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15 October 2014
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Various Stories: Life in the Land Army

by DerbyCentralLibrary

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Derby Central Library
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17 February 2004

The story has been contributed by Mrs Una Ray at Derby Central Library with her permission. She understands the terms and conditions of the sites

We had good times during the times. We were short of eggs, and only had one egg a week. We had plwenty of eggs because you lived on a farm. I was in the Land Army. I was only 8 stone and the farmer said, "What are you sending you for?" But I said, "There's many a big potato rotten". At the end he said, "You've been very good workers, I'm very sorry for what I said". We worked very hard on the threshing machine, mucking out, swilling out (I'd never done that before". We had to pick turnips. We were in Yorkshire and had great snow falls each winter. The farm was on Lord harewood's property and he used to come shooting. The farmer warned us to be on our best behaviour. We talked to the Lord and he send us some hares.

The year before I was in the factory making breeches, never thinking I would be wearing them the year after!

I joined the Land Army because I loved farming. I milked cows by hand. We were not trained before going to the farm, we were just sent there with two breches and two of everything else. What a marvekous time to learn things like this. They used to get land Girls from the hostel and you had to do whatver they gave you. We did stooking of the corn in the field in the summer to dry it - we had good summers.

We grew sugar beet because we couldn't get sugar cane in Britain now.

When I came out I couldn't settle down. I had to go back to a sewing job and I didn't like being indoors. I'd done my bit and wanted to come back to Mum. It was just i didn't want to be indoors. At least I met my future husband Cliff when I came back. We were together 50 years and we were happy.

One day on the threshing machine, some boys threw mice down my top. I couldn't get them out and the people in charge wouldn't stop the threshing machine so i had to wait until tea break before I could get them out.

My mum lived in Derby, every three weeks, but sometimes I'd visit friends in Barnsley.

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