Judy Raschen joined the small group of Knole guides in 1957. Some of her fondest memories of her time are of the most senior guides, Miss Morley and Mrs Grieves who presided over cooked lunches, and the famous Knole Settee.
Former tour guide at Knole in 1957
Interviewed by Veronica Walker-Smith
Of guiding, dumplings and tips
Normally you only went around once in the morning and you were paid 10 shillings, but the bonus was that I was then given lunch. And a wonderful woman called Mrs Fletcher used to come in and cook our lunches. Miss Morley presided at the head of the table, Mrs Grieves sat on her right, then we had Alma and Barbara. And I sat at the foot with Mrs Fletcher because I was the youngest. I was expected to fetch and carry with Mrs Fletcher. But I always, when it was casserole, had two dumplings to build me up, nobody else had two dumplings to build me, to build them up.
Besides being paid we were tipped. I learned pretty rapidly to go round with some loose change in my pocket to jingle.
Anyway, if you managed to be responsible for selling a book of ‘Knole and the Sackvilles’ you got a shilling commission which was well worth having. I saved all the money that I made in a sock under my bed and at the end of the season I emptied it out on the bed and we counted it and my husband bought a tweed suit from Montague Burton with it and he wore it for years.
Demonstrating the Knole settee
Various adventures, I used to give a demonstration with the Knole settee – as how nowadays you buy a Knole settee the ends are let down on ropes – not on the original. It has this iron rachet and what is more when you let it down it makes the most dreadful noise. And that’s why they don’t have iron rachets any more. They have silken chords. I used to demonstrate the dreadful noise.
Interviewer: Where was the Knole settee at that time Judy?
Judy: In the Leicester Gallery.
Interviewer: Open, not put away?
JR: Of course not, I used the rachet to demonstrate it.