, what brought you home again?

Yearning for the old
faces, as you might say.

They pall after a
while, don't they?

Foreign parts... They pall.

Your very good health, dad.

Oh, um, well, it hasn't
been too good lately.

Oh, stop it, Ern.
You're wearing me out.

He's getting on, that's all.

He thinks he can
stay young forever.

When do we cut the cake?

When dad's ready.

I never had no
cake for me birthday.

Well, you wasn't 60, was you?

60 is a big step in life.

Have another sandwich, dad.

You all right, then?

MUM: He's been
complaining for weeks.

Aches and pains everywhere.

What's the matter?

Making the most
of his age, I reckon.

Ain't you well?

Oh, it's just old
bones, you know...

Feeling tired all the time.

I ain't looked at
a clock in weeks.

Well, you got a right
one to look at now, eh?

And you can eat it
and all...great big slice.

That'll put the
life back in you.

Yeah, you'll be
ticking over nicely

after a bit of that there.

Making me choke.

Here you are, then, dad.

You come and cut
the cake, then, eh?

On your feet, man.

Not the first clock

you've taken to pieces, soldier.

There you are.

It's a shame to spoil it.

Cut it, man.

Oh, go on, Arthur, show him how.

Give the bride a
helping hand, eh?

Hey, you're not in camp now.

This is a lady's parlor.

And a very nice one, too.

In you go, soldier, 11 o'clock.

Here, give me that knife.


Excuse me, madam.

Hang on a mo.

Are we going to
get this cake or not?

I finished the
curtains for room 8.

Now, would you like me to start

marking up the new pillowcases,

or would you
rather I concentrated

on the ironing?

Ask Mary, Mrs. Davies,
that's her department.

It's her afternoon off, madam.

Oh, well, do the ironing, then.

Do you think that's a good idea?

I mean, we'll need the
pillowcases tomorrow,

when we start changing
the beds for room 10.

Then do the
blooming pillowcases.

Use your loaf, for God's sake.

Well, I wouldn't want to
do the wrong thing, madam.

Oh, and Lord Monkford
is waiting for his bags

to be brought down
and no one to fetch them

except me, and I can't
be expected to carry...

Where the merry hell is Starr?

Calling a cab for Mrs.
Brown, number 10.

Then ask Merriman.

Oh, I don't think
Mr. Merriman's fit

to go lumping luggage
down all those stairs, ma'am.

Mrs. Davies, it
is not your place

to say who is fit
and who is not fit.

You tell Merriman,

and then you get back
to your pillowcases.

Just trying to be
helpful, Mrs. Trotter...

ART: I'm fit, Mrs. Trotter.


Yes, you show me
the suitcases, lady.

I'll soon shift them.

Just a minute.

Let the boy help, Louisa.


He's itching to be useful.

Yeah, look at that.

Desperate for
exercise, look at that.

Yes, very nice, I'm sure, yes.

I remember my cousin Rachel.

Did she have muscles like that?

Oh, dear me, no. But
her second husband...

Show Mr. Leyton
the way, Mrs. Davies.

Yes, madam. This way, sir.

Quite a card, ain't he?

This gentleman will see to
your bags, Lord Monkford.


I'll take you up to
the room, Mr. Leyton.


A relative, Mr. Leyton?

Her brother.

Hey, hey, what's this, then?

An assignation?

I'm just taking Mr. Leyton up

for his lordship's bags.

Mr. Leyton? Mr. Starr's...

Mr. Starr is busy, and
you can't be everywhere.

Besides, those bags are
too much for you on your own.

It won't be long, sir.
Sorry you've had to wait.


STARR: Cab's here, madam.

You're in plenty of time.

word to me, of course.

Not a word.

Women should be
kept below stairs.

Look at the state of this place!

Mrs. Davies seems to think
it's her object and privilege in life

to fill my dispense with
her sewing and ironing.

She should be hidden
away in some small room.

What, may I ask, do you
think you're up to, my girl?

VIOLET: Number 8 wanting
a drop of brandy to their tea.

Jumped-up middle class.

Here, give me that, girl.

This is my job.

I can manage a few
glasses and a bottle of brandy

if I can't manage a suitcase.

Not that I want to
manage a suitcase.

That is definitely not my job.

I don't care to be told
by some fool of a woman

that I'm senile.

Stop moaning, Mr. Merriman.

I'd be glad for
someone to do my work.

I'm run off me feet
what with Mary's day off

and Mrs. Trotter
sacking that new girl.

It's terrible in the kitchen.

Mrs. Cochrane is getting
worse than you for grumbling.


Says she's only got
one pair of hands.

Well, so have I, but I
have to pretend I've 4.

Mrs. Trotter's on me heels.

STARR: I see we've
got a new porter.

Impossible creature.

Is he?

Mrs. Davies...

though he runs a close second...

Grinning like an ape
into people's faces.

But Mrs. Davies
should be put down...

Bossing people about.

She's only trying to help.

I rather like her myself.

Always got a kind word for Fred.

Number 8
for their brandy.

All right, all
right. I'm not deaf.

I can hear a bell, I hope.

Oh, my God...

Mr. Starr, Lord Monkford
would like a cab calling...

Oh, there's my lovely boy, then.

A bit of chocolate.

Oh, Bessie Boy.

ARTHUR: Oy! Careful there.

Shan't be a jiffy, my lord.

Thank you.

A cab, my lord?

It is being attended
to, thank you.

A cab awaits, my lord.

A very lucky capture,
as you might say.

I'll see to them, mate.

ART: There you are, my lord.

Ah, God bless you. Thank you.

Ha! Ha!

There you are.

It's yours by rights.

I'm only here for the day.

Oh, fox terrier.

Snappy little
things, ain't they?

I prefer a big dog myself.

Right, where's my cake?

I do a heavy day's work
running your hotel for you.

I deserve a piece of cake.

It's on your plate.

You got some terrible old crocks

working for you, Louisa.

That old bloke looks
as if he'd fall apart

if you breathed on him.

Oh, he's all right.
He's strong as a horse.

Bag of bleeding bones.

Arthur, ladies present.

Mind you, he doesn't exactly

fill me with confidence.

I wouldn't trust him
with nothing of mine.

Well, you're not likely to
have to, are you, mum?

No need to snap
me head off, is there?

Anyhow, you could do with a man

like Arthur round the place.

Could I?

He'd keep things moving for you.

Well, I'm not
exactly standing still.

Arthur's looking for a job.

Mum, I make my own arrangements.

I don't need nobody
to find a job for me.

- I was only trying...
- Trying to help, I know.

Just keep your nose
out of my affairs. All right?

You've changed.

Of course I've changed.

10 years is not
to be sneezed at.

Of course I changed.

Or have you?

I mean, butter wouldn't
melt in your mouth,

as I remember.

Cake does that.

Mum's little darling, you was.

Oh, he was.

He was a lovely baby.

Little fat feet, ringlets.

Remember, Ern?

Like a little angel he was.

Aw, come on, mum.

Oh, he was! Wasn't he,
Ern? Little dimpled hands.

I always used to say you
should have been a girl.


Well, I was only saying
how lovely you was.

I mean, Louisa
couldn't have been

less like a girl.

You're getting in
deep water, mum.

No, it's true.

You was always
tearing your skirts.

Oh, shut up, mum.

Yeah, drink up, mum.
Give yourself a treat.

Blowing up cold just now.

I thought it might.

I brought my big coat in case.

Finished the pillowcases?

Oh, yes, and the ironing.

Oh, you've done well, auntie.

Done well?

This room's been
like a madhouse today,

sewing and ironing!

She should be in
the laundry room

out of sight.

GWYNETH: The laundry room?

With my bad chest
and all that damp?

Besides, Mrs. Trotter
said to use the dispense.

Oh, she had her
family here today, Mary.

Oh, yes, her father's
birthday, wasn't it?

Oh, lovely cake she made,

though I'd have
preferred sponge.

Fruit cake is a bit heavy
for birthdays, I always say.

And my goodness... 3
bottles of champagne.

Mind you, her brother was here,

and he's a big man.

I didn't know she had a brother.

Oh, she has a
brother, all right.

Do you think I ought to
make a pot for Mrs. Trotter?


Have you met her mother?


Like a serpent, don't you think?

Oh, auntie.

Oh, no, I'm not
being nasty, just...

Getting carried away.

Brought you some tea, ma'am.

Oh, thank you, Mary.

You have a nice day, then?

Yes, I did some shopping.

Bought some stuff
for a new dress.

Auntie Gwyneth
is going to make it.

Mary, what do you think
of Merriman these days?

What I always think.

Do you think he's past it?

Oh, no, he'll go on forever.

He's one of those
that's always tired,

but never stops.

Strong old man he
is, like my granddad.

He was driving his
pony to market till...

Yeah, yeah.

We're shorthanded, aren't we?


We could do with somebody in
the kitchen to help with the veg,

but most of all we
need a strong man

about the place to
help lug coal and stuff.

I mean, I don't
mind once in a while,

but Violet can't manage it all.

I mean, we're getting like
prizefighters. Look at that!

Don't do that!

- Well, I was...

Yeah, yeah. All
right, all right.

Mr. Starr won't soil
his hands, you see.

"Got to be clean on the
door," he says... and quite right.

But we've got to be clean, too.

Yeah, all right, Mary.

And a parlormaid
would be a help.

Thank you, Mary.


Nonsensical... Childish...

No sense of humor,
that old bloke.

No sense of humor
at all, has he?

Here, let me help you with that.

Good morning, Starr.





Go and help Mrs. Brown.

She's having hysterics over a
mix-up with her button boots.

She got the wrong
ones back from cleaning.

Place the coal carefully.

I've done up fires
before, you know.

Have you, my dear?

Here, I haven't
engaged you yet, have i?

No, you haven't.

That will do, Violet.
The fire's all right.

Yes, ma'am.

Got your message.

Yeah, well, I'll be
frank with you, Arthur.

I don't like the idea
of employing family.


Now let's not beat
about the bush.

That's what it would amount to.

Shorthanded, you say?


Plenty of people out of work.

Not the kind I want.

You particular?

Of course. This
ain't just an hotel.

- Uh-ho!
- It's not what you think.

I run this as home from
home for my guests.

Oh, right.

I run a business.
You want a job.

I could do with a strong man

to help with carrying and so on.

One with a bit of
intelligence and clean,

one who might move up

and learn the ropes,

and you seem to fill the bill.

So, what about it?

Yeah, well...

And if you don't like the idea,

you can say so and go.

Mum said you was
a tough customer.

I am.

It's a cushy sort of billet.

For the right sort of man.

And all found, of course.

All found.

Only not my usual
sort of stamping ground,

as you might say.

You couldn't come here

making yourself comfortable.

You'd have a job of work to do,

and I'd expect you to do it.

I quite like a girl with spirit.

I'm not a girl. I'm a woman.

All present and correct, ma'am!

I'll do it for you.

Out of the goodness
of my heart, I'll do it.


Who's doing who a favor?

Sharp, eh?

I'm every bit as sharp as you.

There's nothing
you can teach me.

Oh, I don't know.

I think there's quite a lot of
things I could teach you, Louisa.

- Quite a lot.
- Oh yeah?


But I doubt very much if I will.

A bit of a bleeding
mystery, aren't you?

You're a nice sort of girl.


I always liked you.


Tough...but nice.


One thing though,

I'll work for you, but I'm
nobody's bleedin' skivvy, see.

We don't have no skivvies here.


We all do a job of work

as well and as
cheerfully as we can.

I don't ask anyone
to do anything

I wouldn't do meself.

And the customer
comes first, of course.

Of course.

What are you hiding?


I've got nothing to hide,
dearie, except myself.

Oh, come off it,
Art, no riddles.

Look. I done
nothing bad or wrong

that might creep up
on me sudden like,

so put your little mind at rest.

What about me wages?

15 bob a week.

And all found?

Like I said.

When do I start?

Tomorrow morning, 6:00 sharp.

And no preferential treatment.

What a sergeant
major you'd make.

Want a cup of tea to clinch it?

Yeah, why not.

Here, do you remember
when we was kids?

We stole mum's bottle of Port,

and you went singing
off down the street

saying you was going to...

Join the opera.

Those were the
days, weren't they?


No, we had some fun, but
they was blooming awful.

They wasn't bad.

Oh, you were all right.


Well, you was a boy,
you could do things.

What things?

Well, anything you wanted.

Be a watch mender like dad?

Better than me skivvying away

in some bleeding dog's kitchen.

Here, half a mo.

Well, you got away, didn't you?

You joined the army.

I had to get away.

Well, I couldn't, could I?

You got away, dearie.

You got away further
than me, didn't you?

We'll have a pot
of tea, Merriman.

Very good, ma'am.

And tell Starr I want him.

Yes, ma'am.

Ha! Ha! Look at that.

What's biting him?

He's a bit decrepit, eh?

Oh, he's all right.

He's the sort that
goes on forever.

Now, look, Art,
I run a business,

and I can't be messed about.

Well, don't you mess me about.

I'll play you fair
and square, Louisa,

according to me lights.

That's what worries me.

I don't know what
they are, do I?


What you been doing
since you left the army?

Oh, a bit of this, bit of that.

Coal heaving, coal mining.

Prizefighting once.

Seeing the world,
as you might say.

Oh. Starr, this is Mr. Leyton.

He's going to join
us for a while...

Help with carrying and so on.

He'll be starting tomorrow,

so you can show him
around when he leaves now.

He'll help with coal and fires,

and then change and
help with portering.

And the boots?


If you remember, we have
no boot boy at the moment.

Will Mr. Leyton be
cleaning the boots?

Oh, yeah, Arthur,
you'll be doing the boots.

Mr. Leyton's duties
will include boot boy.

Thank you, Starr.
That will be all.

I'll send Mr. Leyton
out shortly.

Old lag?

LOUISA: Old soldier, isn't he?

ARTHUR: Tell them a mile off.

How long was you in the army?

Long enough.

You never wrote.

No, nothing to write about.

Oh, thank you, Merriman.

I'll see to that.


My God.

Listen, this is the last time

I entertain you in my parlor.

Unless I call in my
private capacity?

And you don't do that

while you're working
here as dogsbody.

Here, suppose I rise to be
maître d'hôtel or something?

There's no such thing here.

Can you cook?

I can make a drop
of tea over a campfire

in a howling blizzard.

Oh, cor blimey.

She's taking him on.

He starts tomorrow.

- Who?
- That brother.

What? That lovely strong man?

Do you like him?

Oh, I don't know.

Fred don't like him.

He don't like him at all.

In all the time Fred
has lived with me,

I've never known him to
take such an instant dislike

to any man nor beast.


And Fred's never wrong.

You look all creepy.

He's the creepy one.

He's Mrs. Trotter's brother.

You shouldn't talk
like that about him.

Well, she shouldn't
take him on here.

You mark my words, Mary.

He'll be treading all
over us in no time at all.

I've met his sort in the army.

Sergeant before you
can say Jack Robinson.

Sweet as pie to the officers,

and bloody hell to
the other poor buggers.

Mr. Starr.

I beg your pardon.

Fred got carried away.

But he don't like him, Mary.

He don't like him at all.

Oy, laughing boy,

where's Lord Starr?

Oy, I'm talking to you,
laughing deaf?

I heard you address someone,

but my name happens
to be Mr. Merriman.

Oh, well, very sorry.

Hey, where you been, my lord?

The parties in number
10 want a cab called.

I sent word with Violet.

I am about to call a cab.

You are a bit slow
off the mark, ain't you?

That's no way to do your job,

malingering in
the servant's hall.

There's a cab just coming, sir.

Oh, thank you.


LOUISA: I trust you enjoyed
your stay, Mrs. Brown?

I always enjoy my stay here.

You found everything

to your satisfaction, Mr. Brown?

Apart from Mrs.
Brown's missing boots?

They were returned this
morning in perfect order.

shining beautifully.

That's my new man.

Your cab, sir, madam.

Excellent man. Most efficient.

And obliging.

He's shaping up well, eh?

Our new man.

Look at that big, dirty mark.

Oh, you, again, Mrs. Davies.

Oh, the days go very quickly.

I'll be in the kitchen, Mary.

Got a dinner to do tonight

for Lord Potson...
ordered special.

Oh, yes, and, ma'am,
Mrs. Cochrane said

that the fish was
terrible today.

Violet up to her tricks again.

ART: You should
know better at your age,

up and down these
stairs with heavy trays.

MERRIMAN: I never dropped a tray

in all my years of service.

I've been up and
down these stairs

countless times and never...

it was that dog
barking suddenly.

May I say, ma'am...

No, you may not.

You help clear up this mess.

Merriman, you get
into the dispense,

ask Mary to give you give
you a cup of hot sweet tea.

just bringing down

the dirties from number 9.

Go on, go on.

Lovely day, isn't it?

Sorry about this
little accident.

Mind your feet on the bits.

There you go.

Oh, it's going to be
lovely in the park.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Won't need your brollies today.

You should teach that
cur manners, Mr. Starr.

Barking like that,

upsetting that poor old man.

You made him bark, Mr. Leyton.


You trod on him.
You trod on his paw.

Well, he got under
my feet, didn't he?

I got sharp eyes, Mr. Leyton.

I saw what happened...
quite clearly I saw.

Fred only barks
under provocation.

LOUISA: Come on.

Mr. Leyton, you
take that to the bins.

Starr, you tell Violet
to come and mop up.

Gawd strewth.

Bit of a risk, Lou,
old codger like that

up and down the
stairs with loaded trays.

He's never been
no trouble before.

Yeah, he's getting older
every day, though, isn't he?

I could do his job.

What? You serve meals?

Yeah, why not?

You ain't got no finesse.

I could learn.

I don't know. I get
all the dirty work.

Why can't that Mr. Leyton do it?

He's supposed to do odd
jobs round here, isn't he?

He makes more work than he does.

I've watched him.

Extraordinary, extraordinary.

Surefooted as a mountain goat.

Never tripped on
a stair in my life.

Well, you never had Mr. Leyton

in your life before, have you?

It was that dog of yours
barking sudden like.

Who made him bark?
Who made him bark?

Made him?

That lout trod on him.

Who? He what?

MARY: Ooh, accidents
will happen, Mr. Starr.

That was no accident.

I can't believe that.

GWYNETH: Now you mention it,

there is something
about his eyes.

Oh, now stop it, auntie.

Your tray, Mr. Merriman.

Mrs. Trotter says don't
let it happen again.

What? What?

Well, she can't have her
guests upset like that, she said.

Now, personally,

I thought it was just one
of nature's little accidents

that happen when our faculties
get a bit under the weather.

Know what I mean?

'Course, I told
Mrs. Trotter. I said,

"Well, Mr. Merriman is not as
young as he used to be."

Are you?

He what? He told
Mrs. Trotter what?

GWYNETH: Very cheeky.
But then he's young.

He's her brother, isn't he?

He can say what
he likes, can't he?

He can do what he likes!
He can tread on dogs.

He can knock old men over!

Now, hush now.


We must not say anything
we might be sorry for.

Mind you, I definitely
have the feeling

all is not right to
our Mr. Leyton...

a sort of tremble in my nerves.

Oh, I'll go, Mr. Merriman.

It's my job!

Now, just you sit quiet
for a minute or two.

Look. Sit and have
a nice cup of tea.

It's the end of the world...
women taking over.

The end of the world.

Of course, he
won't see a doctor.

Yeah, but I don't need...

if I've asked him once,

I've asked him a thousand times

to let Dr. Best
have a look at him.

But I don't need no
doctor messing about me.

You ain't told me what's wrong.

Nothing's wrong.

Of course something's wrong.
You've lost interest in things.

All I need is a bit
of peace and quiet.

To do what?

To do nothing.

There you are.
You see? No interest.

I mean, he's never been
a man of great energy,

but at least he's mended

a clock from time to time.

I tell you, aunt
Maude's grandfather

has been standing
against our kitchen wall

for the past month,
and all he wants

is his chimes put in, right?

And will Ern look at them?

He says he can't do
anything with them.

I can't.

You haven't even looked at them.

I can hear them, can't I?

Not properly, that's
what's wrong with them.

Yeah, well, that's what I mean.

There you are. You see? I
can't do anything with him.


So, what I thought
was a little holiday.

That's a good idea.

Yes, a little
holiday...a change.

Put him nicely on his feet.

Brighton? Southend?

Well, I have considered them.

And then I thought no.



I mean, he likes
his home comforts.

He don't like shaving
in strange places,

you know, and all that.

So, when Arthur said

that you was in
your slack time...

Arthur said...!

Yes, he said...

Slack time?

Yes, he said you had a
nice little suite of rooms

at the back that
would suit us very well.

What the merry hell
is it to do with Arthur?

Well, he's our son.

He wants the best for us.

He's always been
very thoughtful.

Well, you can't come here.

Oh, well, if we're
not good enough.

No, it's not that, mum.

I thought you were
fond of your father.

You always make
such a fuss of him.

Still, you've moved
up in the world.

Look, I'll pay for you to have

a nice little holiday by
the sea somewhere...

Bognor, if you like.

I know we're not gentry,

but we did give you a
good start in the world.

I made my own start.

You sit here surrounded
by all this wealth.


Doling out cups of tea
to your poor parents.

Now don't you come that with me.

Playing Lady Bountiful.

Giving your brother
menial tasks.

I must say, though,
this is a surprise.

What do you mean by that?

I never thought to see the day

when you'd be ashamed of us.

And what do you say, dad?

Eh? What? What?

Well, do you want to come
here for a week's holiday?

All I want is a bit
of peace and quiet.

All right, then, you can come.

Oh, isn't that nice, Ern?

But no messing me
about. I'm not a charity.

Oh, well, if you
put it like that...

Yeah, I do put it like that.

You can come on
Friday for a week.

A week, see? Be
me guests for a week.

More tea?

How kind.

Good morning, Lady Talbot.

I'm afraid his lordship

has been delayed in Calais,

but he has telegraphed to say

he should be here this evening.

There is some post for you.


That'll be 4 and
5 as usual, Starr.


Have a nice day, girls.

This way, my ladies.

Mr. Leyton.

I want a word with you.

Certainly, ma'am.

That's not your job.

It's anyone's job
this morning, ma'am.

Cut it out, Art.


This "Ma'am" business.

I thought it was
what you wanted.

Yeah, but not your
look that goes with it.

Oh, I'm sorry, ma'am.

Cut it out.

Why are you doing
Merriman's job?

Mr. Merriman is in bed.


Stomach trouble, I understand.

Stomach trouble?

Yeah, overindulgence

in the servants' hall perhaps.

I didn't even know
he had a stomach.

Oh, a very troublesome
one this morning, ma'am.

A joke's a joke, and that one

is dead as mutton.

I beg your pardon, ma'am,

but I was taught respect.

See, if I don't suit, I
can always move on.

Where's Mary?

She and Violet, I understand,

are putting the
finishing touches

to number 4 before
Sir George arrives.

Good, ain't I?

I do it very well, don't I?

Old Merriman himself
couldn't do better.

You'll have to put
up with me, Louisa,

you're very shorthanded.

Who's this tray for?

Number 14. he's
getting very impatient.

Lord Temperley
is always impatient.

I'll take it.

I don't see why.

The sight of you first
thing in the morning

might be too much
for his lordship.

Hey, half a mo.

Look at you. Shirt sleeves.

They're clean.

Clean or dirty, you
look like a coalman.

There you are, sir.

Oh, Starr. Would you
be so kind as to take

our luggage to our rooms.

Room, Starr. Room 17.

You said a suite of rooms.

You said a suite of rooms.

17, Starr.

This way, sir, madam.

on now, Mr. Merriman.

I know you're awake.

Come on now... a
little bit of arrowroot

never hurt anyone,
and it will put

a nice lining on your stomach.

Oh, dear...

You haven't eaten for two days.

And you're so thin,
you have nothing

to fall back on.

Now, my uncle Rhys,
he went without food once

for two weeks, but
then he was fat...

very fat.

In fact, the doctor said

it was a blessing in disguise,

otherwise the fat would
have killed him in the end.

Look at you.

You haven't got an
ounce of flesh to spare.

Now, come on back, as I
shall get very cross with you.

Leave me alone, Mrs. Davies.

I'm an old man at the
end of my useful life.

Let me die in peace.

You're not going to die...

in peace or out of it.

Who let her in?

I let myself in,
you daft hap'th.

Now what's this
about you not eating?

He can't seem to fancy anything.

I've nothing to live for.

I made him a bit of
arrowroot to try and tempt him.

Here, you give that here.

You was a parlormaid
once, wasn't you?

Indeed, yes.

I've been everything in my time.

Come up from the bottom.

I waited on table when I was
with Colonel Heywood and...

can you carry a tray
without dropping it?

GWYNETH: I should hope so.

Right, you get
down in the kitchen.

You sort out a clean pinny.

You wash your hands and face.

And you tell Mary you're
helping with trays and serving.

Oh, good God!

Yes, madam.

Ooh! Well, you know...

It said in the tea
leaves last night

I was going to see a change.

Open your mouth.

You can't mean that woman.

I do. Open your mouth.

Waiting on...


If you don't want
her doing your job,

you'd better get well quick.

Open your mouth.

Very well.

Oh, my God! What is this?

There we are, have another one.

Good lad.

Mary, it's taken years off me.

I been so long doing

little bits of sewing
and such like...

stuck in tiny dark rooms...

I've begun to feel
like an old woman.

Oh, now who's that?

Oh, number 17.

Oh, Mr. and Mrs. Leyton?

She's been ringing
that bell every 5 minutes

since she got here.

I suppose it's tea
she wants now...

Tea and muffins.

She eats like an elephant.

Oh, I'll go, shall I?

- No!
- No?

No! Let her ring.

I'm sick of her, auntie,
and so is the rest of us.

Driving them mad
in the kitchen she is.

But Mrs. Trotter...

She shouldn't do such things.

Bringing her family
here... it's not right!

It's her hotel.

It's not as if they
were a nice family.

Oh, Mary, to say such things.

What if she was to hear you?

I'll say them to
her face, auntie,

if those two are
here much longer.

And that brother.

She'll have to choose.
Her family or her staff.

Oh, my goodness.

Mr. Starr says
he's giving notice.

- Never.
- Yes.

Fred's so upset,
he won't even eat

a bit of chocolate cake.

Number 17 has been ringing

for the past 10 minutes.

I thought you was all dead.

If we run every time
Mrs. Leyton rings that bell,

there'd be nothing
else done here.

What's this? Mutiny?

Don't be silly. They're
not proper guests.

They're your employer's parents.

Will you take it, auntie?
Number 4, Lady Talbot.



Number 17.

Yes, I heard.

I don't think you...



How's Merriman?

The doctor says he's improving.

What a good job Arthur
turned up when he did.


Nice to have the
family around you,

working with you.

You know where
you are with your own.


No dipping in the sugar
when your back's turned.

No one dips in my sugar.

Oh, just a figure of speech.

But it had occurred
to me, Louisa,

that you might do well
to make it a family affair.


Well, the service you're
getting here is very poor.

Since when?

Well, all this dillydallying.

I mean, I rang 5
times for breakfast,

and if Arthur hadn't
been on the boots,

we'd have been walking
round the shops barefoot.

Wouldn't we, Ern?

Same at morning
coffee. No one came at all.

Lunchtime we'd have starved

if Arthur hadn't
brought us a tray.

Seems to me he's the
only one on his toes.

there you are, Louisa.

I thought we'd lost you.

On here, Arthur.

I was just saying to Louisa,

why not make it a family affair?

Ernest could be on the door,

I could superintend the meals,

and you could do the trays.

And me as dogsbody, I suppose.

Well, you said it, Louisa.

Why are you still carrying trays

around the place?

Well, that lot you
got looking after you

won't raise a
little finger to help.

Mum asked for
this tea an hour ago.

Did she?

Yes, I did.

I rang from my
room. 6 times I rang.

Then I come down here.

I spoke to that little
man on the door,

but he's deaf as a post.

So, then I found Arthur,
and he sent us in here.

Oh, did he?

Yes. I don't think that
chair is right there, Louisa.

You don't?

No, I don't. Do you, Ern?

Well, I do.

Arthur, fetch another
cup for Louisa.

No, thanks. I got my work to do.

Oh, not salmon again.

Well, I'm quite
partial to salmon.

Yeah, but not every day.

You'll have to speak to them

in the kitchen, Arthur.

Yeah, I will.

All right! All right!

All right! All right!

Now the situation is
getting out of hand.

It is.

Now, I may say it comes hard
for me to talk to you like this.

I'm a loyal character, and I
don't like to break my word.

But there is such a
thing as self-respect.

This bloke comes
pushing in here...

no respect for nothing,
and what happens?

The place isn't our
own anymore, is it?

Well, I mean, is it?

Now, I'm fond of
Mrs. Trotter, but...

LOUISA: I'm glad to hear
that someone loves me.

Well, what's biting you?

It's your family, madam.


I'm forced to speak
frankly, madam.

We are no longer
servants in our own home,

as you might say. We feel...

The thing is, ma'am, I don't
want anything more to do with it.

That Arthur is never
out of my kitchen.

He's forever getting
snacks for himself

and for those parents of his...

They're my parents, too.

Well, hard luck,
that's all I can say.

Look, I'm fond of you, ma'am,

and I like my job.

But I'm being thrown all
over the place by that Arthur.

I never know what I've got.

I go to me sugar
and half of it's gone.

There's not enough
for my currant cake.

And yesterday, there wasn't
a spot of salmon to be found,

and Lady Talbot
wanted it special.

He's not right. I've
got my job to do.

And I can't have
him round my feet

pinching my food
and Violet's bum.

It's very upsetting.

Last night, I burned the
fish sauce because of it.


I'm sorry you find our
misfortunes amusing,

Mrs. Trotter. We
may be servants,

but we have our
right to dignity.

Oh, come off your
high horse, Starr.

It was the sugar
and the salmon...

We felt that you
should know, madam,

that unless steps
are taken to deal with

this unprecedented situation,

we shall be forced
to withdraw our labor.

One of our people is
already confined to bed.

Yeah, I see.

Well, I wasn't laughing at you.
I was laughing at me family.

Though God knows they're
nothing to laugh about.

More of a tragedy.

Still, laughter through
tears, as they say.

Hmm. Sorry about your
salmon and Violet's bum.

Well, hers is not the only...

He's so coarse with it.

He's a malingerer and a
soft-soaper, I must speak plain.

Lady talbot. I'll see to it.

If you would be so kind

as to carry on
for the time being,

I'll sort it out. I promise.


Room for a small one?

Yeah, yeah, come in, dad.

Sit down, make yourself comfy.

Ta, dear.

Your mother is out
doing the town with Arthur.

Still keeping good time?

Oh, yeah, perfect.

Oh, it's come a
long way, that clock.

Yeah, it's come a long way

since I first give it to you.

It was the nicest
wedding present we had.

Yeah, all in the past, eh?

All in the past.

Sorry, Louisa.


Oh, you know. Sorry.

You'll have to go, dad.

Oh, yeah, I know.

I didn't want to come, really.

You know, not pushing in on you.

Do you feel better
for the change?

Oh, I wasn't ill.


She gets these
bees in her bonnet.


All I want is a bit
of peace and quiet.

All I ever want is
peace and quiet.

Watch time passing.

In me own way.

Cor, she gives me the pip.

And as I get older...

Your resistance weakens?

Oh, she's a tartar, though.

Is she worse than me?

Oh, well, you're a
different kettle of fish.

I'm like her, though.

I like me own way. I
want to manage things.

Oh, yeah, I'm like her.

You don't do no moaning, though.

No, well, I've had some luck.

I took me chances,
rough and smooth.

But she...

Married me.


I don't want to hurt her.

I know she likes it here.

Lording it about.

She'd run the place very nicely,

but I can't have her
under the same roof as me.

I might have liked
her help, but...

But you're the boss,

and she'd always be your mother.

Yeah, that's it in
a nutshell, dad.

And, well, you've been
here over a week now,

and I did say just a week.

Oh, yeah, we'll go, Louisa.

And Arthur.

I'd have liked him here.

I'd have liked a
man about the place.

I'd have liked a brother.

No messing about,
not like a husband.

But, well...

But he wants to be boss, too.

Yeah, it runs in the family, eh?

Yeah, all except
me, Lou, all I want...

Is a bit of peace and quiet.

Oh, waiting up for us?

Yeah, you could say that.

You know, Louisa,

that chair is definitely
in the wrong place.

You get the wrong
view of the room...

Oh, well, you won't be looking

at the view much
longer, will you, mum?

I say, Arthur...

Do you think you could find us

a drop of coffee and a sandwich?

But not salmon, eh?

Oh, no, not salmon.

I've been tasting it all day.

No, a little bit of
ham off the bone

or tongue, eh?

What was that you
was saying, Louisa?

No. No sandwiches.

You can have a cup of coffee

if Mary will be very
kind and make it for you,

but you keep out of
the kitchen, Arthur.

What's he done?

Madam's ticking you off, Arthur.

Mrs. Cochrane don't want you
messing about in her kitchen.

I thought it was your kitchen.

It is, and she runs it for me
in her way, which is my way,

and she don't want
you messing her about.

You can make a cup of coffee...

for all of us... we're
going to need it.

You can tell Mary I said.

Yes, ma'am. Certainly, ma'am.

Right away, ma'am.

Now, look, mum.

You've been here
over a week now.

Yes, very nice, too...
except for the staff.

And the staff are
threatening to leave.

Oh, that's fortunate.
Save you sacking them.

I don't want them to leave.

We're going home, Vi.

I'm not ready to go home.

You're not fully recovered.

Dad is all right.

Oh, he's still very listless.

Listen, mum, you've
had your week.

Tomorrow you pack and go home.

Here, I don't like your tone.

Oh, why can't I
deal with me family

the way I deal with
the rest of me life?

Mum, I can't live with you.

You have your ways, I have mine.

This place is my livelihood.

I run it in me own way,

and I intend to
go on running it.

I'm telling you
as nicely as I can.

You are me mother.

What harm have we done?

We're not asking much.

Little corner in your hotel.

Surely you can spare

a little corner
in your big hotel.

- You're going home, mum.
- I don't want to go home.

Or wherever else you want to go,

but you're not staying here!

Mary's making
coffee... very kindly...

with a face like a sour lemon.

Here, what's all this?

She's putting us out.

I'm asking them to go home.


And I'm sacking you.

No references?

I mean it, Art.

I don't think I want to go.

I mean, send your family home,

by all means,

but I quite like this job.

Cushy...with prospects.

Not for you.

Use your loaf,
Louisa, you need me.

I don't need no one.

Oh, yes, you do.

You need looking after.

This servant trouble...

There were no servant trouble

till you got your foot in here.

Here, watch it, little Louisa.

I mean it, Arthur. You go
round acting Lord Muck.


I could put this
place straight for you.

I'd make those servants
of yours toe the line.

They toe my line very
nicely, and I like them.

You want to open your eyes...

my eyes are wide
open looking at you,

and I don't care for what I see.

Oh, nasty.

Listen, this hole
wants doing over.

I can make a world of
difference here, Louisa.

No, no, you say
what you like, Louisa,

I'm staying.

I've got my rights.

You can't just turn me out

how and when you feel like it.

Use me to suit yourself.

I mean it, Art.

I'll put a bleeding bomb
under the place before...

I made this place with
the sweat of my brow.

I'm not having you walking
roughshod over me and it.

Christ, what is it anyway?

A bleeding stamping ground

for a few nobs with
handles to their name.

I don't think you ought
to say things like that.

And you shut up, you old hag.

Learn to keep your
bleeding mouth shut.

Don't talk like that to mum!

Well, I don't like her.
I've never liked her.


You don't talk like that
to mum in my place.

Go away! It's all your fault!

If you hadn't asked us here,

this wouldn't have happened.

You're always upsetting people.

It's not me!

ARTHUR: Oh, Christ,
I'm off. Bloody family.

Now, Arthur.

And don't you try and stop me.

Don't let him go. Stop him, Ern!

I was a fool to set
foot in the place.

Sack me? You
couldn't keep me here

if you chained me down!

No skivvies, you
said, but what are you?

A bloody monumental
skivvy with gold edges.

And don't bother
about references, gal.

Because I wouldn't want none

from this high-class whorehouse.

Oh, go away! Go away!

Mum, uh...

Dad, you can stay till
the end of the week.

Come again later in the year.

No, I'll never set foot
in this place again.

You've spoiled it for me,

and you've frightened
Arthur away.

You've driven him from me!

I'm going home. Call a cab, Ern.

I'm going to pack me nightdress.

You can send the rest
of me things on, Louisa.

I had a lovely night
out, and you spoiled it.

I never have nothing
nice happen to me.

You got all this,
and I've got nothing.



No, leave me alone.
He called me a hag.

I'll, uh...

I'll call a cab.

Mrs. Leyton's
crying... going upstairs.

Oh, ma'am, what is it?

Oh, put that tray down, Mary.

And give me a cup of coffee.

No, give me a brandy.

They're going... They're going.

Ain't that wonderful?

They're going, and I don't think

they'll come again.

Oh, mum...

Oh, mum.

I've got everything,
she's got nothing.

Oh, mum.

Oh, Mary.