Wednesday 29 Oct 2014
Summer Strallen (The Sound of Music, Hollyoaks) plays Nancy Morrell who has had no choice about joining the Women's Land Army.
Forceful, opinionated, and whiney, Nancy had to enlist when female conscription started, but she worked in a recruitment office in Cambridge which suited her as well as it could. Nancy's view was, if she had to be involved in this "silly war", she might as well be somewhere cosy like an office and close to home.
Then, to her horror, there was a shortfall in women going to work on the land, so she was transferred to the WLA. Nancy hates it at first, but realises that she can't escape the war and will do her bit. She's not work shy, just perhaps the last to volunteer for a particular task.
At first, Nancy is antagonistic to the other girls but, as time goes on, she re-evaluates her priorities. Plus, there are some benefits to being on the estate, as she meets Lord Loxley...
Nancy also has a dark secret and, when Tucker uncovers her roots, she finds herself in danger.
Summer says that the whole experience of filming Land Girls has been enlightening and she has learnt new skills, like how to milk a cow.
"There was one day when we were filming when I had tonsilitis, which was rather unpleasant, and the one day when I was ill I had to first fall in mud, then milk a cow and be squirted with an udder before falling into a cow pat – so it was all in a good day's work really!"
Summer loves the look of the Forties, especially the dress she has to wear for the dance in the first episode.
She adds: "I would never choose to wear a coral lipstick but I've grown accustomed to it!"
Despite the war, the glamour was still there and there was almost a duty to be beautiful: "Everyone does their hair perfectly and they – definitely Nancy – will come down with lipstick on at six o'clock in the morning to milk the cow."
Summer is delighted that the land girls have now been given their brooches, but thinks they should have been commemorated earlier.
As well as being a good drama she hopes Land Girls will be educational: "It's lovely for older generations to look back and be commemorated, but also it's nice for the younger generations to find out."
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