We have recently welcomed the return of the fender that sat in front of the fireplace in the Drawing Room. It was designed by Phillip Webb and made by John Pearson, a renowned Arts and Crafts metalworker. It is decorated with sunflowers, matching the wallpaper, curtains and light sconces.
The fender has been in the home of Philomean and David Tas for the last few decades, both having strong links to Standen. David and Philomena came to Standen in 1969, when David was employed as Farm Manager by Helen. he ahs fond memories of working on the farm: “Standen was a lovely farm to run with the principal enterprise being milk production from the herd of pedigree Jersey cows. These were Miss Beale’s great love and her interest in the cows and the farm in general was acute.”
Philomena was later employed by the Beale family to be Helen’s nurse (she was qualified as a professional nurse) and looked after Helen until her death in 1972.
Helen was a strict but fair employer but she had strong ideas of the distinctions between staff roles. David says: “Miss Beale was a kind and fair employer but drew a firm distinction in her relationship with staff. If Philomena needed to remove a washbowl from the bedroom Miss Beale would not permit her to do this task as she was a professional nurse – one of the house servants would be summoned to perform the task instead.”
Helen’s Will encourage her staff to take away an item that would remind them of their time working there. Philomena chose the fender as a reminder of the times that Helen and her would sit by the fire in Drawing room in the afternoons. Philomena sadly passed away earlier this year, and her husband, David, returned the fender to us.