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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Potato picking in Gloucestershire

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Valerie Crofts
Location of story: 
Minsterworth, Gloucester
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
11 May 2005

I attended Weston Super Mare Grammar School, and in the August school holiday in 1944 when I was 14, most of the school, including our form mistresses, went to a farm at Minsterworth, Gloucester. The pick up lorry took us girls to the fields where we were given a bucket to collect the potatoes which were emptied when full into the lorry and then we started again.

The pay was 8d an hour — that’s now about 3 1/2p! It was hard work. I can remember the farmer came round with milk straight from the cow. I have never forgotten the lovely taste.

On the Sunday we all attended a service at Gloucester Cathedral, arriving in a pick-up lorry we all jumped out of. What a sight!

We stayed at an army camp, all very basic. The toilets were just buckets, the cubicles separated by sack cloth for walls and a door. We nicknamed them Paradise!

We enjoyed it all and had lots of laughs.

This story was submitted to the People's War site by volunteer Melita Dennett on behalf of Valerie Crofts, and has been added to the site with her permission. Valerie Crofts fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

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Childhood and Evacuation Category
Gloucestershire Category
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