Miss 'Addy' Adamson at Nymans

Addy with David and Sarah Armstrong Jones

Addy with David and Sarah Armstrong Jones

Addy, as she was affectionately known, had the distinction of being in service with the Messels for over 60 years and was a close friend of the family.

During the 1930s and 1940s she was Lady's maid to Maud Messel. Addy would accompany Maud everywhere including holidays to Italy in the spring, Scotland in the autumn and to and from London and Nymans for the rest of the year.

Kathleen Hallett (nee Owens) one of the housemaids, remembers Addy and said:

'She was very kind to me. When costume balls were held at Nymans Miss Adamson would sneak me part way up a staircase so that I could watch the dancing through an open door. I can still remember a ball with an eastern theme, and the beautiful jewel colours of the dresses.'

Brian Farrow, one of the evacuees who stayed at Nymans during the Second World War also remembers the kindnesses Addy showed them:

'We settled in very easily and met Miss Adamson … she had glasses and grey hair and seemed terribly old, but couldn't really have been. She looked after us beautifully and proved to be most adept; every Friday our laundry was taken and brought back and put in piles on a long table.'

Following the fire at Nymans, Addy moved with Leonard and Maud to Holmsted Manor. After Maud's death in 1960 all the staff left except Addy, who moved to the Nursery wing at Nymans. Addy died on 5 August 1980 aged 87 and at her funeral the bearers of her coffin were the Earl of Snowdon, the Earl of Rosse, Thomas Messel and John Hardy. She is interred in the Messel family grave in the churchyard of St. Mark’s, Staplefield.