|Image courtesy of The Telegraph|
(You can read the full story if you click on the link in the caption of the photo, or if you're quick, you can watch it on iPlayer HERE)
Three families each spent a week living facsimile lives of three very different Edwardian families - lower, middle or upper class - their houses cheek by jowl on one street, but equipped according to status.
There was no going back to 21st century lives each time the cameras stopped rolling. Oh, No! The pattern of their lives followed their historical counterparts twenty four seven.
The younger children from the upper class household had a full time Nanny, and their parents soon realised how at odds with present day family life this arrangement was, with only a couple of hours interaction per day between parent and child. Nanny was a substitute for both mother and father.
Father lead a somewhat lonely life of leisure, but Mother and eldest daughter, incarcerated at home, almost died of boredom - until they discovered the delights of bicycling.
I think the two youngest of the middle class children were below school age, but they were the most traumatised to begin with, when their father suddenly turned into the strictest of ''My word is law, and children should be seen and not heard!' kind of parent. In fact, it was not long before he chose to ignore the given script, and cuddle his small son. Their teenage daughter was co-opted to the role of a virtual unpaid servant, there to assist Mother in the running of the home, while Father spent a long day working as a clerk in a local government office.
But the unwary teenage daughters of the lowest class home had a rude awakening, when they realised they needed to work to supplement the family income, for their father had no permanent employment, but had to go out into the real world each day, to find any casual work he could. The eldest girl was taken on as a scullery maid in the 'rich' house two doors away, while her sister and their mother, took in washing to earn a few pennies.
Although this lowliest family of the group had the hardest task to survive on the pittance they earned, their teamwork served to give them a true, family spirit, and despite deprivation, it became clear they had the most rewarding emotional life.
Children from the other two classes would have been lucky, back in the day, if they managed to survive emotionally, with virtually no parental loving as we understand it today...
I can't wait to see next Tuesday's installment of the series.