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My Life at Elton Hall

by Newcastlelibrary

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Doris Shield
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19 August 2005

I worked in Fenwicks in the coat department then a week later I was milking 80 cows. We had a choice of either the Land Army or work in a factory. I was 18 years old. I had to report to Elton Hall, Peterboro. We were then taken to Elton Hall in the back of a lorry. We were very impressed when we saw the hall but were brought back down to earth when we were told we were to live in the stables. There were four bunk beds to each stall and we slept and ate and everything else there. Every week we received our rations of 1oz butter, 2oz margarine and a jam jar of sugar. We also got 1 egg per month.I used to use up all my butter on a slice of bread on a Sunday as a treat. My job was to milk 80 cows every morning. I got up at 5am and had to bring the cows from the field along a busy road to where they were to be milked. I then had to clean their udders and milk them with an electric milking machine. The first cow I milked was Bluebell. I had lots of boyfriends as we used to go to dances with the army and the air force. The airforce in particular came from all over the world. I still keep in touch with some of the girls I met during my time in the Land Army. I worked 83 hours a week and earned a shilling an hour.

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