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Former cook returns to Norfolk stately home to see her restored bedroom

Ninety-nine year old Flo Wadlow sees her restored bedroom at Blickling Photo: ITVAnglia

A 99 year old woman, who was cook at Blickling Hall in Norfolk, has been back to see how they've done up her old bedroom.

Flo Wadlow cooked for the Astors, the Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and even Queen Mary when she was in service there in the 1930s. Her bedroom was sixty five steps up, on the fourth floor of the grand house, now a National Trust property.

When Mrs Wadlow worked there the house was owned by Lord Lothian. Seventy three years on she was back to see how they had recreated her old room.

"Looks alright to me," was her first impression. But a closer look and she was soon pointing out the flaws! "That don't look right and that blue shade don't look right. That would have been there. This I think would be more near the fireplace ."

Flo Wadlow, or Flo Copeland, as she was known then, became cook at the age of 23. So would she like to move back in ? "No, I don't think so. I'd rather have my little house in Fakenham. You could probably get my whole house in here at Fakenham!."

Her son, Terry Wadlow, said he had no idea she lived in such style. " I came up here expecting to see some tiny little box room. I wouldn't mind this bedroom for myself actually. Would be wonderful."

Flo may be a bit wobbly on her pins these days but there's nothing wrong with her memory. She can even recall what she cooked for Queen Mary.

" I poached the chicken breasts first, and then let them get cold overnight and then I coated them with a white sauce and then with aspic."

Flo also cooked for the then Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin and his wife when he stayed at Blickling during the abdication crisis of 1936. Mrs Baldwin gave Flo a pound tip which back then was more than a week's wages.

Jan Brookes-Bullen, House manager at Blickling said : "Flo's always been a big part of Blickling but to get those real actualities from Flo .... we can take her to a room , find out if we've got it right or wrong as the case may be but it makes sure we've got the best representations we could have."

TV dramatisations of life in service like Downton Abbey and the new Upstairs Downstairs have won big audiences. So is Flo also a fan? "I don't watch it. I don't bother because that's only how the producers of these things think that is. They don't know a thing!"

Flo ,by the way, still does know a thing or two about cooking. At ninety nine she's still making all her own meals.