Born in 1910 Rose Plummer grew up in an East End slum. At the age of fifteen she left the noise and squalor of Hoxton and started work as a live-in maid at a house in the West End. Despite the poverty of her childhood, nothing could have prepared her for the long hours, the backbreaking work and the harshness of this new world; a world that saw servants as almost less than human. This is her story.'They thought they owned us body and soul - and they did. We weren't allowed to speak to the lady of the house or even look at her. We had to turn to face the wall if we saw her coming along the hall. And the upper servants often treated the lower ones even worse than she did. From six in the morning till eight or nine at night we lit fires, cleaned pots and pans with brick dust and vinegar till our fingers bled and were sacked if we were so much as seen with a boy. And all that for a few miserable shillings a week!' This is upstairs downstairs as it really was.