Country Work

This is some more from the wheelwright in ‘Akenfield’:

“The labourers’ children worked in the fields and so did their wives. The women’s ‘job was to pull the grass and weeds out of the corn. They also picked up loose beans and were allowed to keep them. The beans were 5s a combe- about 18 or 19 stones. It was surprising how much money the women managed to earn like this. And then, when there were no more beans, they would pull up the blackened stalks for kindling….

People scarcely ever left the village. I cant’ remember anyone ever going off to Australia or Canada when I was young. Except the Dr Barnado boys, and they didn’t quite count. During the 1930s some of the men would go malting in Burton, Lancashire, for 8 months of the year but they always came home to help bring in the harvest. They wouldn’t just go to Snape Maltings.

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