A business that is maid in the 1950s

IN every job that must be done, there really is an element of fun for a Northumberland cleaning business.

For owner Sarah Legge adopts a Mary Poppins style in her Maid To Butler Housekeeping Services.

Unfortunately, the work isn’t done with a click of the fingers, but the service adopts a 1950s theme, with staff equipped with pinnies, baskets and traditional products, not to mention a friendly disposition.

Mrs Legge, 37, who grew up in Morpeth, set up the business two years ago when she was made redundant from Northumberland County Council.

She said: “I have got two children, Harrison, five, and Oliver who is two, so I was trying to create something where I could have time with the children and bring some money into the household. That was how the business was born.

“I wanted it to be based around a Mary Poppins kind of person — someone who uses their initiative to not just clean, but hang the washing out, clean out the fridge, make the beds and pick the children’s clothes up, the kind of things your mum would do.

“In a 1950s house the doorstep was shiny and you could take pride in it. Nowadays a lot of mums don’t get the chance because we need to bring in income and be mums, as well as look after the house. Our service offers customers the chance to have a house they can be proud of and they can still spend quality time with their families.”

The service has gone from strength to strength and Mrs Legge’s mum Catherine Richardson is now working as a director, along with Barbara Holmes, who joined the team after she was made redundant from Northumberland College.

There are more than 80 customers between Ponteland and Alnwick, and there are plans to increase the nine members of staff by another four.

“It is our second birthday so now we can start growing the business further,” said Mrs Legge.

“We have got the model right and now there is the opportunity of further jobs in Northumberland. We are very family orientated so it would suit people who have children, or ladies who are semi-retired and want flexibility of work life balance.”

Mrs Legge said the business has the ethos of empowering women — either as customers or staff — and she recently took part in a zip wire charity event at Morpeth Rugby Club for International Women’s Day, raising £200.