Monday 17 January 2011

Land Girls

Today I am celebrating the return of the wonderful BBC 1 drama "Land Girls".
Based on the experiences of women working on the land during the Second World War.
As a teenager I was really fascinated by the romance and drama of this period and would pour over my Granny's black and white photos. She was in the WAAF (Women's Auxilliary Airforce) and worked on Lancaster Bombers. She was lucky to survive the War as she was blown off a tube at Collindale Station when it was hit during a bombing raid. She is famously low key about it and will simply say "It nearly blew my eyebrows off!". Granny was blown clear of the train, the girl sitting next to her was not so lucky and was killed.
Granny ran away from home and lied about her age in order to join up. She was training at RAF Hendon when she was caught in the bomb blast. The WAAF grew from about 1,700 members at the outbreak of war to approximately 180,000 by 1943. It was a very intense time to be alive and every family has it's own stories to tell. The Imperial War Museum held an exhibition that told the story of servicewomen, nurses, land girls, factory workers, secret agents, pilots and peacekeepers from the First World War to the present day. You can still visit online here
Today the Land Girls are back on BBC 1 AT 2.15PM.
One of my enduring teenage memories is of trying to work the 1940's look! I was mad about vintage silk scarves tied in my hair and red lipstick! I was forever scouring charity shops for vintage dresses in ditsy prints. (I heard you Mr.Lane! I know nothing changes!)
These days I think Alys rocks the vintage look
When I see these amazing period photographs the hairs stand up on the back of my neck

here are the girls from series one

And this land girl is simply stunning

Last year I got busy buying up the Royal Mail "Britain Alone" stamp issue.
A Special Stamp issue paying tribute to all those who showed such tenacity of spirit during Britain’s darkest hour.
The eight Special Stamps feature archive photography of some of the stoic people who made this 'our finest hour'.
Brilliant photgraphs don't you think? You can still get them here

This whole set is fantastic

Now off to catch up with the girls!


  1. Missed it!
    In the '70's, I bought an authentic pair of Land Army Women's trousers for £2 from Oxfam in Nottingham. Tehy were a bit like 'combat' pants, with pockets just about everywhere!They had an adjustable waistline and were so comfy.
    I used to go Rambling in them and somewhere I have a pic of me taken sitting down near Mam Tor in Derbyshire on a very hot day. I'll see if I can find it. Wish I still had them and the figure to get in them, even though I was a big lass then!

    Sandie xx

  2. Amazing times they were, with extroaordinary people with extraordinary stories to tell. We in Holland have ofcourse our own stories to tell. Like your Gran, my father was extremely lucky to have had a narrow escape.

  3. Such an interesting post! I have so much admiration for those 'girls'. I hope we get this series over here soon.
    During WWII, my mom worked as a secretary at an airbase where our women flyers were stationed. There was a documentary about them on TV recently -- interesting to hear how little credit they got for the dangerous work they did, and weren't even recognized as war veterans until recent years.
    And so glad your poor granny survived such an awful experience!

  4. Thanks for the reminder Sarah I didn't realise they were back on the telly must have had my head in a hole! I hope Alys is back on this year I enjoyed her series.
    What a woman your Granny was. I think you definitely have some of her spirit.
    Have a good week.
    Jo x

  5. Oh how funny, I visited my nan today and she was talking about that programme and some of the stories about that time. She hereself was a Land Girl she chose that as working in one of the factories didnt appeal to her. She received her Land Girl medal a few years ago. She is very proud of it. As indeed we are of her.

    MBB x

  6. Sarah Jane,
    You might be a farmgirl at heart too! this is a wonderful post.. I never knew about " Land Girls!
    Check out
    for more info about farmgirls too!
    enjoy this wonderful day!

  7. I loved the last series and was thrilled to see it was coming back on. Watched the first one today and shall be on the sofa @ 2.15 each afternoon this week - armed with my sewing / make-do-and-mend ;)

  8. I missed it the first time round! I used to love to watch films from that era when I was a child..I found it fascinating,but of course the films tended to glamourise what must have been an incredibly stressful,dangerous and worrying time for so many families.What an experience for your poor granny to go through!

  9. Is that the landgirls with Anna Friel? Where she cried and cried in the bath when her love was killed, I remember sobbing on the sofa!!

    The lives of our grandparents were so dramatic and often traumatic compared to ours - the stories so many of them could tell, but often don't. My grandpa had a real great escape from a POW camp in Italy. Beyond belief, what they went through, and are so modest about.

    Lovely post.

  10. Great post! I forgot about the new series, I'll catch up on iPlayer - thanks for reminding me! Wonderful story about your granny, thanks for sharing it.
    Hen x

  11. I nearly forgot about this today. It was on at teatime before, funny TV times. Thanks for a lovely post.

  12. I can't believe I missed it - what a strange time to put it on.

    Your granny sounds like such a lovely character.

    take care,

    Nina xxx

  13. Thanks for a super post and reminding us of the wonderful work women did during wartime. My mother was in munitions at a factory in Coventry during WW2 working a 12-hour shift (7 in the evening until 7 in the morning). Many hours were spent in the shelters when no work could be done because of air raids and the workers kept up their spirits by singing the popular songs of the day.

  14. I thought it was most rude of them to put it on on a day I work. I'll try iplayer as I loved the bits I saw before and like you love the romance and the camaraderie of the era.

    A really interesting post S-Jane, thanks for sharing all this.


  15. If I only your post had been earlier! I was off work today, flicking through the channels and saw this was on but thought I'd be a repeat of the previous series!

    Victoria xx

  16. My dearest flowery always make me happy with your beautiful and very interesting posts...always uplifting and thought provoking. Food for the soul indeed. x

  17. Always thought the landgirls had the best uniforms!
    handknit sweaters and cord trousers!
    pen xx

  18. Aw, you have all the best shows over there. My dh and I are enjoying Foyle's War (watching Series 5 right now)courtesy of Netflix. I searched for Land Girls, but they don't have it yet and iPlayer won't let me see it here in the USA. I'm also pouting about not being able to see the new series of Lark Rise to Candleford. American television stinks! :)

  19. Haven't seen this, I should try and catch up. Those were truly amazing women and I feel sometimes I have no idea how tough life could really be.


  20. Hello :)
    I have just written about you on my blog - along with a resolution to read my favourite blogs more. I described you as 'countryside, flora and fauna and children's books' or something like that. I hope that's okay. Anyway, as I say, I am going to treat myself to a bit more blog reading time this year... hence I am here. I really loved the birds in your last post btw - I have never seen a Jenny Wren and so, so want to!
    Love Charlotte

  21. A brill post. I didn't know about this series. I wonder if it's on Iplayer.
    I spent 2 hours listening to a radio 4 prog on Iplayer y'day whilst doing the housework about Dday. A lot of it was about Southampton and so I found it even more interesting.
    Lisa x

  22. I've been watching it too whilst sewing in the afternoons. What a very special lady your Granny was, how lucky she survived! Very brave people in those days. I sadly lost my Grandfather in the RAF during WWII. I think you are so right about Aly getting the look just right in Gardener's World! Hugs, Catherine x

  23. I really love coming to visit your blog - its such a breath of fresh air.

    I dont know if we get the programme here in Oz, I will certainly look for it at the shops.

    Great images


  24. hi what a splendid post i love it .ive missed the land girl program now or is there just one left ,so i will hope on hope it comes again ,as my passion is making 1930/1940 hats . so glad i found your blog. from hesta in devon ps and thank you .

  25. Just to let your readers know if they missed Land Girls you can get it from tesco dvd rental. so you dont need to miss it . from hesta

  26. this is a really fascinating post and i am grateful to the above commentor for pointing out the series you spoke of is available on dvd.
    i have heard so many stories of the things people lived through a that time, glad your granny was ok.
    like you i am very keen on the fashions of that era.
    many thanks to you for sharing all these fabulous photographs x

    warmest wishes



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