I can remember the happy days when I was a child taking my father’s lunch up the field to him at harvest time. Sometimes it would be fried egg and bacon in a sandwich, or cheese and pickle. He would also have a large can of tea which I would happily enjoy with him, sitting by the stack of corn made by the farm workers.
After the corn was cut by a horse drawn binder it was lifted up into shocks to dry. It was then collected by horse and cart and taken to the thrashing machine where it was separated, the chaff coming out one end and corn the other, into sacks which were hooked on either end of the machine. I used to lead the horse and cart to and fro for refill of sheaves of corn until the field was cleared. Sometimes the sheaves were taken up on an elevator to stack for winter use.
During the war there were land girls to help with the work. A Ministry of Information film crew came to the farm and I was proud to take part in the film, feeding and whistling the hens to come for their food. Last year I made a few enquiries into the whereabouts of the film and discovered that it was kept in the archives department at the museum in London. I was told that I would have to visit London to see the film, which might be difficult to find and only lasted three minutes, so I reluctantly declined their offer.
~ Jean Wren, Bakers End ~