Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lady Dorothy Mills Turns 50

This is just a relative quickie today, based on our previous entry (below). While searching for events occurring at the address of the family of George Mills in Kensington, I also stumbled upon this classified advertisement in the 3 November 1938 issue of The Times:

LADY DOROTHY MILLS wishes to DISPOSE of eight remaining years' lease of attractive, modern, convenient, non-basement ; CHELSEA COTTAGE ; parquet ; five good rooms, kitchen, bath ; Ideal boiler ; gas and electric fires ; good cupboards. Rent £165. Premium £50. Rates about £50. Semi-fitments, &c., available for cheap purchase. View between 11 and 6. — 17, Burnsall Street, S.W.3. Flaxman 2476.

Lady Dorothy, ever one to stretch a dollar after her estrangement from her family upon the occasion of her marriage to Captain Arthur F. H. Mills, D.C.L.I., in 1916, would have been turning 50 years of age on the 11th of March the following spring, and must have had an one eye looking toward retirement and the other on making a few extra quid by subletting her desirable Chelsea home [above, left; click to enlarge] for a premium while taking up less expensive residence elsewhere.

We already know that Lady D. spent the rest of her life living in Steyning Mansions Hotel at Eastern Terrace in Brighton. In 1958, the hotel was offering rooms with a private bath, telephone, and TV at the following rates: "Winter from 9 gns., Summer from 10½ gns."

Those rates presumably were far lower before the Second World War, at the tail end of the Great Depression, when she arrived. Eight years of rent from her Burnsall Street flat must have paid for a good many of her subsequent summers and winters in beautiful, seaside Brighton.

1 comment:

  1. 8 years trimmed: Assumed this alluded to Lady D's birth year. Some precincts of the web assert or imply that she was born in 1896, but 1888 seems to predominate. There's one Liberian photo of her, sans pith & helmet, in which she seems to be on the cruel cusp of 70.