Miscellaneous and Sundry Jobs, Reflection
Besides my animal duties, I had plenty to keep me busy. My jobs included clearing stables, feeding brushing and watering the horses, looking after and repairing their harnesses, haymaking, cutting and getting in, muck spreading, hedging, ditching and repairing gates and pieces of equipment. Working on a farm I found, was never ending. But I worked at all with enthusiasm. Not always was the weather kind, and I learned too that whatever it was, hot, cold, wet or dry, the work just had to be done. I also became aware of the changing seasons and all the seasonal tasks, the pattern of country life as I became in tune with it. After a while I began to know what I was doing, and Mr Kidd was always tolerant of the things I hadn’t done too well, but better for me he appreciated those I did, and I got better all the time. I knew then I had made the right decision in joining the Women’s Land Army.
Saturdays I sometime got time off. and then I went in my uniform and by the occasional bus from Abbeystead into Lancaster. There I would treat myself to a look at the shops, get anything personal I needed, have a very nice tea at a little café, and perhaps finish it off with a visit to the cinema. Then it was back on the bus, a walk back to the house, a hot drink Mrs Kidd made for me and to bed. For the early morrow morning soon came. Often I went on my own for I had no particular friends of my age in this isolated little village, but I was content and quite fond of my own company.
In time however I did make friends. First with Gwen Baxter, a girl of about my own age, at Moorbottom Farm and then with another land girl Marjory Liptrot, whom had trained with us at Hutton not far away. The three of us would go to dances in the village hall at Dolphinholme and had a great time. Girls were in short supply at these dances, and being a good dancer and something of an added attraction as a “city girl” I was never without a partner. I had taken with me a rather nice linen checked dress that uncle John had bought for me that fitted and suited me well, and I always looked good in it. I always wondered how he, an elderly priest, had managed to choose and buy it for me. Regardless, it was another thing I was so grateful to him for.
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.