Discovering the landscape: cut it out!

Written by Claire Wooldridge, Project Librarian

Over the past few years, my colleague Jen (Landscape Institute Archivist) and I have been working to integrate the library and archive of the Landscape Institute into the collections of the Museum of English Rural Life.

The LI collections are rich and varied, including material such as books, pamphlets, periodicals, press cuttings, minutes, membership lists, financial papers, Institute publications and a slide library.

Now the time has come for me to sort out the Landscape Institute cuttings collection.

What are cuttings?

In a library context a cuttings collection is most likely to include articles cut out of newspapers or other periodicals, or press cuttings.  It is also likely that other types of ephemera will find their way into a cuttings collection, such as offprints (reprints of articles from editions of a publication), leaflets, advertisements, catalogues or posters.

A collection such as this arises from individuals cutting out relevant articles and compiling them.  So they are a kind of personally (or institutionally) curated collection.  A lot of us are likely to have done this ourselves – cutting out and keeping articles of printed material that have a personal connection or are of local interest.

Therefore we treat cuttings as a library collection, as they are culled from printed material.

The LI cuttings collection includes material from the 1960s to the early 2000s.  It includes a lot of biographical articles on leading landscape architects, especially obituaries.  This is alongside material on policy affecting the work of the landscape architect and features on particular parks, gardens and landscape projects.

Does the MERL Library hold any other cuttings?

Yes we hold a MERL Library cuttings collection which we still add to.  This is in filing cabinets in the Reading Room and is organised in a sequence based on the MERL Library subject classification scheme.

Why keep cuttings?

Cuttings can be a problem for librarians!  Their ephemeral and often flimsy nature can make their provenance difficult to attribute, while storage and organisation can also be a challenge.

Nonetheless, it is precisely the ephemeral nature of cuttings that make them so valuable to researchers.  There is no better insight into contemporary views and public opinion on landscape architects and their projects than by reading what was being written about them at the time.

Of course, a lot of this material will now be available online or elsewhere.  Still this collection is of historical interest in itself, as a record of what the Landscape Institute felt it was important to cut out and keep.

When will the cuttings be made available?

I am currently about 25% of the way through sorting the LI’s collection of hundreds of cuttings!  Thankfully I have a wonderful volunteer, Tina, who is going to help me with the project.  Together we will be numbering, listing and repackaging the cuttings.  I would hope that this project will be completed towards the end of the year, but please get in touch via merl@reading.ac.uk if you are interested in using the collection before then.

Archives featured in the Galleries

Written by Caroline Gould, Deputy University Archivist

Sheep Dipping

Sheep Dipping

The new galleries were opened on 19 October 2016, after a £3million redevelopment programme with £1.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).  Prior to the redevelopment, the galleries contained a large number of objects with little interpretation. We were keen to include archives, archival film and photographs through the new displays aiming to revitalise the way visitors engage with the Museum’s extraordinary collections.

In February 2014, we started researching the archives and photographs to identify items for possible inclusion in the galleries. Our strategy on how to include archives in the galleries developed over time.  However, we found five main ways to feature archives.

We have included photographs in the galleries to aid interpretation of the objects and themes. In Gallery 2, ‘A Year on the Farm’, the largest photograph measures 2280m x 2500m, it shows sheep dipping in progress (John Tarlton Collection).  Our sheep dip object is placed in front of the photograph.

We have used archives in cases on a limited basis. The cases are likely to remain quite fixed. This is a challenge if we wish to permanently preserve the archives. The cases are not environmentally controlled and prolonged opening of volumes for display will, in time, damage the item. We therefore will need to

Blacksmith account book of Wiltshire 1934-1939

Blacksmith account book of Wiltshire 1934-1939

monitor the archives selected carefully. However, having said all this the items we have selected look great. I am particularly pleased with the blacksmith account book of Wiltshire 1934-1939 in the wagon walk.

In three galleries we have created 18 drawers under cases which feature archives and books. The items will change every 4-6 months. This provides an opportunity to display more of the collections which have previously only been consulted in the Reading Room. Visitors will be able to browse these collections and hopefully see new items when they next visit. Currently in Gallery 3, ‘Town and Country’, we have a drawer in the ‘Grow your Own’ section. This displays a minute book and report from ‘The Women’s Farm and Garden Association’ which details the setting up

Minute book and report from ‘The Women’s Farm and Garden Association’

Minute book and report from ‘The Women’s Farm and Garden Association’

the Women’s National Land Service Corps, which later became the Women’s Land Army, dated 23 May 1916.

There are some wonderful gaming interactives in the new galleries; lambing time appears to be the favourite at the moment.  Two interactives feature over 790 photographs from The MERL collections. ‘Then and Now’ is located in Gallery 3 it allows visitors to explore our photographs for the local area. We have included current photographs for Caversham, Wokingham and Hambledon. Gallery 4 features the ‘Voices and Views’ interactive, for each county we have included 10 photographs and some sound clips. Another interactive in Gallery 3, features the evacuee archive; it allows visitors to explore the stories of eleven individuals: nine evacuees, one teacher and one host son. Included in the display are contemporary photographs, letters and diaries.

The MERL holds over 1500 archival films, including films of the Ministry of Agriculture Film Library, National Dairy Council and Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies promotional films.  In Gallery 6 ‘Forces for Change’ we have a screen to show ten archival films, edited to seven minutes each. The current selection includes two compilations from Screen Archive South East and the Wessex Film and Sound Archive. The Britain on Film Rural Life programme has funded four events in West Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Berkshire. The project is funded by The British Film institute. The compilation films at The MERL will be screened until the end of the year.

We created six photo albums featuring twenty photographs or documents. Gallery 2 ‘A year on the Far

‘Making Rural England’ photograph album featuring crafts and the home.

‘Making Rural England’ photograph album featuring crafts and the home.

m’ shows farming through the seasons, while three photo albums in Gallery 3 ‘Town and Country’ complement the featured objects: the horse, the steam engine and the Land Rover. Additionally in Gallery 5 ‘Making Rural England’, two photo albums feature crafts and the home.

We have worked on selection of these items for over two years. It is now wonderful to visit the galleries and see visitors enjoying the displays.  A special thanks to Caroline Benson, Photographic Assistant without whom the above would have been impossible.

War Child

The MERL is very excited to announce the publication of War Child, an online ‘mixed-media book’ which explores our Evacuee Archive from a fascinating new angle.  In this visually stunning work, Teresa Murjas, Associate Professor in the Department of Film, Theatre & Television at the University of Reading, and alumnus and film-maker James Rattee have woven together an intricate tapestry of content focusing on the story of how the archive came into being and how it continues to shape the life of its creator, Martin Parsons.

war child2 sm
The inspiration for this unique project came from Teresa’s initial meeting with Martin in 2013 when he was speaking about the Evacuee Archive at a meeting for scholars interested in the University’s Collection Based Research programme:

 I became particularly curious about the Evacuee Archive through my meetings with Martin. His willingness to talk to me lies at the centre of the project. My interest about how the archive came into being was generated in discussion with him. The project attempts to tell a story of the archive’s growth through focusing on a series of edited audio fragments from our dialogue and on imagery that investigates and reflects on a small collection of significant objects. These key elements act as ‘guides’ on a sometimes light-hearted journey of exploration into a few of the possible reasons why this archive exists, and the relationships and attachments associated with it. This is why the title of the project incorporates the phrase ‘meditating on an archive’. It might also be possible to argue that the new material we have collected and drawn together as part of the project is an extension of the archive held at MERL, or perhaps that it creates a new gateway to it.

warchild-boatsmThe British Government scheme to evacuate children from cities during the Second World War began in September 1939. Children, usually without their parents, were sent to areas of Britain that were considered safer from bombing and the effects of war, these were often rural areas.  Our collection contains written memoirs, oral history interviews and research material relating to former evacuees and war-children.

In his career as a historian of Second World War child evacuation and lecturer at the University of Reading, Martin accumulated a wealth of research materials and documents which he generously donated to the Museum helping to make our Evacuee Archive the largest resource of its kind outside London’s Imperial War Museum.  While ‘War Child’ displays many of these records and artefacts in an accessible and unique format, the real power of the project is combining the materials collected with audio files, which exhibit its creator’s extensive knowledge of the collection and its origins.  As Martin’s daughter, Hannah, explains in an audio clip from ‘Meeting Five’ of War Child, her father is the archive and it is a rare treat for this kind of memory to be captured alongside the physical collection.

Understanding and exploring this aspect of our archive was however, a natural process for the creators of War Child:

A lot of my research and teaching focuses on the work of arts practitioners whose interests lie in communicating the experiences, memories and stories of children affected by war. ‘War war child - masksmchild’ builds on that research and teaching, in that it seeks to both point towards and respond to, what is a very important conflict-related resource for researchers, whatever their age and background – namely the Evacuee Archive. Seeking to understand and explain how war continues to affect children remains an ongoing and urgent necessity. Consulting and contributing to this ever-expanding archive can form part of that process.

When exploring the War Child site, I personally found Martin’s discussion of the evacuee luggage label of particular interest.  Not only does Martin describe how these labels were a symbol of the immense logistical feat achieved during the War, he also emphasises the dehumanising effect they had on the evacuated children.  Significantly, these labels were often kept as prized possessions and have become an evacuee’s own version of a military medal, with people proudly displaying their labels on Remembrance Day for the march past at the cenotaph.  Meanwhile, for Teresa, one of the most interesting artefacts from the collection is actually one that is missing:

 war child- dollsmI am really interested in the section about the doll. Arguably, I got disproportionately excited about the doll in the archive that cannot be found! No one really knows where it has gone, or when it went. Working through our disappointment, but also our, in retrospect, persistent questions about what it was like, what it would be like to find it and so on, could probably be a bit wearing for Martin at times, I think, and he was extremely patient. Nevertheless, those discussions feel very rich and complex now, because there was this strong sense of investigation about them, on everyone’s part. For me, that section feels in some important way as though it is at the centre of the work.

While War Child is a fantastic companion piece to our Evacuee Archive, it is also an illuminating archive in and of itself; a significant chapter of the story, containing records and memories of the experiences of those most closely involved in developing the collection and bringing it to MERL where it can be preserved for and shared with generations to come.

It would be great if people felt motivated to re-visit War Child over time. It contains a lot of material, and coming back to that in stages, as we have, can shed new light.

Written by Louise Cowan, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Discovering the Landscape: From London traffic to an Italian Prisoner of War camp

Book Production War Economy Standard stamp

Book Production War Economy Standard stamp

Over the course of a large scale cataloguing project, many hundreds of items pass through your hands.  Since acquiring the library and archive of the Landscape Institute in late 2013, we have made nearly 2500 books available to readers here at MERL.  Added to this figure are metres of journals and pamphlets – and this is to say nothing of the huge amount of varied and fascinating archival material that has been catalogued and made to available to readers so far (more on this next time).

Town Planning and Road Traffic by H. Alker Tripp (London, Edward Arnold & Co.,1942)

Within this wealth of material it is inevitable that some items catch your eye or stick in your memory more than others.  Striking cover designs, exquisitely illustrated plates, or an unexpected personal relevance are often those that stay with you.

Surprises keep things interesting!  Sometimes that faded cover, with its generic title, gives way to a book with a fascinating story or provenance – often raising more questions than you can answer – which transform the item you hold in your hands from every day to truly unique.

 

 

Town planning and road traffic, by H. Alker Tripp.

London: Edward Arnold & Co., 1942.

Title page with inscriptions in pencil relating to a prisoner of war camp

Title page with inscriptions in pencil relating to a prisoner of war camp

Sir Herbert Alker Tripp (1883-1954) was a senior English police official, who for much of his career, worked to find ways to address London traffic problems.  Blackouts and the blitz following the outbreak of WWII led to an even more complicated traffic situation in London.  In 1942 Tripp’s Town Planning and Road Traffic was published.  Tripp looked ahead to post-war reconstruction of urban areas and made pioneering suggestions about big new roads that could connect towns: motorways.

As with all of our LI books, Town Planning has an LI book plate pasted down on the inside cover.  It also has a small label which tells us that the book was donated to the LI library by Maria Shephard.

Bookplate showing previous life of the book as part of the LI library, donated to them by Maria Shephard (Tripp, Town Planning, 1942)

Bookplate showing previous life of the book as part of the LI library, donated to them by Maria Shephard (Tripp, Town Planning, 1942)

Maria Teresa Parpagliolo Shephard (1903-1974) was an Italian landscape and garden designer.  A member of the Landscape Institute (frequently contributing to their journal) and involved in the setting up of IFLA, Parpagliolo worked and travelled across Europe as a pioneer of European landscape design.  Parpagliolo trained with Percy Cane in the early 1930s and worked on a string of high profile projects including the Regatta Restaurant Garden at the Festival of Britain in 1951.

In 1946, Parpagliolo married Ronald Shephard, the “‘town major’ of the British military in Rome, whom she met during Rome’s liberation by the Allied Forces. She followed him back to England in 1946” (Dümpelmann, 2010).

Landscape architects gifting their books to the LI library after their deaths is not unusual in itself.

Pencil inscriptions and an ink stamp on the title page relating to a ‘Camp Leader’ at a ‘Campo Concentramento 82’ – however – are not something I have seen before.

Curiouser and curiouser.  Pasted on to the back of the title page is a label confirming that the book was sent to ‘The Camp Leader’ via the ‘Prisoner of War Post’.  According to the I Campi Fascisti project, Campo Concentramento 82 was a prisoner of war camp in Laterina, near Arrezzo, where the Italian fascist state held thousands of British, Greek, New Zealander, South African and Greek prisoners of war during WWII.

Prisoner of War Post label

Prisoner of War Post label

A further notable feature of the title is the ‘Book Production War Economy Standard’ stamp printed onto the back of the title page (you can see this at the top of the post).  We have a small number of other books within our collections which also feature this intriguing marking.

The book production war economy agreement the schedule with an introduction and notes on interpretation. 1942. MARK LONGMAN LIBRARY--070.5-PUB

The book production war economy agreement the schedule with an introduction and notes on interpretation. 1942. MARK LONGMAN LIBRARY–070.5-PUB

 

 

We have all heard of rationing during WWII, but did you know that even paper was rationed?  From 1940-49 paper was rationed, with publishing companies having to cut back on their use of paper by 60%.  In 1942 ‘The Book Production War Economy Agreement’ between the Ministry of Supply and the Publishers Association introduced strict guidelines which covered, for example, print size, words per page and blank pages.  Published in 1942, Tripp’s Town Planning could have been one of the first titles to published under this scheme.  It does contain one large fold out plate.  Despite these restrictions, demand for books grew during WWII.

 

 

Why was this title sent to a prisoner of war camp leader via the prisoner of war post?  Perhaps in the context of needing to rebuild urban areas after the war.  How did Maria Parpagliolo have this book?  Could a member of her family, or her husband, have been connected with the camp?  Perhaps she purchased it as a reference book and the provenance is incidental.  This fascinating book gives us a tantalising insight into this historical period – but raises more questions than answers!

Fold out plan at the back of Tripp, Town Planning, 1942

Fold out plan at the back of Tripp, Town Planning, 1942

Please contact us (using the form below or at merl@reading.ac.uk) if you have any further information.

For more on Maria Parpagliolo, Sonja Dümpelmann has published several articles and a book (such as Dümpelmann, S. (2010). The landscape architect Maria Teresa Parpagliolo Shephard in Britain: her international career 1946–1974, Studies in the History of Gardens & Designed Landscapes, 30:1, 94-113, DOI: 10.1080/14601170903217045).

For more on publishing in war time, Valerie Holman’s Print for Victory is a great start.

Claire Wooldridge, Project Librarian

Reading Readers – Felicity McWilliams

For this month’s Reading Readers blog, PhD student Felicity McWilliams (a familiar face at MERL) gives us an insight into how the MERL collections are playing a part in her research of draught power technology in the 20th century.

An image from Farmers Weekly showing horses and a combine harvester at work together on a farm near Durham in 1961. The farmer also used tractors but on this day they were busy on another task (MERL P FW PH2/C107/76).

An image from Farmers Weekly showing horses and a combine harvester at work together on a farm near Durham in 1961. The farmer also used tractors but on this day they were busy on another task (MERL P FW PH2/C107/76).

Last September, I left my post as Project Officer at the Museum to embark upon an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award PhD, based jointly at King’s College London and here at MERL. I’m researching the history of draught power technology on British farms c.1920–1970. Draught power is essentially anything used to pull a load, from carts and wagons to ploughs and harvesters. I’ll admit I often get a blank look back when saying that, though, so I revert to telling people I’m doing a PhD on tractors.

It’s not just tractors though; the technological landscape of twentieth-century British farms included steam engines, horses, oxen, home-made tractors, cars, lorries, jeeps, motorcycles and even military-surplus tanks. Histories of agricultural technology (and of technology in general) have tended to focus on new machinery and innovation. Which is fine, but it means that they look mostly at manufacturers, economics and government policy and rarely at the people actually using the technology – the farmers, horsemen, tractor drivers and farm mechanics. The aim of my project is to research the wide variety of draught power sources that farmers were using and the factors that influenced their decision-making. What they could afford to buy is always important, but I’m also interested to find out how their technological skills, working relationships, values and attitudes might also have had an impact on the animals and/or machines they chose to work with.

Back issues of The Farmers Weekly in the museum's library.

Back issues of The Farmers Weekly in the museum’s library.

I’ve started by looking at the Second World War period, and over the past few months have spent a lot of time in the MERL archives reading 1940s issues of Farmers Weekly magazine. There are so many features in the magazine which help to show what farmers were thinking, discussing and buying, from adverts and articles to letters and photographs. In fact, there are so many amazing sources in the MERL archives, from films to farm diaries, that it’s a little daunting wondering how I’m ever going to find time to see everything. You can find out more about what’s in the collection here.

We’ll certainly keep up to date with Felicity’s progress and hopefully share some of the interesting things she discovers in her research.

Reading Readers – Alex Bowmer

For this month’s Reading Readers blog, PhD student Alex Bowmer gives us an insight into how the MERL archives and object collections are playing a part into his research of livestock health.

Alex examining items in the object store at MERL.

Alex examining items in the object store at MERL.

As a collaborative doctoral awarded PhD candidate, I split my time between King’s College London and here at The Museum of English Rural Life. The aim of my project is to produce a history ‘from below’ of livestock health in Britain, c1920-70. Departing from the usual historical focus on government policy and scientific experts, it aims to understand what disease meant to livestock owners and how they coped with it at a time of rapid transition in pharmaceuticals and farming systems. Traversing fields, fells, farm-yards and factory farms, it will explore farmers’ changing experiences and interpretations of disease. It will also analyse their uses of family remedies, patent medicines, modern pharmaceuticals and animal management for the purposes of disease prevention and control. As part of my research I want to answer how did these coping strategies change over time, and what factors influenced farmers’ decision-making? How did access to medical information alter disease conceptualisation? and How did attitudes to innovation affect pharmaceutical reach?

Medicine chest (Object: 75/150). The box contains various medicines used for treating animals on Royal farms at Windsor, Osborne and Sandringham up to 1937.

Medicine chest (Object: 75/150).
The box contains various medicines used for treating animals on Royal farms at Windsor, Osborne and Sandringham up to 1937.

Over the past few months I have been using both object and archive collections to further develop an understanding of how livestock owners conceptualised disease. On my first visit to MERL I was tasked with investigating and explaining the veterinary medicine collection currently held at the Museum. Some were rather dangerous to say the least! But others have generated new ideas for my research, as many human medicines appeared in a medicine chest given to me for analysis.

Farm Management Survey, FR FMS.

Farm Management Survey, FR FMS.

Over the past few weeks I have been travelling across from London to investigate the Farm Management Survey (FMS). The FMS was financed by the Government through the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and undertaken by universities and colleges in England, Wales and Scotland and the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland. Beginning in 1936 and renamed in 1986, the survey was voluntary and concerned the collection of financial information of over 500 farms. I have been assessing the veterinary and medical expenditure of these farms to understand whether or not it increased with the advent of new pharmaceutical and chemical medicines made available to livestock owners. Over the coming months I am going to be situated in the reading room, using the vast collections of veterinary and public health texts in MERL’s collection, to begin to write my first chapter understanding how exposure, or lack of, to veterinary knowledge altered how livestock owners tackled concerning disease rates.

Find out more about the MERL collections here. Our reading room is open to the public and you can find more details about accessing the wealth of MERL collections here.

Reading Readers – Hilary Matthews

This month, University of Reading PhD student Hilary Matthews tells us about her research into livestock portraiture of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

As a Reading University PhD student, I am looking at how the paintings and prints of livestock in the late eighteenth/early nineteenth century functioned within the society that produced them. My research is centred on the Museum of English Rural Life’s own collection of livestock paintings and I make a weekly 4 ½ hour round trip from my Essex home to work on the museum’s associated archives and agricultural books and ephemera in the Reading Room.

Hilary with Jacqueline Winston-Silk, Art Collections Officer, in our art store (Photo by Martha Fleming).

Hilary with Jacqueline Winston-Silk, Art Collections Officer, in our art store (Photo by Martha Fleming).

When I explain to people what I am researching the first question is invariably what do the paintings look like and secondly why were they depicted like this?  To answer the first I always tell people to close their eyes and visualise portraits of cattle, pigs and sheep with huge bodies, tiny heads and short legs. It’s amazing that when I say this almost everyone goes “oh yes I know what they look like”.  The second question, why painters depicted them like this, (although some did depict them more naturally), lies at the heart of my research.

The desire to satisfy the food demands of the rapidly growing urban population made farmers and landowners continually seek to breed animals that would satisfy this demand. My research reveals that in doing this the lines of the strong class system of the period were continually stretched and reshaped as landowners, often without the skill and knowledge to breed the best quality livestock themselves, had to rely on the poorer, but better, livestock breeders to provide them with the best stock. This stretching of the class boundaries does not seem to have applied when patrons commissioned artists to paint their animals though. To immortalise their livestock, the aristocracy seem to have engaged society artists whilst the lowly farmers employed jobbing sign painters. However, as I am discovering in the Museum of English Rural Life’s archives, this was not always the case.

A Shorthorned Heifer, Seven Years old (The Heifer that travelled) by Thomas Weaver (1811), and print engraved by William Ward  - Object No. 64/102

A Shorthorned Heifer, Seven Years old (The Heifer that travelled) by Thomas Weaver (1811), and print engraved by William Ward – Object No. 64/102

Apart from recently studying art history, I have also studied agriculture and for many years, I have bred, exhibited and judged pedigree livestock. I try to incorporate all these aspects into my research and so, for instance, in trying to understand a painting like Thomas Weaver’s, The White Heifer that Travelled, (below), I have tried not only to appraise this work as an art historian but to look at it scientifically too. A heifer is a young cow that has never calved but even allowing for artistic licence this heifer was obviously huge. Although she could have been born as a freemartin, (a freemartin is a female calf from a set of mixed twins and is invariable infertile), by trawling through the Museum of English Rural Life archives I have learned that she may have been speyed.  Around the late 1790s, farmers experimented on female cattle by surgically removing what they quaintly called the ‘lusts’. This stopped female cattle coming into season and allowed them to fatten much quicker. This sort of information helps me to understand the paintings far better – you could almost say that it puts meat onto the bones of my research.  However, in this instance I don’t think this particular heifer requires any more meat on its bones!

Find out more about animal portraiture and our collection in this blog post from October 2015 by Art Collections Officer, Jacqueline Winston-Silk.

#ReadingReaders

International Women’s Day: The Women’s Land Army

To celebrate International Women’s Day, University of Reading student Dylan Doran has been exploring the collection of Women’s Land Army objects here at the Museum.

The Women’s Land Army (WLA) was created in 1915 to help farmers cope with the shortage of male labour as a result of the First World War. It was brought back into action for the Second World War, at first on a voluntary basis before conscription was enforced. Although many women in the WLA already lived in the countryside, many came from urban centres.

A leather notebook used by Land Girl Doreen Thorp (MERL/88/66).

A leather notebook used by Land Girl Doreen Thorp (MERL/88/66).

The 20th century saw great strides in equality of the sexes, and one of the ways in which British women made further steps towards emancipation is undoubtedly their efforts in the Women’s Land Army. Skeptics did not believe that women would be suited to the hard labour involved in farmwork, but the Army of 65,000 Land Girls went on to produce the majority of Britain’s food by 1943, happily proved the critics wrong.

A WLA arm-band awarded by the Queen for eight years of service (MERL/2007.53)

A WLA arm-band awarded by the Queen for eight years of service (MERL/2007.53)

The women took to farmwork with speed and skill. This Golden arm-band was awarded by the Queen herself to a Land Girl for her impressive years of service, having joined up from the Land Army’s beginning – when she was only sixteen years of age – and stayed working on the land until the Women’s Land Army disbanded.

Women's Land Army tractor mechanics training at Wye College, Kent (P FS PH1/K21433)

Women’s Land Army tractor mechanics training at Wye College, Kent (P FS PH1/K21433)