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Mrs. Wildgoose's Servants : Life in Domestic Service
People who lived in the Matlocks : Photographs, Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings

The series of five Edwardian photographs below are from the album of Mrs. Robert Wildgoose and are of her female staff. They were taken when Mrs. Wildgoose lived at The Gables on Chesterfield Road. All three women joined the household after 1901 as Mrs. Wildgoose was employing different staff at the time of the 1901 census[1]. Mrs. Wildgoose did not always include a date for her photos so providing precise dates is difficult.

The album now belongs to the Ash family and was in the possession of Ray Ash's step-grandmother Ash (Dora May Wheeldon before her marriage), who worked for Mrs. Wildgoose when she moved to Stoneycroft on Cavendish Road.

1. Florence Johnson, photographed at The Gables by Mrs. Robert Wildgoose. Image Scan © Ray Ash
2. Florence Johnson wearing a hat, photographed at The Gables by Mrs. Robert Wildgoose. Image Scan © Ray Ash
1 Florence Johnson was a favourite subject and here
she is photographed standing in front of the house
wearing her best dress, probably taken
between 1905 and 1907[2].
2 Another photograph of Florence, but
this time in the garden, also probably
taken between 1905 and 1907.

3. Florence Johnson and "Rags", photographed at The Gables by Mrs. Robert Wildgoose. Image Scan © Ray Ash

3 Florence again, this time wearing her maid's uniform and shown with "Rags", the dog.
Mrs. Wildgoose took quite a few photographs of her pets.

4. Minnie, Selina and Florence, photographed at the Gables by Mrs. Robert Wildgoose. Image Scan ;copy; Ray Ash

4 Three female servants:
Minnie is standing at the back, with the maids Selina and Florence seated.
The surnames of two of the girls aren't recorded in the album as Mrs. Wildgoose only used their Christian names.
Selina was the sister of Florence and "Minnie" was Maud Alice Whiteman[3].

5. Selina and Baby Roddis, photographed at The Gables by Mrs. Robert Wildgoose. Image Scan © Ray Ash

5 The final photograph of the set shows Selina holding her nephew.
Arthur Samuel was Florence's first child after she married Walter [Arthur] Roddis in 1908[4].
This photograph was taken in 1909; the baby could have been in christening robes but this isn't certain. Florence kept in contact with Mrs. Wildgoose, at least in the early years of her marriage, as there is another photograph (not published here) of Florence, Arthur and his slightly younger brother Archie that was taken in 1912.

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Mrs. Robert Wildgoose

The images published here with kind permission of Ray Ash, who scanned the images.
Research by Ray Ash and Ann Andrews, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
If you have any further information about anyone in the photographs we would really appreciate knowing ourselves. Please contact the web mistress who will pass it on to Ray Ash.

References (coloured links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web site):

[1] See Mrs. Wildgoose and her employees in the 1901 census.

[2] Florence Johnson was the daughter of Henry and Maria Johnson. She was born at Thurlow Booth, Crich, and in 1891 census she was living with her parents in Crich.

[3] "Minnie" (Maud Alice Whiteman) was employed as Cook and Selina Johnson was the house parlourmaid (1911 census). Ten years before then, in the 1901 census, Canon Kewley employed Maud. He and Marian Wildgoose were good friends. In 1901 Selina was working for William Atkins at The Grove Hydro (later St. Elphins) in Darley Dale. Going backwards in time, in 1891 Selina was with her grandmother Jane at Crich. Ten years further back, in the 1881 census, she was at home with her parents Henry and Maria Johnson. All three servants had been born in Crich.

[4] Walter Roddis had married Florence at St. Anne's Church, Ambergate in 1908 (September quarter). By 1911 Florence and Walter Roddis were living at 58 Prospect St Alfreton with their two sons, one year old Arthur Samuel born at West Bromwich Staffs and nine month old Archibald who was born in Alfreton - his birth was registered in the Belper District in 1910 (September). Walter worked as an Insurance Agent for the Prudential Ass C/o Ltd.