For whom the bell tolls

Entrance Hall Bell Pull

Entrance Hall Bell Pull

“When visitors were expected it was customary for someone to wait in the Hall and when the carriage turned in the front gates to ring that bell to warn all the staff concerned, it then used to ring in the passage with all the other bells.”
C. P. Whitehead, Footman to Mr T. S. Pearson Gregory, 1914-17.

For Mr Whitehead, Harlaxton Manor was always a special place even though he only worked here for a few years in his early 20’s, as this is where he met his future wife. He recounts in a letter to Rev. Swindells SJ dated 1963, his delight in visiting the Manor some 50 years later during Jesuit ownership, and in particular of the feeling of role reversal as he partook of a meal in the Dining Room, where before he had only served them. He also shared memories of the daily morning prayers, presumably for all staff, which took place in the Marble (Great) Hall.

Today, we still wait in the Entrance Hall to greet the coaches bringing our faculty and students as they turn into the Front Circle, but staff are alerted by telephone not a bell pull.

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About harlaxtoncollegelibrary

Harlaxton College Library Harlaxton Manor, Grantham Lincolnshire
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