SARAH MOFFAT (also known as Clemence Dumas; Clemence Delice or Sarah Delice) was a major character in the 1970's period drama, Upstairs, Downstairs as well as its spin-off Thomas and Sarah. In both series, she was played by actress Pauline Collins.
When the series was originally devised, Eileen Atkins, the series co-creator along with Jean Marsh (who played Rose), was slated to play Sarah, but because of a prior stage play, in which she played Queen Victoria; she wasn't able to play the role. Hence, Pauline Collins took over the role of Sarah.
Mischief making Parlor maid
A woman who wants more out of life than what she had, Sarah was always known for her mischief, but inside she had a very good heart. A native of the East end of London, she found herself in the Belgravia area, on her way to an interview for the position of Under House Parlor maid at 165 Eaton Place, one of the wealthy townhouses in the area, and the home of the Bellamy family.
Sarah immediately began to make the wrong impression, with house parlor maid, Rose; the cook, Kate Bridges; the lady's maid, Maude Roberts; and Angus Hudson, the establishment's butler. She did make a good impression on Mr. Pearce, the coachman; and Emily, the kitchen maid. However, she was more than a bit put out by Alfred Harris, the footman.
Totally interested in her work, and possessed of a cheerful disposition, Sarah brought a joie de vivre to the gloomy life of the servants. She was nearly sacked on a couple of occasions; one where she stole a chicken from Mrs. Bridges larder; and when she was thought that she had brought an artist named Guthrie Scone upstairs. The latter was proven to be not the case, thanks to Richard Bellamy, discovering the truth.
Later on, Sarah had an unwise affair with Bellamy's son, James and it was revealed that she carried his child. Torn by guilt, she left the Bellamy's employ of her own volition.
She would later turn up again, due to the discovery of her by Elizabeth Bellamy, she was named the scullery maid, and had a bit of a rivalry with Alice (the new under house parlor maid), whom she did not like (the feeling was mutual) and schemed to get back into the fold with Rose. It was Sarah, who used her ventriloquism to help assuage Mrs. Bridges' guilt after the death of Emily.
At the first series end, she runs into James, who helped her get into the theatre, and she also attends the wedding of Elizabeth and Lawrence Kirbridge.
She returns in the second series during the episode Guest of Honour, where she is in the final stages of her pregnancy. She had been at Southwold for that time until she returned to Eaton Place. She gave birth to a baby boy, but he was stillborn. During a meeting in order to determine whether Sarah would be upstairs or downstairs, Miss Roberts denounced Sarah for being placed in the situation she was in; and also outright blamed her for having James sent to India. However, despite her objections and her hatred of Sarah, Sarah was allowed to spend her off time with her familiar mates, but Roberts made it clear she did not want to sit beside her!
Later, after the birth of Elizabeth's daughter, Lucy, Sarah became the nursery maid, and had a lot of troubles with Nanny Webster. However, after Nanny Webster left, another nanny was assigned in her place, and Sarah was quite helpful in that capacity.
During that time, she also met and fell for Thomas Watkins (played by John Alderton, Pauline Collins' real life husband), the former manservant for Lawrence Kirbridge, who later became the new chauffeur after Mr. Pearce left the Bellamy's employ. Eventually, they fell in love and with the aid of Richard Bellamy buying him a garage, the two finally left service altogether and began to run said garage.
Their last appearance on Upstairs, Downstairs, was the second series finale, where they made a visit to both the Bellamys (where she presented Lady Marjorie a scarf as a birthday gift) and also to the downstairs servants, their old friends. During their visit, the King had died.
During the short run of Thomas and Sarah, the two tried their hardest to make the garage a growing concern, but they soon realized that they should have never left being servants.