The Land Army: lecture. Sample containing about 5488 words speech recorded in educational context

6 speakers recorded by respondent number C870

PS6FY X f (c, age unknown) unspecified
PS6G0 X f (dg, age unknown) unspecified
PS6G1 X f (a, age unknown) unspecified
PS6G2 X f (b, age unknown) unspecified
PS6G3 X m (c, age unknown) unspecified
PS6G4 X u (d, age unknown) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 139401 recorded on unknown date.


c (PS6FY) [1] Thank you all for coming, I know that it's, it just shows how interested some of us are that you are coming in on such a nice day as this to hear Doreen Griffiths’ The Cinderella Army’or the Land Army, and I must say just reading these bits up here now, I've got lots of questions I want to ask her when she's finished, so we'll let her tell
dg (PS6G0) [3] I might run on so much you'll have to stop me
c (PS6FY) [4] [...] It's open-ended at the end so we can all talk, you know have a discussion, continue your interesting conversation.
[5] But one thing, on behalf of the museum services, I would like to thank Doreen Griffiths for the help she gave us in our exhibition,’ Memories of Change’, which you can see in the exhibition room over there, and she contributed a lot of photographs, and her memories, and allowed herself to be taped and have her memories in our archive, and for that we give her a great thank, because it's not always easy for the, sometimes for the first time to begin talking into a tape-recorder, so we thank her very much, and thank you very much for coming in and performing for us today!
dg (PS6G0) [6] This is lot worse!
[7] This is a lot worse than talking into a tape-recorder!
c (PS6FY) [8] And there's coffee available.
[9] Do you want to have coffee now?
dg (PS6G0) [10] Okay, well, the thing is why was there a women's army, we all know that.
[11] In wartime food had got to be produced, and all the young men were off the land, somebody'd got to grow the food to feed this country and it was getting a bit desperate, because, old Hitler, he was no fool.
[12] He couldn't invade us, he was going to starve us and erm starve us into submission.
[13] And he could have, he could have, because, then we were importing about three quarters of our food from overseas, there was depression [...] all the time in the thirties, and we weren't growing anything near the amount of food that we needed.
[14] It was coming over from the Empire, the colonies, as you know, and masses of grain coming in from America and Canada.
[15] So of course they Germans set about trying to sink the ships.
[16] The U boats in the Atlantic, despite the fact that they were convoys, and protected by the [...] .
[17] We lost an awful lot of merchant vessels, and in any case we wanted those boats to bring armaments across, not food.
[18] So we'd just jolly well got to grow enough to feed us.
[19] So of course,’ Dig for Victory’signs all over the place, you know everything was dug up: parks and gardens — everything, and a lot of the workmen had to be trained then to grow corn.
[20] And this is probably why some of the farmers I know [...] .
[21] erm Fields were ploughed up that really never should be ploughed up.
[22] Everything was ploughed up.
a (PS6G1) [23] A lot of pasture.
dg (PS6G0) [24] Exactly, stock fields that never should have been ploughed were all ploughed to grow this corn.
[25] And erm so, of course, the land army came in then and erm 1939, September, I don't know, there were 900 volunteers already.
[26] You must know that!
[27] That was your year wasn't it?
[28] I came in June 1940 and by then there were 9,000, first year, and by 1945 there were 90,000. 90,000 girls working all over Britain.
[29] North, South, East and West, as far as you could go.
b (PS6G2) [30] How did they go about recruiting them?
dg (PS6G0) [31] We were volunteers.
[32] For myself, I used to be, I don't know, my own experience now was that I was a commercial artist in Bristol, was I?
[33] I was in Gloucestershire twice before I came into Oxfordshire.
[34] I was a commercial artist in Bristol.
[35] I refused to be the tracer for the aeroplane company, I said no, I got the job I wanted in an advertising firm.
[36] Now that was the time when first daylight [...] on Bristol, and we heard the bombers go up, and I went home out on the tram car, [...] and there were the young ones just screaming down into the city, I said,’ good grief, those bombers have hit something’, and it was Filton Aeroplane, people had direct hits on shelters you see.
[37] And of course’ Oh no’, I says to my mother,’I not going to [...] out in advertising, I'm going to join the forces’.
[38] My mother said’ No you're not joining the forces!’
[39] So, erm she wanted me [...] you see.
b (PS6G2) [40] So, erm how old were you?
dg (PS6G0) [41] Nineteen.
[42] So funnily enough, the girl that I made friends with when I was a tracer, Penny, erm she came to see me in land army uniform you see, and I said,’ Right, if I can't go in the forces, I'll join the land army’, so I said’alright’.
[43] So, down to the Labour Exchange, volunteer, decide which you're going to do: forestry, erm general farming or horticulture, that was the choice.
[44] So I chose general farming, and then you chose whether you wanted to go to a farm or [...] and in a hostel, communal.
[45] I chose the farm.
[46] First the [...] then the uniform, then you go and wait for the envelope to come through the door, and it did, reported us to Agricultural College for a month's training.
[47] That's a lark, isn't it!
[48] A month's training to be farmer!
[49] So we went rough.
[50] What we did learn in a month, and that was very essential was milk.
[51] I mean
c (PS6G3) [52] Which one did you go to?
dg (PS6G0) [53] [...] Winchester.
c (PS6G3) [54] Oh yes, I know.
dg (PS6G0) [55] And erm they were determined that we should all work near as proficient in milking to go and take over, so we had to learn to hand milk, to use three different types of milking machines and to do all the necessary sterilizing and everything else, so that we could be used straight away when we got to the farm.
[56] And then of course in between milking we did the general work, whatever was going on.
[57] First day for me, because I was in the [...] farming was doing afternoon milking the first few days.
[58] Six o'clock in the morning, I had to clean out the Danish piggeries.
[59] Can you imagine a town girl, at 6 o'clock in the morning, before breakfast, cleaning out the Danish piggeries on a piece of dry bread and cold milk.
[60] That was being put in the deep end for a start!
[61] Well then, also at dusk, of course, the other thing that made us more tired than ever, the Air Raid siren used to go off at night, so then the oil rooms are checked, and you can hear it going over, and you know how the German planes used to go, but you could hear it going over and of course in that black-out then, they used to in the moon light bright along the river Severn, we used to hear them going over and we used to think’ Are they going to Bristol tonight, or Birmingham or Buckingham; whether you'd want to know’.
[62] We were a bit worried because all the glass houses used to show up so much in the moonlight you know.
[63] Anyway, nothing happened then, so we were safe there.
d (PS6G4) [64] I don't wish to be rude, would you excuse me I have a bus to get to.
[65] I just popped in just to see what was going on.
dg (PS6G0) [66] Yes, Okay.
d (PS6G4) [67] I didn't hear you were here, it's all very interesting.
[68] I was in the land army.
dg (PS6G0) [69] You were?
d (PS6G4) [70] Yes, horticulture at Lady Margaret College.
dg (PS6G0) [71] Oh, lovely!
d (PS6G4) [72] Vegetables!
dg (PS6G0) [73] Yes
d (PS6G4) [74] Yes, won a prize for my tomatoes at the Woodstock Horticultural Show!
b (PS6G2) [75] Jolly good!
[76] Now, we've got a bit about Oxfordshire Horticulture.
[77] I think you said you put on a display erm didn't you?
d (PS6G4) [78] No, I didn't.
[79] I don't wish to interrupt you, I'm awfully sorry!
dg (PS6G0) [80] There you are, Oxfordshire sends in a vegetable show!
b (PS6G2) [81] Ah! that was it!
dg (PS6G0) [82] There you are, your name might be there!
d (PS6G4) [83] [laugh] Yes, I won first prize!
dg (PS6G0) [84] Well it must be there then!
d (PS6G4) [85] Tomatoes.
[86] No I don't think so, it doesn't matter, but erm
dg (PS6G0) [87] See you were mentioned you see!
d (PS6G4) [88] I don't know whether that [...] though.
dg (PS6G0) [89] Because the horticultural people always used to say’ You never mention us.
[90] It's always the others [...] never talk about us growing the vegetables.’
d (PS6G4) [91] Yes, well we had to dig from half past nine in the morning until half past five at night non-stop.
[92] Sorry I can't stay.
b (PS6G2) [93] It was very interesting.
d (PS6G4) [94] Bye.
dg (PS6G0) [95] Okay, Goodbye.
[96] Where have I got to?
[97] End of the month yes, end of our month's training.
[98] Anywhere we could go and milk so, they give us notice to say first farm was name .
[99] Now he was down in Somerset: dairy, herding of course, Friesians, and milking about 20 cows, three of us milked in the morning and two in the afternoon, a long cow shed, of course my heart came in my mouth then, under the knees of all the cows.
[100] Of course it was lovely when you shut the doors to the cold outside, and there you are in the snug, and warm cow [mimics milking cow] .
[101] And erm that was alright.
[102] But I soon learnt to get those cows out without messing up my nice clean cow shed, what we used to do, because wanting to get the first one out very quietly, I used to put my hand on the tail, press the tail to the backside and push her out!
[103] [laugh] So that the mess would be outside and not inside.
[104] But of course as soon as the first one started the whole lot went, over my cow shed.
[105] And we came and took the cows down and we came back weary or what!
[106] We knew what that meant, wheelbarrow and shovel, bucket of water and a birch broom.
a (PS6G1) [107] Mine was wearing me wellington boots! [laugh]
dg (PS6G0) [108] You don't have to be behind them when they cough!
c (PS6G3) [109] ’ Ooh, she just gone into grass!’
[110] [laugh] It's alright, this is something we tend to remember!
[111] Fdg: Yes, well! erm That's the cows anyway.
[112] The first thing was when I got there, my parents took me up there and the cow man was just coming back from going in with the cows, and he looked across at me in my sparkling white, new uniform, you know, land army girl sort of standing,’ Ah, you be my new mate then!’you should have seen my mother's face!
[113] Anyway, I was just amazed by that.
[114] He was a good old sort!
[115] There were horses on that farm — big, lovely animals aren't they.
[116] erm I didn't know anything about horses at all!
[117] Ran across [...] and he stood there like this, grin all over his face,’ Harness that old Prince then!’.
[118] I said’ Oh yes’and I saw the [...] and he'd kept the collar on, and of course he'd given me the one that tossed his head up didn't he!
[119] Why didn't he tell me he'd put the collar on upside down?
[120] Well, I was alright, I learnt all about the harness eventually, and there's in the [...] you know, this throwback business when they've been harnessed up.
[121] It's all new.
[122] They put us in the deep end with everything that came along, you know, you really had to learn by doing it.
[123] Well, the horses, well what else, they got a tractor on that farm.
[124] That was a big event.
[125] Carshes didn't like tractors, them big frightening things, you know, didn't like tractors, and erm I'd be called out in the field then
c (PS6FY) [126] What sort of tractor?
dg (PS6G0) [127] Only cultivator, nothing complicated.
[128] ’ Could you take over while I go and have my lunch, you see, come on I'll show you what to do’I got on the tractor, he said’turn in and go out round and come in again at the edge.’
[129] And he said’ all you got to do is be careful you don't hit the hedge, you see’.
[130] These big cultivators rumbling along.
[131] So after about a couple of bouts, I thought, alright, and it suddenly dawned on me I didn't know how to stop the tractor.
[132] [laugh] So that was that.
[133] The next farm in place and that was [...] dairy cattle, I had five cows to milk then by hand, but only in the morning.
[134] The rest of the time I was with the tractor and general farm work, you see.
[135] I lived in the farmhouse, he was a tyrant, gosh, he was a tyrant.
[136] I went on the train, there was another girl on the train and we met at Stonehouse Station.
[137] There was two farmers that were going to meet us and her farmer was there, and I was chatting, and he was, you know, very pleasant, and’ Who are you going to work for then?’, and I said’Mr So and so’.
[138] And he looked at her and he said’ Ah, I'll give her three weeks there!’
[139] [laugh] . And I thought’ Oh dear, where am I going?’
[140] He arrived in an old banger, it was a big farm you know, 500 acre farm, arable and sheep mostly, and it was a long long way right up to this farm, half way up the hill he was going,’ Gee up then, gee up then.’
[141] I thought’ my God, where am I going? where am I going?’
[142] And of course And anyway, we got there, it was alright, and erm I had to fill this tractor, where it was, of course they're going to make fun of me again, first morning I'd got to get the tractor ready, and you know them, five gallon five gallon, things can happen at the time, and I have been had been supposed to be [...] to get the hole at the top of the can, and not spill it you see.
[143] ’ Her ain't going to reach that!’.
[144] [laugh] You know, it was much too big, but I got a stand, you see, got it by the tractor.
[145] Then they were waiting for the fun to start.
[146] Started the handle you see.
[147] I heard him say,’ Her ain't going to manage that!
[148] Her ain't going to be able to start that!’
[149] So I determined I got to have a go.
[150] I also learned too to put thumb over the top, not underneath, because they can, they do
c (PS6G3) [151] They kick.
dg (PS6G0) [152] They do kick, too.
[153] All [...] when it started, [...] and off I went, I never looked back, I never looked up at all.
[154] They were dying to see something go wrong, you know, they were good old sorts, some of them were odd ones, but a good lot.
[155] And erm I had lots of jobs there, what the cruel job there really [...] in the meantime, he was very pleased with my work, so he got another land girl, it was cheap labour.
[156] So he raised it through the land army, for the transfer, it was alright with the farmers and everybody else.
[157] So I got Peggy up from Somerset, on the same farm you see, and that was much better, and erm we've been cycling to Stroud, to the pictures you know, 8 miles there and 8 miles back, and erm but the awful job he gave me to do for a few days was along, there was a young lad there and he was going to drive the old heavy fords and tractor and I was going to walk behind, and he'd got converted horse drags I suppose they call them
c (PS6G3) [158] Horse
dg (PS6G0) [159] Heavy, they've got big handles on them, three of them, and they were drags
c (PS6G3) [160] Ah yes, drags.
dg (PS6G0) [161] They were drags, that's right, and they were heavy.
[162] And the horse it came up with this long wooden handle, I don't know whether it was three or four, I can't remember, but that was for some couchgrass.
[163] I was going to walk behind, and then release the couchgrass in a row across the [...] .
[164] So I walked across this ploughed field’ Lift it up, lift it up, lift it up,’you know, all day long.
[165] That's the bloke Emos, anyway, Peg and I we had some fun there all the same.
[166] The smell of the beet fields [...] .
[167] I remember once I got on to Norton because there was this [...] I wanted to get to but I did do some shepherding there, and that was another fun, carrying, and that's a winter job, carrying the sheep hurdling, hurdles and stakes, I worked with a gypsy, a Romany gypsy, and he couldn't speak very much, and tended to sing, as if something not quite right about him.
[168] He was a hard worker, and you had to set these pens every time for the sheep you see, well he could carry three hurdles on his back, and I could, five, that's right five, and I could carry three, he carried five.
[169] He used to stick the stake in the hurdles and up over your back and the next pound, but the trouble was that you know what that slippery, just what's left of the swede in the ground, when the stubble's trodden in the mud, well the mud and the rain and you've got to carry those, your stakes in the other hand and you've got to get over those hurdles to set the pack.
[170] Well I'm not very tall and my legs aren't very long and I could get my first leg over but it was getting that other one over with the hurdle, without leaving your boots behind, that was, that was hard.
[171] Anyway, from there we went to Gorkham where we are here [indicating photograph] with five of us, that was, that was the job, we had a cottage to ourselves.
[172] Five girls, and adjoining joining door into the cottage next door, and the shepherd's wife next door used to cook our breakfast and our midday meal.
[173] We had to do everything else ourselves.
[174] We went into the door of this cottage into a stoned flat space.
b (PS6G2) [175] Is that it at the back? [indicating photograph]
dg (PS6G0) [176] Well, the cottage isn't there unfortunately, no.
[177] erm Stairs went up from there, that side there was the bath, in that corner was the copper, does anyone know copper?
c (PS6G3) [178] Yes, the copper.
dg (PS6G0) [179] You see where the fire's been.
[180] The end of the bath the toilets and the loo which is a little Elsan, we had to empty that, opposite us there was the door into the living room, the hearth of the living room we had an open fire and we [...] .
[181] The door went from there into the next cottage, now that was the open space.
[182] Once a week bath night, now we do all these dirty jobs, because next door she had her own coal Lashmere cooking you see, and we had to make do with wood, and that entails cutting it ourselves, so our weekend, we worked Saturday mornings; Sunday used to the day we had to do all the cottage work.
[183] One girl used to do the housework, one girl used to do all the washing, she needed the water for the hot things.
[184] One was milking, and Peggy and I used very often be fetching the wood, we got tractor and trailer into the woods, and the old woodmen used to tell us where the dry wood was we could collect, take it down to the farm, circular saw in the shed, switch the electricity to go on.
[185] Saw all the logs of wood up, put it on a trailer it was half a mile away from the cottage, when we came to the cottage door, give a shout, they all came out one after the other, there was a chain, put it under the stairs and that was us fine for about three weeks ... [people talking]
dg (PS6G0) [186] Yes, well I didn't tell you the best part! that was the best part!
[187] No water laid on!
[188] There was a pump outside the door!
[189] Prime the pump in the morning cold water, that's all we had!
[190] [people talking] That's it!
[191] Yes, that's right.
[192] Primitive.
[193] So we did it all the hard way then, and also the garden you see, we're supposed to grow all our vegetables in the garden, that was outside the cottage, then there was the hedge and the field, and there was a gap down there.
[194] So Fanny she says’ Blow this for a lark, I'm not going to dig all this up!’
[195] She said’ We'll make another gap, Come up here’she said’I'll get the tractor and plough’.
[196] So she kept going round and round and she ploughed the whole lot up!
[197] [laugh] . That did that!
[198] Well, we did all sorts of things, I get, well, Peg and I used to feed the cattle.
[199] What's the time now?
[200] How much have I got?
b (PS6G2) [201] Oh, you've got about 10 more minutes.
dg (PS6G0) [202] That's all right.
[203] Now, Peg and I used to do the cattle by the cottage, the beef cattle, I expect you know what Garaleden are, do you?
[204] They're the next down on the Highland Horners, they've got some jolly good horns with a tip similar to [...] .
[205] And erm it was our turn to feed them before we went to the farm every morning you see.
[206] So get in the old shed and then we got a load of swedes, we put it in rack and we come out like chips, chips of raw swede, and then sugar beet pulp, which had come back from the factory.
[207] That's right, and erm mix it all together in one big sheet and cut all the corners, and throw it over your shoulder and go and feed these cattle, and they had these circular feed ducks
c (PS6G3) [208] Cribs
dg (PS6G0) [209] Cribs that's right, you've got it!
[210] [laugh] Oh, to feed from there was a different matter.
[211] And erm but the trouble was as soon as they saw us come, they were right behind us going like this with their horns, you know!
[212] This great big thing at our backs!
[213] We filled that and while they were eating that we kept the hay, hay, cut it through a rick , a big thin knife, you know, fill the remainder of the racks with the hay, so that by the time they'd gone and finished that they'd gone in to eat the hay, then we'd got the yard free to litter it out, and to straw it on both sides, one would be on the [...] , one down on the bottom to pull straw down into the yard, and that was [...] .
[214] We were the first farm in the area, I think, to make silage.
[215] And that goes back to the early days of silage.
[216] Well, there were these round concrete blocks, with silos at the top, and they used to come in with these loads of scraps, tip it in and you know what we had to do?
[217] With a great big [...] cans, you had to fill it with that molasses, and we had to pour this all over the grass and then, shorts, our shorts were cut off breeches you see because then we used to wear them first and we cut off them off to make shorts.
[218] Wellingtons and shorts, and we used to pour all this molasses and then tread it in, and we'd go on treading it in until the next load came in, see, we could go on like this all day.
[219] Well, you talked about us having prisoners, didn't you, well there was a camp not far from us, got these Italian prisoners to come and do the ditching.
[220] Well, they came by in their lorry when we'd only just started you see, of course great’ ooh hahhhh’with their [...] when we're treading in, and erm trouble was, we were still doing when the came along [...] and they yelled out’you prisoner, we free!’
[221] [laugh] . And that's just how we felt!
[222] We used to go in that darn stuff all day long, and you can imagine the pickle we were in, all that sticky molasses.
c (PS6FY) [223] All sticking to you.
dg (PS6G0) [224] It was hot, ugh!
[225] And that was when we came, and we started hay-making along there to the man-killers we called him, of course there's a better picture here and I've got it here along with the man-killer we caught it up, and we've got someone coming along behind.
[226] That was what we call the man-killer.
[227] You see the tractor driving it, there's the load, this was gathering up the hay as it went along and it tipped it over and we had to make the loads you see.
[228] And we called it the man-killer because we had ridge and furrow land down there, and this darn thing they was taking, and nothing would come over the top for ages, and suddenly the whole lot would come over on top of you, of course it [...] as well, [...] and you had to [...] that's what we were doing.
[229] Anyway, that was hay-making, what else were we doing.
[230] Did you have sugar beet?
c (PS6FY) [231] Yes.
dg (PS6G0) [232] I just worked it out, do you know that was handled five times, those beet, because Pam used to go up and loosen with the plough, and then we come behind and pull it.
[233] This is when we all got cut fingers, [laugh] you know that, you cut it just right the crown, and you try to be quick, we all got these marks on the forefinger, sugar beet and swede, you know you took a swede and put it on the heap in one go, you know, well, with sugar beet you had to be more careful, didn't you, you cut the crown
a (PS6G1) [234] And that was always in the very cold weather
dg (PS6G0) [235] That's right!
c (PS6G3) [236] When your hands get frozen.
dg (PS6G0) [237] Terrible! and you make a heaps of the field and then that's the first handling, and then these heaps had to be loaded on to a trailer and then they were all dumped in a big heap at the bottom of the drive, and then we wait till there was a truck for each Stow station and load it all up again, and do you know there's those forks with big Cumberland Cross on the end, and we'd load those up, take them to Stow station, and unload it into the waggon.
c (PS6G3) [238] And there were heavy too, I mean, they were a bit small.
dg (PS6G0) [239] Wide, yes, about that wide, with the knots on the end.
[240] Right, [people talking]
c (PS6G3) [241] I doubt if there's many girls can lift them today.
dg (PS6G0) [242] They were heavy!
[243] Yes, I know, but erm that was sugar beet now, of course we got to clomp back, with feed, do you know we used to eat that, because we were always hungry too, no matter how well they fed us, we used to eat raw swede and we used to I tell you what we used to do!
[244] Dickie was in the gardens there, Pammie drove two [...] tractor driver, Jo, Jo was the, where's Jo, Jo was the dairy, milk, then I used to drive the other tractor when we wanted two, and what we did we all could take over from the milker when she was off, or Pammie, we could all interchange.
[245] But erm Joey used to, when we, Dickie in the gardens,’ Raspberry time girls!
[246] It's raspberry time!
[247] I'm going to bring some raspberries up today!’.
[248] So she picked a basket of raspberries and we were in the cottage, Joey would starts and skims some cream off the top of the churning [laugh] .
[249] We had good churns in those days, the milk in the churn, and she skim off the cream so we had raspberries and cream, and that was gorgeous.
[250] Of course we were supplied with as much milk as we wanted, plenty of milk.
[251] Have you ever drunk milk straight from a cow?
a (PS6G1) [252] Yes!
dg (PS6G0) [253] Yes, you know.
[254] It's a different flavour altogether, it's lovely, isn't it!
c (PS6G3) [255] When I was a school [...]
dg (PS6G0) [256] Well in the winter we used to like it like that, but in the summer we used to got the old fashioned cooler we used to run over there
a (PS6G1) [257] And didn't get fat on it?
dg (PS6G0) [258] No, oh no!
c (PS6G3) [259] We worked too hard!
[260] We didn't a chance to get fat!
dg (PS6G0) [261] That sugar beet pulp was chewy, it was sweet, but it was chewy, we used to often chew that.
[262] erm Did you grow [...]
c (PS6G3) [263] No
c (PS6G3) [264] We didn't grow sugar beet.
dg (PS6G0) [265] No you didn't no, well
c (PS6G3) [266] Well we were on orange stone, and we hadn't had that depth of soil.
dg (PS6G0) [267] Ah yes, sugar beet leaves a slight taste, yes yes.
[268] That was a dangerous contraption.
[269] Pammy, then, there's a picture of her tractor, is there, no I haven't got one here, yes, is that the Alice Charmers, well, do you know the Alice Charmers tractor, the two front wheel close together, it's got big wheels the long one, two little, well it was a bigger tractor than that but they were closer together [people talking] Well, she was driving up this steep bank, I think that was how much the, and who knows so steep that only two roads were up near here, she could have gone over, it was terrible, and of course that thing, erm where is it?
[270] That.
[271] We all worked on that.
[272] That could be used for potatoes or any plants in the corners.
[273] That's not too bad actually except the day the young men loaded it back onto the trailer when we'd finished and it was one of these corners, and I happened to be muggins on the corner where that lever was, and he hadn't tied it, it was only in the ratchet, you know, he should have tied it of course.
[274] As we lifted it, it came out and banged me on the top there, and it knocked me out, knocked me out and I was going to the doctor, but what frightened them all, this was the funny thing, what frightened them all to death, was the fact that I was violently sick you see, and all was bright red you see, and well the fireman passed out, well, do you know what it was? [laugh] [...] we had blackcurrant!
[275] So that was that!
[276] I talk about the [...] but there we go again, where's my little drawing again, that was one of the jobs we'd never have done muck-spreading.
[277] You'd either a cart or a horse and cart, or a tractor and trailer, and you'd nice peat, and all these heaps of muck and you knew that when there wasn't anything else to do you'd got to get out there and spread it.
[278] And that's alright till you're sent out there on a frosty morning, ain't it, and you dig your fork in.
[279] The thing, story in the Land Army magazine is about remembering the new recruited went out first day to go muck-spreading and she was going about it and she stuck her fork in and she landed flat on her face in a heap!
[280] You see the thing is, you do learn after a bit, when it's decent, you sort of dig it and you put your wrist, it's wrist, and you soon get to know what to do to spread it, otherwise you'd end up, you know, walking about spreading the stuff, you see.
[281] But if it's just been brought out of the calf pens, fresh muck when it's been spreaded in, and you know that tummy muscles, along mucking out the calf pens, they'd been all the winter on this, getting tighter and harder, all through the winter.
[282] Now then they're outside now, you'd got to muck out the calf pens, and it's hard.
[283] And you get your fork in and it really is hard.
[284] Now, sometimes it shouldn't have gone straight out should it?
c (PS6G3) [285] Oh no, no, you should put it out to rot!
dg (PS6G0) [286] It should have been left out to rot.
[287] I don't know what happened about that, but it probably was put in a heap to rot, but I remember that one load we had to take out was dreadful, it was all wadded and it was heavy, and we could not separate it, you know wrecked my back.
[288] Nice rotted muck is alright, not too bad, but erm of course we hadn't done the main thing had we, thrashing!
[289] [laugh] You know about that, don't you!
a (PS6G1) [290] Filthy!
[291] Hard work it is!
dg (PS6G0) [292] You see under here it says [indicating article] ’ Thrashing's one of the hardest and dirtiest parts of farming and generally supposedly not suitable for women.
[293] But at this moment some six hundred land girls in Sussex alone are attacking this job against all the [...] ’.
[294] You see, I think there was about eight folks be used for thrashing roughly, ten folks erm two on the rick, one cutting, one feeding, one [...] one that end.
c (PS6G3) [295] At least nine, at least nine! [...]
dg (PS6G0) [296] Yes, that's right.
[297] But what was nice about our little group was that we could we normally changed over if we didn't want to stick to the same job all the time. [end]