Ida Ramsey talks about working for Mrs Sangster

Learn about the formidable Mrs Sangster at Ickworth © National Trust

Learn about the formidable Mrs Sangster at Ickworth


As part of Ickworth Lives, we've recorded interviews with many of the staff who lived and worked here in the 1930s.

Ida Ramsey (nee Foreman) started as a scullery maid at Ickworth in 1934 when she was sixteen, working her way up to second kitchen maid before she left at the start of 1938. She worked for Mrs Agnes Sangster, the Scottish cook who worked at Ickworth from around 1912 to well into the 1950s.

Mrs Sangster was known for being stern but caring with her young charges. Although she never married, she was referred to as ‘Mrs’ as a mark of respect. As the lady who was in charge of the kitchen, it was obviously important to all the staff to keep on her good side.

Here Ida Ramsey gives an example of Mrs Sangster’s caring nature:
'Mrs Sangster, she didn’t like the storms and I didn’t, and she’d say: “When there’s a storm, you come up to my bedroom lassie and we’ll make a cup of tea. I’ve got a kettle and what have you up there and that’ll be nice to sit and talk so that we forget the storm”. So that’s what I used to do, yeah. She was very kind to me – she was a lovely person.'

You can learn more about Ida Ramsey and many other servants who worked at Ickworth when you visit our newly opened basement.