LIFE for women in the Land Army during the Second World War was all about ouija boards, stockings and beetroot sandwiches, according to an author researching the lives of the women.
York historian and author Marion Jefferies will be giving a talk on the new insights she has discovered about life for girls in the Land Army hostels in Yorkshire later this month.
Marion’s talk will take place on Wednesday, August 21, from 1.30pm to 2.30pm, at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming in York, which is currently playing host to a Women’s Land Army exhibition.
Inspired by a visit to the museum in September last year, Marion has travelled the country researching her talk – visiting the National Archives and Imperial War Museum in London.
She said: “I have met women from all walks of life who were in the Land Army and remember their time and the friends they made in their hostel with very great affection.
“Hostels ranged from a small temporary building with four to six girls to old farm buildings, like Thirsk hostel, to grand houses converted for the duration of the war to house up to 40 members of the Women’s Land Army.”
Land Army women were responsible for various farm jobs but the museum archives have shown a different side to their life during the war.
Fascinating stories from the archives have emerged, including how the women would wake up early to exercise and make their sandwiches for a day’s toil and then spend the evening darning stockings and using ouija boards in an attempt to find out the fate of loved ones fighting at the front.
Barbara Whitehead, originally from Huddersfield but who now lives in York, was sent to Arkendale Hall Hostel, near Knaresborough, in 1947 aged only 17.
She said: “I remember going to dances at RAF Linton-on-Ouse. “They’d send a lorry to collect 24 girls to partner 24 men.
“If you were back late everyone was punished by being grounded for the week.”
Tickets for Marion’s talk, which is suitable for children over the age of 12, cost £4.50 each.
War-time themed refreshments will be served after the talk.
For tickets and more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01904 489966