The Real Country House

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A chance to delve beyond the stereotypes of upper class luxury living between the World Wars, built around a treasure trove of 16mm footage made by a witness and participant in that gilded era. During the pre-war years, Bobby and Mary Cunningham-Reid were a golden society couple who held court at their country house at Six Mile Bottom. The late Barbara Cartland describes Bobby as an adventurer – a charming First World War flying ace with flashing eyes and a mean quickstep. Mary Ashley the younger sister of Edwina Mountbatten was beautiful, well connected and filthy rich. Bobby was passionate about cinema, and for ten years – between 1927 and 1937 – he captured their gilded lives on thousands of feet of 16mm which their grand-daughter, filmmaker Fiona Cunningham-Reid, has turned into a four-part series. From its rituals to its hijinks, and whether the guests were prime ministers or movie stars, his camera caught it all.