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Land Girls: want to read more?

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Eddie Mair | 08:06 UK time, Saturday, 8 December 2007

The great thing about blogging is it brings together all sorts of people who can share what they know...it's the whole point of our sister programme iPM (Saturdays at 17.30).

On the main Hilda strand there was this posting from a man who knows a great deal about the Land Girls - Stuart Antrobus. He wrote: "Congratulations on a wonderful interview.

My favourite poem by Hilda is REMEMBER US which was recently broadcast, on my recommendation, by BBC Radio 2 on the programme of songs and poems written by non-combatants on the Home Front during the Second World War, called "A War Less Ordinary",on Sat. 10 November at 9.15pm.
I've spent the last five years researching the Women's Land Army. If you'd like to know more about land girls' lives, enter my name into Google and click on the links to my Bedfordshire Libraries web pages."

If you would like to see Stuart's site...just click here.


  1. At 11:25 AM on 08 Dec 2007, Sue Palmer wrote:

    I have always been interested in brave, heroic people. Hilda Gibsons interview with Eddie Mair was just outstanding. Informative, interesting, uplifting- you have uncovered a real diamond. But aren't there more out there?
    Surely this sort of brave broadcasting, reflecting Eddie Mairs and the BBC's real integtrity, should be repeated more often?
    Let this herald a change in our journalism and broadcasting output. Be brave - use more uplifting, real life material and help give our Nation pride and hope for the future.
    We understand that the nation needs to hear about a little girl that has been kidnapped or a man that had disappeared and then returned after five years, but everyday on all the news channels and in all the papers , on the front page? Surely not. This can only heighten and feed our paranoia.
    Go out on a limb! Stand up for INTEGRITY. Let Eddie Mair start the ball rolling - Lets have more intelligent, varied journalism. You never know others may follow.
    Please find some more diamonds!

  2. At 12:30 PM on 08 Dec 2007, mike hanx wrote:

    Can somebody tell me what was brave about being a land girl?

    Selfless, yes. Public spirited and patriotic yes.

    But brave? Are all farm hands brave?

    Exactly what fear was being overcome here?

  3. At 12:42 PM on 08 Dec 2007, mike hanx wrote:

    Can somebody tell me what was brave about being a land girl?

    Selfless, yes. Public spirited and patriotic yes.

    But brave? Are all farm hands brave?

    Exactly what fear was being overcome here?

  4. At 03:33 PM on 08 Dec 2007, Ed Iglehart wrote:

    Mike (2,3)

    Have you ever seen how farmboys (and yet worse, their elders) act around farm girls? Brave indeed of the lassies!


  5. At 05:36 PM on 08 Dec 2007, r.cross wrote:

    Am I missing something here?
    Your piece on mobile phones in prisons absolutely left me gobsmacked!
    It is a SIMPLE matter to destroy the signal from mobile phone providers. A prison would be an ideal situation for this. But I suppose the Home Office are just too mean to provide the technology. So the let the crims carry on their activities for the sake of a few pennies. Almost unbelievable!!

  6. At 03:12 PM on 09 Dec 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    r.cross @5, yes, put the prison in its own Faraday cage and the problem goes away, but then the warders can't use their phones either. I think that not being able to use one's phone when on duty is something one might assume in that job, but obviously it's an unacceptable infringement of the warders' rights for them to be deprived of cellphones.

    Query: given that stuff entering a prison ought to be searched before it is given to any inmate, where are all these confiscated phones *coming* from? Are they being nicked from the warders, or what?

  7. At 10:14 PM on 09 Dec 2007, Deepthought wrote:

    Chris Ghoti (6),

    There are phones that can work through rock or other media, which normal cellphones etc cannot. Or the orion (?) network of satellite phones. Remember the trouble with London Underground and Stockwell where the police phones did not work?

    I assume that some phones will work in such a way that being in a Faraday Cage does not matter - e.g. by a magnetic signal. Or can make a system like the ionosphere, some frequences work, some frequences (cell phone ones) are bounced back. Perhaps wardens should be issued with such phones, for their own safety/communication, while rendering normal cell phones useless.

    As for stuff entering prisons, I think it's generally accepted that stuff gets in all the time. I believe drugs are a serious problem, and I don't believe it's due to the pot plants.

    However, one only has to read Howard Mark's book Mr Nice to find out that in the US the Mafia bosses were still running their groups from within penitenuries (sp?) using pay-phones.

    Back on-topic, I was not at all surprised to hear Hilda and Eddie on Pick-of-the-Week tonight - it should also be on Pick-of-the-Year. I really like the point where Hilda says "you'll probably cut this bit out" and goes on with a somewhat horrific tale about gin-traps etc, but all the better for keeping it in. That was the world in 1940's. My late father taught me how to use a snare, althought I have never actually done so.

  8. At 09:33 PM on 10 Dec 2007, Visiting Firedrake wrote:

    Deepthought(7): erm, no, the point about a Faraday cage is that it will stop all electromagnetic signals from getting in - assuming the mesh is fine enough. Even plaster with metal lath does a pretty good job of this.

    Back "on topic"... OK, so she did something that roughly 80,000 other women did, which was a much safer option than most of the alternatives. Is that what it takes to get a medal for bravery now?

    (flapping in, dropping incendaries, and flapping away again...)

  9. At 11:12 PM on 10 Dec 2007, Chris Ghoti wrote:

    Deepthought and Firedrake, thanks! I know it was off-topic, but we did have three or four threads about Hilda, and I wanted to answer the prison thing that had nowhere else to live.

    It seems to me that one answer rising from what you've both said here would be a Faraday cage to render all cell-phones on the premises useless, combined with an issue to the warders of walkie-talkies (with a base-station inside the office area of the prison) so that they would still be able to communicate with each other as needed.

    That does have the advantage too of making it utterly pointless for prisoners to smuggle or steal mobiles, and thus making one less thing for the warders to worry about.

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