Manor Farm Goes Back to the 1940s with its Home Front Weekend, 12-13 June

Profile image for Caroline_W

By Caroline_W | Saturday, June 12, 2010, 17:00

Today, Saturday 12 June, visitors to Manor Farm in Pylands Lane have been experiencing what life was like on the Home Front in the 1940s.

Land Girls from re-enactment group On Parade were busy in the farmyard and in the garden.

Of being a ‘Land Girl’ Jenny Sloper commented, “It’s great fun. We’re all good friends and we get to go to lots of different places.”

Land Girl Bronwen Jones has an especially personal reason for joining the group. Her mother was a Land Girl for real back in the 1940s and Bronwen began re-enacting shortly after her mother’s death in tribute to her memory. She said, “I was born and brought up on a farm and it’s nice to get out and talk to people about what the Land Army did.”

Kay Pollock explained that the group doesn’t normally get a chance to actually do any work on re-enactment weekends, but at Manor Farm they can really get involved. This afternoon saw Kay and German POW Adam Ireland getting stuck into digging over the allotment ready for the winter vegetables to go in.

Manor Farm Country Park volunteer Alison Pickering was also getting into the spirit of the weekend, dressing to look the part as she carried out her normal Saturday duties of feeding the animals, mucking out and milking.

Members from the 2nd Essex Regiment were on-hand to give a flavour of life in the British military 1940s style. Swapping their usual (21st century) place of work at either the House of Commons or the House of Lords for the farmyard, they paraded at 12.00 noon sharp – showing their equipment and demonstrating arms drill and rifle inspection.

Corporal Richard Jelley, whose wife re-enacts as a FANY, explained, “We do these re-enactments to bring history to life. We show how soldiers dressed and lived back then. Show-and-tell can give a potted history of what life was like during the war, and open young people’s minds to the great hardships experienced during the six years of warfare.’

In 1939 the Essex Regiment was one of the first units to go to France.

As for our American allies, Derek Murrell was representing the Airborne (Band of Brothers) as a Military Policeman, and Rangers (Saving Private Ryan) had set up camp for the duration in the field above the allotments.

The Home Front weekend at Manor Farm continues tomorrow, Sunday 13 June, from 10.00am (although without the 2nd Essex Regiment).

Normal farm admission charges apply and for details see the Manor Farm Country Park website or phone 01489 787055.

For more photos of Manor Farm’s 1940s experience see the Hedgeendpeople gallery, ‘Manor Farm Goes Back to the 1940s’.



  • Profile image for EdwinaKing

    That looks fantastic! Would be interested to know if they had a lot of visitors for that, was it the case? Especially since they had gone to so much effort with the reenactors and the land girls and even the staff dressing up!

    By EdwinaKing at 07:49 on 16/06/10

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