Three families experience life across five different eras of British history. The Taylors, Meadows and Goldings try to live as Edwardian families across different social classes.
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The family. It's where we love,
laugh, shout and cry.
Oh! Don't fall off!
It makes us who we are.
But it hasn't always been the cherished institution it is today.
To find out how the modern family came to be,
a group of parents and kids from across Britain are turning back time
to face the same ordeals as millions of others over the past 100 years.
In the northern seaside town of Morecambe, the past is coming alive.
A row of terraced houses has been turned into time machines
to transport our families
through the twists and turns of the 20th century.
From the age of masters and servants...
I felt a bit emotional cos I knew she was there
to take the children away,
which is quite difficult.
..through the roaring '20s, to the Great Depression.
Anything else of value will need to be sold.
The fact that it was in front of the family, I felt really useless.
From life on the home front...
You and me, we're never separating.
..to the Swinging '60s!
Aren't you slightly concerned about the length of their skirts?
We're starting a rebellion right now.
And on to the groovy '70s.
I couldn't give a damn
about material things. For me, family is the most important thing.
And the past is going to get personal,
as they live the lives of their very own ancestors.
Rather than just living in a museum,
we are actually living an ancestor's life.
She died of TB, consumption.
I'm sorry, I feel quite emotional.
We take so much for granted, I think.
We're turning back time to find out
how history made the family what it is today.
There are dozens of Albert Roads in Britain,
all of which have been home to generations of families.
This one in Morecambe, Lancashire,
is about to be the setting for something extraordinary.
A row of terraced houses are being taken back to the early 1900s,
when they were first built.
For the next five weeks, the houses will become time machines,
transporting three modern families through 100 years of history.
Guiding the families on this incredible journey
will be working mum and queen of the breakfast sofa Suzanna Reid.
This is the story of three families, but it is also the story of us,
all of us and our families.
And understanding what our great-grandparents,
grandparents and parents went through and how that's shaped us today.
Social historian Juliette Gardiner will be making sure
the families stick to the rules of the past.
What we're trying to do here is very exciting.
We're charting the development of British family life
over 100 years of history.
And completing the team is antique gadget enthusiast Joe Crowley.
Look at that. You wouldn't want your finger in the way of that one.
The adventure for our families is about to begin.
The Taylors are from Norfolk.
Hard-working nurse Adele and electrician Michael
have their hands full with four children.
We are a chaotic family.
It is just throwing all the balls in the air, seeing where they land.
We had four children cos we want a busy house
but I don't want to ever be in a house that's quiet.
I want to be in the thick of it with everybody there.
But for the Taylors, there just aren't enough hours in the day.
Mum wants us to do this because she wants us to, erm,
be together a bit more
and she wants to see what it was like in the olden days and stuff.
Our second family are the Meadows from Royal Berkshire.
OK. Can you bring down the horses, please?
Self-made man Phil and his wife Suzie run a polo school
with the help of their teenage daughters, Saskia and Genevieve.
For the Meadows, family means being part of a team.
As a family, we probably spend more time together than most families,
because the nature of the business in that we all play the sport.
The world we live in is like a little cocoon.
We deal with some incredibly wealthy people.
Royalty from around the world. Everyone knows everybody.
It's very nice but it's quite limited.
The opportunity to actually do something as a family
that's outside of polo is quite exciting for me.
But Phil and Suzie are aware just how privileged their girls are.
We actually as modern-day children don't do much housework.
Me and Genevieve are lazy when it comes to that.
It's going to be great for Saskia and Genevieve
to understand how tough life was in the 1900s
and how they've got it so easy, quite frankly.
Our third family are the Goldings from Cheshire.
Customer-services manager Ian and part-time accountant Naomi have three kids.
For them, family is all about equality.
The children can see that Dad can do the washing.
He can put them to bed and bath them just as much as I can do
so it's a real modern, sharing, sharing family.
Even the kids get to have their say.
I like to have family meetings and get them to say what things they're not happy with.
Whilst Ian and Naomi agree on most things,
when it comes to child discipline, Ian would like to try something more old-fashioned.
I don't necessarily think that being firm is always such a bad thing.
I think he's going to quite like the idea of being in control.
I think he thinks he's going to be respected a lot more than possibly he is now.
I don't think he'll like it.
I think he thinks he'll like it
but I don't think he will like it that much.
Their journey will begin in the early 1900s when,
for the first time, the family itself was something to aspire to.
Queen Victoria had inspired Britons
to become lovers of hearth, home and domestic virtue,
introducing the idea of "family values".
But this was also an era of huge class division.
Some families lived like kings
but a third of the population were in grinding poverty.
The homes on Albert Road reflect this gulf.
Number one is the height of upper-middle-class luxury,
down to number three, a typical, working class dwelling.
None of the families have any idea
which house they'll be living in but it will be determined by the status
of their own Edwardian ancestors,
something they know little about.
-Which house would you like to be?
-The rich one.
I know not a lot about my family history
but I'm pretty sure there isn't some secret millionaire somewhere.
I definitely want to be in this house.
Welcome to the start of your adventure.
An exciting challenge lies ahead.
You're going to put Britain's family unit to the test
by living through five eras of the 20th century
and it is going to be tough.
You are going to have to cope with whatever history throws at you.
I am going to assist you in your challenge by bringing you some 1900s domestic technology
which may make your lives easier or it may not.
Now in this era, you've got to live
according to the rules and social conventions of the time.
All of you must live within the means available
to people of your class.
I know you are all dying to find out which house you're going to be in
and all is about to be revealed.
Taylors, please go to number one, Albert Road, the upper-class house.
Goldings, number two, the middle-class house.
And Meadows, please go to number three, the working-class house.
It's fine. We'll have fun, we'll have fun.
The Taylor family are stepping into a world of wealth and leisure.
-I'm your housekeeper, Mrs McMullen.
-Hello, Mrs McMullen.
May I introduce you to your staff.
This is Mr Dowding, your chef.
-And Natasha, you housemaid.
-Pleased to meet you.
-There are five of us altogether.
-And what do we do with you?
May I, may I take your coat, madam?
Guys, just don't break anything!
No. This is going to be very stressful.
On top of five servants, the Taylors have a vast,
four-storey house, complete with a nursery full of toys.
Dad Michael has his own private study where he can retreat to
-when things get too hectic.
-I think this is me! I think this is where I belong.
I love this, I think this is brilliant.
Their home is state of the art, with electricity
and a boiler in the scullery, producing hot water on demand.
I'm just a bit shocked. We just expected we would be in the number three with the dirty windows.
That was... Cos there's no money in our family
so I don't quite know how we've ended up here at all.
Juliet has come to reveal just why they have landed
the most prestigious home on Albert Road.
-Hello, Taylor family.
I've come to tell you why you are living in this rather grand house.
The reason is you've really got to thank one of your ancestors.
William Bennett, was at the heart of Britain's thriving cotton industry,
running a mill in Derbyshire.
That's the sort of mill he would have managed.
-Shocked. Really shocked. Yeah.
-You didn't know anything about it?
What I perceived as my ancestry were all very much working people.
OK, you've landed on your feet, here.
You've got a very comfortable lifestyle
but you're giving to have to obey the conventions
and the regulations that come with that lifestyle.
So will we liaise with any of the neighbours? Would we speak to them?
You would keep your distance, you know.
You would be very anxious to keep your status.
Just keep yourself separate from them.
I think that's going to be a real difficult challenge for us,
knowing how we like to interact with different people,
to be actually very stand-offish will be very, very difficult.
Things will be much tougher for the Meadows family at number three.
Look at this!
They'll be living in the most basic conditions,
cooking and heating their water on an open fire.
Where are we going to sit that's comfortable?
Actually, we won't be sitting anywhere
cos there's no TV, is there?
Things are looking even worse in their only other room.
-What a bedroom this is!
-This is the only bed!
All four of them will be sleeping in this tiny space
with the girls sharing a mattress on the floor.
Guys, do you want me to worry you now?
Might be a bit of a problem.
We don't even have a pot to piss in!
With no bathroom, the Meadows will have to use the outside privy
or face the alternative.
# Ta-da! #
-I'm not peeing in that after you've peed in it.
-Oh, my word!
-The Goldings are in the middle-class house.
-I love it!
-It's a modest but respectable home with seven rooms.
There's no electricity but plenty of options
for an evening's entertainment.
The Goldings will enjoy running water and the latest cooking range.
-I'm not sure how you're going to cook on there.
Guys, I hope you're not very hungry. So what's in this book, guys?
Each family has been given a manual,
explaining the rules they're expected to live by.
"Father is the head of the house. His word is law."
I've been waiting for that for years.
"Children should speak only when spoken to."
-This is music to my ears!
Before the Goldings settle in,
they must change into the appropriate clothing of the time.
It's not really very attractive, is it?
He's my little Edwardian sailor.
Ah! You're as cute as a picture.
Susanna has come to explain to the Goldings
why they're living in the middle-class house.
We have tracked down your great-great-grandfather.
And here he is. His name was Nathan Ludsky.
He was a tailor in Cardiff.
Which puts you in the middle classes.
But he didn't originally come from Cardiff.
-Where is he from originally?
-What does it say? Russia.
-I had no idea about any of that.
-Never heard that name.
Like thousands of Russian Jews, Nathan Ludsky
emigrated to Britain around the turn of the century.
Unusually for an immigrant, he prospered from the start.
What this means is that you are going to avoid getting your hands dirty.
It means that you are going to have a white-collar job.
Next door, Joe Crowley has arrived to tell the polo-playing Meadows
why they're living in such humble circumstances.
This is the 1901 census. West Ham in London.
If we come down here, we see James Meadows.
James Meadows was Phil's great-grandfather
who worked in London's East End as a general labourer.
That's what you're going to be doing.
You're going to be out there doing manual jobs.
You're going to have to find jobs day to day and just get stuck in.
And Joe has a surprise for Saskia, too.
You're going to be working two doors down at the big house, OK?
You're going to be a scullery maid. Let me see your hands.
They're quite manly.
No, no. I think these beautiful nails might toughen up a little bit.
I'm just working out how much we need to earn. It's not going well.
In the Edwardian era, families who couldn't pay their rent
faced instant eviction.
We need to earn 22 shillings and tuppence,
a week, to pay our bills.
As a general labourer, Phil will have to find his own work
but at best, he'll earn two shillings a day.
So he'll have to rely on the others to make up the difference.
Dig deep, team. Family.
This is all about the family, remember.
Let's try and keep it together.
I clearly didn't marry very well! I should have known better!
We find ourselves impoverished
and it's going to be really hard, I think.
While the Taylors and the Goldings settle down
for a comfortable night's sleep,
the Meadows are facing a very different prospect.
Tomorrow, the hard work begins.
It's 6:00am and the working-class Meadows
are in for a rude awakening.
In Edwardian times, a knocker-upper was the alarm clock for the masses.
Morning. You all right?
-You have a good day, now.
-It's really inconvenient.
There's no room for anything so all, erm, I mean,
there's nowhere to put your clothes.
We sleep under anything that'll keep you warm at night
because it's freezing, there's no heating.
And then everyone's on top of each other, like this, all the time.
So it's incredibly inconvenient.
For the working classes, living in poverty meant life was a slog from the moment they got up.
Everything takes so long to do.
Everything is a major palaver.
And all you do is think about food and tea and warm.
Food, tea, warmth. That's all you care about.
For the Meadows to keep their heads above water,
17-year-old Saskia is forced to take up a role as a scullery maid.
Seeing as my dad's not got any work and my mum hasn't got any work,
I've got to go and spend my entire day scrubbing and cleaning.
A reluctant Saskia heads off to work for the Taylors
under the watchful eye of housekeeper Mrs McMullen.
I probably come across as a bit of a scary lady.
With the little glasses, and I'm short. I have very high standards.
I am very, very intimidating to work for.
-Hello, I'm Saskia.
Now, normally you would not come in through the front entrance.
-This is not the servants' entrance.
-But you can come in today.
In 1901, 40% of the adult female population
were employed as domestic servants.
Some as young as 13, they often worked a 16-hour day.
-As a scullery maid, you are the lowest of the low.
-You girls are ten-a-penny.
You will be chopping, filleting, gutting,
plucking and a lot of scrubbing.
What she won't be doing is ever fraternising with her
new employers, the Taylors, who are waking up
to the extravagance of upper-middle-class life.
-This is quite nice.
Might hire servants when we get home. THEY LAUGH
The upper classes had staff for even the most personal of chores.
The corsets feel really strange
because you can't actually breathe properly in them.
The richest families could have as many as five servants
for each family member.
In some respects, it feels like I've regressed back into childhood
where you have your mother
to dress you in the morning and tie your shoelaces.
Everything Michael and Adele are used to doing for themselves
is now done by someone else.
-Please come in.
-Even looking after their kids.
-Nanny Hutchinson, sir, madam.
-Good morning, madam.
Good morning, sir. Good morning, miss.
I shall endeavour to instruct the children academically,
morally and spiritually.
-Are they all in good health at the moment?
-How are you, Joseph?
-Very good, thank you.
You're looking very smart today.
-I am Nanny Hutchinson.
-How do you do?
-And good morning, Miss Lily.
-Good morning, Nanny.
-Good morning, Nanny.
-And good morning, Miss Alice.
(Good morning, Nanny.)
Come along then, children.
Give Mummy a kiss before you go with Nanny.
Ciara and Caitie, will you sit down, please?
-I'm getting confused, I'm sorry.
-Ciara, will you not speak to me?
Next door, Ian Golding is relishing the opportunity
to get stuck in to his role as the family's authority figure.
Would you like to take your elbows off the table, please. Thank you.
Why are you crying, Jack?
Do you not like Daddy talking to you like this? No.
Always attempting to better themselves, the middle classes were
determined to keep up appearances, even behind closed doors.
Wash your hands, please.
I would like to think that they will appreciate
how important it was to behave properly 100 years ago
and that sometimes we don't really behave as politely
and as nicely as children used to.
Dad's being a meany.
Having some of the manners of their predecessors
actually is not such a bad thing.
Can I see if you've washed your hands properly?
They're wet, Ciara.
Can you dry them, please? Thank you.
Strict discipline was a cornerstone of Edwardian child-rearing.
But it's a foreign concept to the Golding children.
Edwardian dads used to be strict.
And we can put our elbows on the table at home.
Wealthy Edwardians were obsessed with formality...
..even at breakfast time.
This one's sausage, bacon... Oh, no, kidneys, bacon.
This one's lobster.
I was expecting toast and jam.
Of the Taylor clan, the only child allowed to eat with the adults is 15-year-old Megan.
The other Taylor children must eat their meals in the nursery,
a very different routine from home.
We normally eat together.
Now we're not allowed to eat together,
which is quite weird.
Do it quite firmly.
Work your way down the toilet bowl.
It's just four hours into Saskia's day as a scullery maid.
What you're doing is taking off all the urine from inside the lavatory.
I wasn't expecting it to be such hard work.
I hate washing up, it smells of food.
I want to go home.
It may not be glamorous, but if she sticks at it,
she'll take home five shillings a week, nearly a quarter of what her family needs to stay afloat.
I want to find out what year they invented the dishwasher.
Edwardian toil may have come as a shock to Saskia,
but upstairs the Taylor children are also finding it hard to adjust.
Remember that children should be seen and not heard.
You do not disturb Mama and Papa downstairs.
At home, they're used to doing pretty much as they please.
But now adults are the unquestionable authority.
You're with your brother and your sister
who will also help to look after you and we really do not want any silly tears.
They're wobbling at the minute. Lily is anyway.
She's struggling with this.
She wants stories and play and fun. I've not heard them laugh at all this morning.
Don't concern yourself, madam, the children are fine.
I think when Nanny arrived, I felt a bit emotional
because I knew she was there to take the children away.
Which...is quite difficult.
As long as they go out and have a bit of fun, that'll be fine.
100 years ago, childhood was a different world
and no more so than for working-class kids.
With rent to pay, some children as young as ten were forced to miss school and work full-time.
15-year-old Genevieve is doing her first day of child labour.
She's working with mum, Suzie, who like many working-class women
has turned their family home into a laundry business.
-It's not washed.
-Yes, it is.
-It's got stains on it.
-Where? I washed it.
They're taking in washing from their neighbours.
A washerwoman could earn up to ten shillings a week,
almost half what the Meadows family need to survive.
But doing washing in this era is a laborious process.
Boiling the water...
I hope this hasn't got a leak in the bottom.
Oh, you're kidding me.
Using the cumbersome mangle to wring out laundry.
-It does work.
Making starch from potatoes.
You dip them in the starch.
And, finally, using the flat iron.
I do figure that this was an absolute labour of anything but love.
This was a necessity to just earn money.
They hurt. They're all wrinkly and horrible because of the water.
It's disgusting. My nails have chipped off.
But Suzie's fighting a losing battle.
-You need to wash this again.
-Let me see.
-I just touched it with that.
Oh, for God's sake!
So you've got your white laundry being cleaned by the coal scuttle.
That isn't very sensible, thank you. Is it?
Ian Golding is heading to his job at the local council office.
Before the age of computers and printers,
Edwardian businesses relied on a small army of clerks.
Today, Ian will be working as an envelope addresser
and he'll be doing nothing else for the next eight hours.
This is the kind of job that a very junior person
in an office might do in terms of stuffing envelopes.
For what I would imagine a middle-class office worker today,
this is not really the kind of job they would be used to doing.
It might be menial, but the job earns him a secured income
of 57 shillings a week,
something Phil Meadows can only dream of.
He's out looking for casual work,
walking in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, James Meadows.
Do you need anything with a man with a wheelbarrow? Moving rubble around?
Anything like that, you know where I live.
In Edwardian Britain, general labourers made up a great swathe of the workforce.
They could spend hours waiting at building sites,
docks or factories in the hope of being taken on.
If no work was to be had, their families would go hungry.
So you're all full up, you don't need any labourers?
A skilled man, tough hands.
Go and roll that Tarmac.
God, this thing's heavy!
I've a new respect for guys that do that now.
I tell you what, that's tough work.
After seven hours of hard graft,
Suzie is ready to return her first load of washing.
-How are you today?
-Very well, thank you.
-I owe you?
-Five pennies there.
That's per item.
No, we said the whole price was five.
I think we said per item.
No, it's five pennies for the whole job.
-For the whole job?
-Yes, it was.
Three, four, five.
Suzie is coming to terms with just how cheap her labour is in Edwardian Britain.
A sheet for two pence is absolutely ridiculous.
I'm mean, soul-destroying.
It's nearly five o'clock.
The end of the day for office workers.
Boring, bored, boring.
The only words that come into my mind.
So far, I think, me doing this job absolutely sums up middle-class Edwardian life.
A little bit stuffy, a little bit boring.
I am now absolutely in Edwardian middle-class man mode.
I absolutely expect my dinner on the table
with a roaring fire in the kitchen and a cup of tea.
-Hello, how are you?
-What are you doing in here?
You're not allowed to be in the kitchen, can you leave, please.
You do not come in this kitchen.
Leave the kitchen.
Mother, why are you letting them come in the kitchen?
-I thought they were OK in the kitchen.
-No, they're not supposed to be in the kitchen.
-Why are the stairs still covered in dust?
-I haven't had time to do that.
-What have you been doing?
-I've been cooking your dinner and cleaning everywhere else.
-Please don't speak back to me.
-I'm sorry, I thought you asked me a question.
Yeah, he wants to see you when you come home from work.
-He needs to understand that this is the way it was.
I'm not meant to go and comfort them if they're crying.
There will be no emotional caring at all.
I don't know how... I'm trying to work out how Edwardian children comforted themselves,
I guess they just comforted each other.
They must have been a lot tougher than children today.
Caitie, would you mind getting Jack a tissue, please, for his nose. Something to wipe his nose, please.
'The reality of being an Edwardian family'
is actually not a lot of fun for the majority of the time.
All I seem to have done is made the children cry
because I just have to be very strict all the time.
Not a lot of fun at all.
I'm looking forward to actually being able to talk to my children whenever I fancy talking to my children.
Holding them whenever I want to hold them.
Cuddling them when they're sad
and just having a conversation, would be nice,
because we're not even allowed to do that!
Phil has been working on the streets all day,
for a wage of two shillings.
He'll need to do this every day to stand a chance of keeping a roof over his family.
I mean, you need to just dig in, dig deep and get on with it
and the only way you can do that is by switching off.
Meanwhile, daughter Saskia is coming to the end of her first day as the Taylors' scullery maid.
I thought when we were on camera, we'd have to do the chores.
Then when it was like "cut", I thought we'd be able to go out,
get some food, have a chat amongst everyone.
I didn't realise we actually had to live like families did in the 1910s.
So it was a bit of a shocker.
After 12 hours of hard graft, Saskia's finally been allowed back home.
OK, listen to this, I need to sit down by the fire.
So you walk in and it's all heated and they've got chandeliers,
drawing rooms, pianos, nursery.
They've got a chef,
a housekeeper, a maid, another maid...
We're very proud of you out working, Sas.
-You're going to bring home five shillings.
It must have been really hard to think that they're only in this life
to earn money for their mum and dad.
You have kids to supplement your family income,
you don't really necessarily have kids to want to love and cherish like we do.
I'm so tired.
There's one big role and that is to put food on the table.
It's really tough to do that.
I've spent the whole day worrying that I can't provide food for them.
I was a useless parent, I can't look after my daughters.
They are all going to be really unhappy.
The pressure is hard. It's survival.
MUSIC: "The Entertainer" by Scott Joplin
As an upper middle-class man with an income almost 40 times greater than the Meadows',
and plenty of leisure time to spend, Michael's taking son Joseph
clay pigeon shooting at Leighton Hall,
a local stately home owned by Mrs Suzie Reynolds.
Also on the grounds is Phil Meadows.
Unlike Michael, he's not here to enjoy himself.
He's been given a day's work shovelling manure.
I didn't like being called by my surname.
For some reason, I didn't want to raise my eyes to them.
I didn't want to look them in the eye. I definitely felt that.
Which is weird, I wasn't expecting it.
It may well have been that you basically was so frightened of doing something wrong,
and getting the sack, that you did the minimum possible and just kept working.
Etiquette dictates that Michael could bring only his son with him to shoot,
leaving the rest of the family behind.
The advantage of this era for the gentleman
is that he does get to go out and do the things that are really exciting
but to the detriment of the relationship between myself and the family.
Also enjoying the great outdoors with their nanny
are the two youngest Taylor children, Lily and Alice.
Of course working with them so much you do get attached to them.
They are very delightful children.
And very well-behaved.
On the whole.
But for the remaining members of the Taylors,
Adele and eldest daughter Megan, there is little to fill their day.
I feel a bit resentful of Michael who's gone out living the life of Riley,
can't even be bothered to tell me where he's going or when he'll be back.
I feel like a prisoner in this house.
There's this illusion of this powerful woman with the status
and this fancy house and actually it's all lies.
Adele might feel she has things tough...
..but two doors down the grind of working-class life is getting to Suzie Meadows.
One shilling and eight pence.
The women of the 1900s must have been absolutely rock-like.
They would have eaten after the rest of their family,
especially their children.
They had to be up earlier than anyone else, go to bed later than everyone else.
It makes me quite emotional, actually. Oh, dear.
While the drudgery of life hits home for her mum, daughter Saskia
is starting to embrace hard work.
You've done very well so far, Saskia.
-I'll come and see you again shortly.
I just know that I have to get on with it now.
I might as well do it in a nice fashion
or I'm not going to get on with Mrs McMullen.
Upstairs, it's the first time Adele has seen Michael all day.
And she's still waiting to see the children.
Good afternoon, Madam, Sir, may I present the children to you?
-Give that to Mama.
Look at that, I like the feathers. Did you pluck the animal yourself?
-What have you been doing upstairs?
-Had a game of chess.
-We've been for a walk.
Was it nice?
You have been very busy.
Wealthy Edwardian women often spent little more than an hour with their children
before they were whisked back to the nursery by Nanny.
In Edwardian times, perhaps the women didn't know any better.
They had no expectations that spending time
with their children would perhaps be a nice thing.
It wasn't expected of them so they didn't think to ask.
Whereas that's the norm for me.
Initially when we was told we were coming into house number one
and you turned around to see the grandeur of it, I thought,
"Great, this is going to be a really good experience."
Then, the reality kicked in, that in fact, actually you wouldn't know your family.
You wouldn't know your kids because you never see them.
KNOCK AT DOOR
Michael is leaving the family again for another social engagement.
Mr Taylor is attending the local music hall, where he'll have his own private box.
But he won't be the only resident of Albert Road there
as the Meadows have scraped up a few pennies for four tickets in the stalls.
We start our evening with Sarah Hicks!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
There was me and my old man, shoving things inside a van,
which we often done before, let me remark!
# My old man
# Said follow the van... #
They may be in the cheap seats but at least the Meadows get to spend the evening together as a family.
# The boy I love
# Is up in the gallery
# The boy I love... #
I'm here on my own, which is a horrible feeling,
knowing that Adele and the children are at home and they would love this show.
After seeing the Meadows downstairs,
all singing and clapping and enjoying themselves,
I just felt really lonely up there on my own.
# ..is up there in the gallery... #
I miss the kids and I miss being around the wife and stuff like that.
# ..As merry as a robin
# That sings...
# In the tree! #
Meanwhile Adele, home alone, is expected to be more concerned
with improving the family's social standing.
Right Honourable Bertram Catteral Maddocks.
So Juliet has tasked her with holding a lavish dinner party for some illustrious guests.
I don't think I'm posh enough to associate with people
with a law degree from Cambridge University.
I'd rather invite the working-class people from down the road
and we can have a jolly old knees-up in here. I don't think that's going to happen.
"Make-believe was so real to him... you could see him getting rounder!"
It's nearing the end of the week in the Edwardian era
and the Taylor children are becoming accustomed to the new family dynamic away from their parents.
I think it's fun being in the nursery because there's lots of toys
and things to do and downstairs there's sitting down...
I think they're missing us more than we're missing them, actually.
We're having quite a lot of fun
but Mum says it's a bit boring just sitting there doing sewing.
Yeah, I think they're missing us more.
After spending most of the week cooped up inside,
Adele has discovered one way for her and Megan to escape.
How do you get out?
Are we locked in?
Oh, you're kidding.
The safety bicycle had only recently become available.
With a hefty price tag, bikes were only for the wealthy
but they offered a new independence for women who had always been driven and chauffeured.
They now had the freedom to travel alone.
This bit of Edwardian life, I like.
It's strange after being locked in a house, you feel like you've got this
bit of freedom and want to run around the park going "Yeah, I'm free!"
And, er, I'm kind of not wanting to go back home.
-Did you eat anything last night?
-No, we couldn't eat it.
Back on Albert Road, Ian Golding is comparing lifestyles with his lowly neighbour.
-So you've had bread this morning?
-No, because there's nothing...
Unless you want to eat dry bread, there's nothing to put on it.
-What did you eat?
-We haven't eaten.
We had a very nice pigeon pie last night
as we want to aspire to be like the poshies at the end, you see.
Historian Juliet has some news for the social-climbing Ian
that might bring him down to earth.
-You can aspire to join them, or you can join my revolution.
It's entirely up to you. It depends if you want to live or not.
I have to tell you, actually, the divide between you
and the Meadows is much less than you think.
Ian is living the life of his great-great-grandfather, Nathan Ludsky.
But on the other branch of his family tree is another ancestor,
whose life in Britain was very different to Nathan's.
They would have come over at the time of the pogroms, after the assassination of the Tsar.
Violent anti-Jewish attacks, dubbed "pogroms", were rife
in late 19th-century Russia.
Destroying 20,000 Jewish homes
and forcing thousands to flee the country,
many ended up in London's East End.
At one point, about 91% of the residents of Spitalfields
-in the East End of London were Jewish.
-Is that right? Wow.
Now, your own family, the two parents and the four children - the six people,
were all living in two rooms.
Makes me feel very humble, because I think I...
I've ignored my family history completely and I don't know why.
It's just... It's never something I've shown any interest in.
Life was hard for the Weinsteins, and within ten years of arriving,
Abraham's wife Kate died at the age of only 39.
-She died in December...
-At the same age as us.
She died of TB - consumption.
-I... I feel quite emotional.
We're very spoilt. We take so much for granted, I think.
You wouldn't have been able to do that...100 years ago.
-You couldn't take anything for granted, really.
We're bloody lucky.
Bloody lucky to be here
and we're lucky to be how we are
and we could be like the Meadows next door.
Next door at number one, the house is a hive of activity
preparing for tonight's grand dinner party.
Go right down, yes.
Mrs McMullen needs extra hands to make sure the evening
runs smoothly, so she's promoted Saskia to housemaid.
Transfer your weight, down, down, down, down, down, down, down.
Now, welcome to the scullery, Genevieve.
Downstairs, Genevieve has been taken on as Saskia's replacement in the scullery.
I am very pleased with the way that your sister has worked,
so you've got something to live up to.
With only one day left for the Meadows to make the 22 shillings
they need to avoid eviction,
Saskia and Genevieve are earning vital money for the family.
I don't even know if I'm doing this right.
Oh, my God... What the...?
Mrs McMullen said you must pluck this pigeon, please.
-How do you pluck it?
-She said she'll be down soon, but...here.
-I don't know how to do it.
-Just start plucking the feathers off, Gen.
Grab a feather, pluck it off.
Don't get any diseases, Gen!
To make sure the Taylors's dinner party has the wow factor,
technology expert Joe has arrived to introduce Michael
to the very latest in home entertainment.
-Right, Michael - I have something to show you.
-Do you know what this is?
-It looks like a camera.
-That's pretty good.
-It's a Magic Lantern.
I want you to entertain your dinner party guests
with a Magic Lantern show.
OK, I'd love to.
This is it for entertainment - you don't have a TV -
-this is your Edwardian home cinema system.
I wouldn't let too many of these slip into the collection(!)
Look at that!
The Taylor ladies get dressed in their finery.
Downstairs, the guests are starting to arrive.
Mrs Susan Reynolds.
-Hello, Mrs Reynolds.
-How lovely to see you again!
Juliet Gardiner is here to see if the Taylors can entertain
like true Edwardians and do their wealthy ancestors proud.
How are you?
The right honourable Bertram Catteral Maddocks.
Good evening. It's very kind of you to ask me.
How would be best to address you?
-Please take a seat.
Right, are you ready? No, you're not. You haven't got this prepared.
Newly-promoted Saskia is doing her best to keep service on track.
Once you've washed them, on here, once it's all washed, dry.
I know. I know how to do it.
Don't drop anything, but we've got to do it quick time, cos we need it all again.
These slides are quite special.
Upstairs, the guests are enjoying the Magic Lantern show.
Oh, that's good.
Even the reluctant Adele is getting into the spirit of things.
Sorry, my mistake!
Very, very good.
# Land of Hope and Glory... #
Next door, the middle-class Goldings are entertaining themselves.
You are singing brilliantly.
Ian has decided to abandon strict Edwardian discipline.
To be able to hold Jack... It's the first time I think I've held him,
it was lovely, really lovely.
It makes me feel more like a dad.
I'm a dad, not a father,
so to have the opportunity to hold him was lovely.
# ..Who are born of thee... #
-This is a very pretty centrepiece, isn't it?
-Yes, we like it.
We either need to be taller, I think, or our decorations smaller.
An evening like this one
could cost more than a poor family had to live on for two years.
-There she is, there she is!
-Oh, there she is!
If there are no calamities, I will be absolutely amazed,
cos she's notoriously clumsy!
But it's not Saskia who's slipped up.
What?! Are you kidding?
-Genevieve, that's not funny, at all.
-I didn't mean to do it, Saskia.
This is taken out of our wages.
On a serious note,
because that's the first thing Mrs McMullen said to me.
At nine pence, a bone china cup costs almost a day's pay.
(I'm very annoyed at my sister.)
(We're probably going to be back to nearly zero,
(so I'm not very happy, and my parents are going to be livid.)
I want to be honest, but I'm scared of Miss McMul...mulugh.
Something like that. I don't know her name!
Genevieve needs to pluck up the courage to confess to a busy Mrs McMullen.
-While I was washing up...
-Right - open up the lid.
-No, they're not set.
Um... Miss McMullen...
While I was washing up, I bent to dry a cup and it fell off the table.
-And it smashed.
-What colour was it?
-It was one of the white ones.
Luckily, Mrs McMullen has her hands full and Genevieve's off the hook.
Dinner parties were all about excess and tonight,
Adele will have to see her way through eight sumptuous courses.
If the lady of the house actually knew how many courses there were,
maybe she adjusted her corset... appropriately!
First come the hors d'oeuvres.
No, thank you, thanks very much.
Followed by asparagus...
-You weren't in the Navy, Bertie...
Two fish dishes...
One meat dish...
And vegetables - presented with typical Edwardian flamboyance.
But however grand the meal, for Adele, the evening
is meaningless without her family.
We've had the most wonderful food -
foods I've never tasted in my life before.
Like being in the fanciest restaurant I've ever been
and I haven't been able to enjoy it, because the family haven't been...
They haven't been... They haven't been with us while we ate it.
The residents of Albert Road are preparing to leave
the lives of their Edwardian ancestors behind.
After living their life, I feel more detached from my ancestors.
It's nice to do all the great things,
but I don't want to do things on my own.
I really don't, I want to do things with my family.
My ancestors, I don't know how they must've lived like this.
My family's found it difficult when there's four of us
in this house and we're only here for five days.
For them to live like this for the rest of their life, must be very difficult
and it's quite...heartbreaking.
Susanna and Juliet are back to catch up with the families.
It's time to find out how the family unit has survived the Edwardian experience.
Have our families lived like true Edwardians,
within the rigid class structure?
How has it been for you, living in the posh house?
It's been horrible. Absolutely awful.
I didn't see the children, I didn't see my husband,
me and Megan were locked in this room 90% of the time,
with nothing to do - there's no purpose.
As a busy working mum, every minute of the day is looking forward
to family time, trying to catch that time with the children
and just having nothing to do - no purpose, nobody needs you.
You've got no say in anything as a woman in this era.
I could walk out this door
and nobody would notice that I wasn't here, probably for days.
What you think is most distinctive about the Edwardian family unit?
It seemed like a bunch of single people living in a big house.
I don't think there's any such word as the Edwardian "family".
Next door, the middle-class Goldings
are less disparaging of the early 1900s.
Evenings, you know, the way the family behaved
in the evenings - it is so easy just to turn on the TV.
I think it would be nice not to do that all the time.
Meanwhile, Ian, you've had to take on the role of the strict Edwardian father.
Your role sounded like the one that you might enjoy.
Strictness for an Edwardian father seems to be
just for the sake of being strict.
The Edwardian father needs to understand that it's not such
a bad thing sometimes to show a bit of emotion.
But trapped in the cycle of survival,
the working-class family had it hardest.
We really lived this and it was bloody awful. It really was.
The first few days, until we got our act together, was just awful.
Then we kicked in. We made it work.
But we could have easily gone the other way - well, just gone home, actually!
Well, Juliet - how have they done, financially?
I've got the budget here.
So, your total outgoings in your week
-were 21 shillings and tenpence. OK.
-We haven't made it!
So now let's look at your income.
As a family, you have earned 28 shillings, 4½ pence.
So well done - pretty good.
You've lived within your budget and some. Well done.
I think it pushed us to the max.
As a family, I think we did really well.
The children's reaction to this has actually amazed me.
I cannot believe...
The girls have really had to change, because if anything,
they're probably a little bit more spoilt at home.
But I've been so proud of both of them.
For the families, it's the end of the Edwardian era.
Next time on Albert Road,
it's the Roaring Twenties.
-Might be a little bit bumpy here, madam.
But the Great Depression is just around the corner.
I'll leave you with four chairs,
but anything else of value will need to be sold.
-Who will ride the storm?
-No, we haven't had to sell that yet!
We'll sell the kids first!
And who will see their fortunes slip away?
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
The Edwardian era pushes the three modern families to their limits.
There is a rude awakening for the Polo-playing Meadows family, who take on the role of being an Edwardian working-class family and must cope with the impact of poverty on their lives, as they and their two daughters adapt to a new role as breadwinners.
The Taylor family live the lives of their ancestors as an upper-middle-class Edwardian household. Formality and etiquette mean the Taylor family must live very separate lives and mum Adele struggles as her familiar role as wife and working mum is stripped away.
Finally, the Golding family are desperately hanging on to their newly acquired social status as a middle-class family, but for dad Ian it is a chance to put his theories on the benefits of discipline into practice.