Lower Greenbank Farm, Over Wyresdale
Once the training was complete, I returned home and hated it more than ever. For I had tasted the delights of independence, lived in surroundings I felt at home in, spent time with a bunch of lively girls from many different walks of life, learned a great deal about a subject I had known nothing about before, worked hard physically, and after all the years of my childhood when I seemed to be ill a lot of the time was very fit. Doctor Smillie was right; for as he foresaw the WLA would be the making of me. I am as grateful to him as I was to uncle John for ensuring I had this opportunity.
I could not wait for my posting to a working farm well away from the miseries of home in a grimy Liverpool street. It soon came and with Veronica, we were to work for a Mr Kidd on Lower Greenbank Farm near Dolphinholme in Over Wyresdale, south of Lancaster. However Veronica’s father would not let her take this assignment, because he would not allow her to live and work away from home. What his reason was I do not know, but presumably he thought her too young and wanted to keep an eye on her. My parents said nothing.
In early 1940 the time arrived to start, and I caught a train from Liverpool Exchange to Galgate. While journeying, and not yet 16, I spent the time wondering what was in store for me. There to meet me in the station yard was the local WLA supervisor in a small car. I can recall to this day sitting in it as we traveled the four miles to Lower Greenbank, journeying along narrow country roads looking at the hedgerows, the fields and beyond the fells rising to their tops. I had seen nothing like this previously. And, in this scene I was to commence work in earnest.
irene nee kidd says
I am grandaughter to the Kidds. It was interesting to read about being at Greenbank. My father is still alive. Thank you
Admin LandGirls says
It was very nice of you to contact me, I’m only sorry it has taken me longer than I hoped to respond.
I have very fond memories of Greenbank Farm; how kind to me your Grandmother was and how patient your Grandfather with a young Land Girl virtually straight from the Liverpool streets and knowing little of farming. From your grandmother I learned much about management of the household and from your wise grandfather much sound advice, and help, in learning the practical side of hill farming.
I have not been back to the Trough for over 25 years as I left the UK in 1990. John is my husband and we have two sons also resident in the USA, one here in Montana the other in Utah. Both have American wives and I have three teenage grandchildren, one girl and two boys. We are very happy here in the USA and I’m in reasonable health in my 91st year.
Whereabouts are you living?
Also I’m curious as to how you came across the reference to your grandparents?
It was very kind of you to write and make yourself known. I appreciate it.
All good wishes to you and your family,
matthew heard says
hello, i am dulcie drinkalls grandson, she is still alive and kicking in lincolnshire,uk.
would be nice to hear from you. regards, matthew
Admin LandGirls says
What a pleasant surprise to hear from you, Dulcie and I knew each other from our childhood days in Liverpool, we trained as Land Girls together at Hutton and then met up again at Marshaw where she was married to Edward. Thank you for getting in touch.
Our ways parted when I left Marshaw at the end of the WarII and I left my days working on the land behind. So after seventy odd years it’s very pleasing indeed to meet up again-though several thousand miles separate us-and to renew the acquaintance. And to learn she is, as you say, “alive and kicking”. I think that too might be said of me.
Please give your Grand Mother Dulcie my kindest regards and very Best Wishes,
Ann Rossall says
Hi, I’m Gwen Baxters daughter, I remember Mum and Dad talking about you. I was raised and lived at Moorbottom for 37 years, farming it myself with my (now)ex husband for a few years untill we sold up and gave up the tenancy in 2001. I dont know how up to date you are but sadly Mum passed away quite a few years ago and Dad last year. I hope you are well. I’ve only had a quick read of your story and will settle down and read it properly once lambing time is over! Ann Rossall nee Baxter
Admin LandGirls says
How nice to hear from you particularly at such a busy time-lambing! Thank you so much and for your news.
I was in touch with your mother Gwen over the years and gathered that things were not all that well and when her Christmas cards ceased I did wonder why. And now I know.I’m flattered too you knew of me from your mother and father and Gwen was always fun to be with. There was not that much fellow female company of our ages in and around Abbeystead. I did hear occasionally about things from Vera, who came later as fellow Land Girl to Marshaw but she sadly died a few years back and I had not heard anything until recently when my website attracted attention. The wonders of the internet age and me in my 91st year. Who’d have thought it back then
Your mention of lambing brought back many memories of that hard work often in bad weather, but the lambs were always a delight and to bring one back to life in the Aga was an especial occasion as was introducing them in the skin of a dead one to a foster mother. And then to see them gamboling about. Allow me a little nostalgia. And going to bed very tired with it all to go through again the next day. Happy and fulfilling days that I was enabled to spend through the kindness of so many, like your mother and father, in the Trough.
I do appreciate your getting in touch and hope you will enjoy my website.