I've just been re-reading Frank Dawes' terrific book, Not in Front of the Servants, for my latest WIP. I'm interested in what it must have been like to serve as a scullery maid just before the First World War and believe me the life sounds awful. A scullery maid occupied the lowest rung of the servant ladder and in many situations her lot was pretty poor.
In 1906 the wages of a scullery maid in London were about 6 pounds a year and despite the hard work it was no doubt better than many of the other options available to poor working class women at the time. Conditions for servants had also improved by the 1910s, when the entrenched hierarchy and domestic servant situation was starting to come unravelled (there were many laments that it was impossible to find a good servant at the time!) but nonetheless you wouldn't envy their lot. Up at 5:30am, rising in a cold 'cell' in the attic, probably in a bedroom shared with two maybe three other maids, then down to the basement kitchen where the day would be spent scrubbing floors, washing pots and pans, and hauling coal scuttles, until the late hours of the evening. By the 1910s servants were getting usually one free afternoon a week so a scullery maid in London would have probably had some chance to view the hustle and bustle of the streets - but what of those in the country? Their lot must have been pretty dismal at times.
The scullery maid I am writing about lives in Yorkshire on a remote estate and it isn't much of a stretch to imagine that conditions then must have been pretty primitive and isolating. Such is the stuff of novels:)