Agriculture & Farming

The Farm Manager (1954-2001)

Jim went to agricultural college and then worked on farms throughout the country before moving to Norfolk to work as a farm manager. He tells of the changes from the age of horses through to modern methods of herd management, and the challenges of disease such as BSE. When I left school I wanted to […]

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The Fenland agricultural worker in the 1920’s and 1930’s

Robert talks about conditions for agricultural labourers and village life in Fenland during the 1920’s and ’30s. They were usually called Agricultural Labourers. This was a very derogatory title, as they are very skilled workers. Labourers normally `laboured` doing unskilled menial work for a Journeyman, who was only skilled at one trade. Agricultural Workers worked […]

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The Horseman (1938-1950s)

Mr Baldry talks to us about his life, working on farms, meeting his wife in Southolt , carrying dinners to the men working outdoors and collecting water. I was 13 when I started working. I didn’t stay in that job long, I went to work at White Hall to see after the pigs. I had […]

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The Lean Years (1920s-1940s)

Don talks about the lean years during the 1920s and his jobs as a boy on the land, until he volunteered for the army when war broke out. I was 8 years old when I first had to help my father driving cattle by road from Bawburgh some 5 miles to Norwich Market. This was […]

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The Life of the Land (1940-1997)

John talks about his experiences working on the land before and after the Second World War including his extensive work in horticulture. I lived next door to a working farm and so I remember quite a lot of the old ways of Norfolk farming and my father being a nurseryman with glasshouses. I also know […]

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The Mechanised Farmer (1930s-2007)

George farmed at Aldborough Norfolk, and talks about changes brought by mechanisation to the farming world. I left school at the age of 14 and that was in the summer term and straight away I started with the corn harvest, that was working for my father. There was one tractor only at that time on […]

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The post office engineer – and the horses (1940s-2016)

Although most of Dick’s life was as a Post Office engineer, his first job was as ‘ho gee’ boy on the farm. My first job was before I’d left school. I started work when I was 11 year old on the farm as a ‘ho gee’ boy. In those days [late 1940s] agriculture was labour […]

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The Proud Land Girl (1945-1977)

Rita grew up in a theatrical boarding house helping her mum, and joined the Land Army doing farm work during the war and afterwards. When she married she and her husband went into the pub trade. The theatrical boarding house   I was fourteen when I left school in 1941. I worked for my mum, […]

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The Sugar Beet Story – from farm to factory (1944-1993)

Robert started his working life on a mixed farm in Freethorpe with arable crops (including sugar beet) and cattle. He then spent 19 years at Cantley Sugar Beet factory in a variety of roles. I was born in Halvergate and went to school from age five to 11 at Halvergate and then at Freethorpe until […]

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The Water Diviner (1935-2006)

Ray talks about his childhood and working on the farm. He learned to be a water diviner from another diviner, and found large reserves of water for landowners. I hope you’ll understand my Norfolk brogue. I want to tell you a little story, which I think, is marvellous. During the war, all of a sudden […]

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