‘Buddy’: A Land Girl in Lincolnshire
Violet May Edwards (nee Budd) was born on 22nd February 1929 in Winchmore Hill, North London. After working in toy, sweet, and metal box factories, as well as in a green grocers and as a cinema usherette, Violet (or ‘Buddy’) joined the Women’s Land Army on 26th August 1949 for just over a year. She saw the recruitment posters and thought the Women’s Land Army was for her. Violet remembers:
‘the first time I tried to join the W.L.A my father put a stop to it by previously informing the recruitment office that I was under age. I was very mad because it made me look like a fool’.
Violet nevertheless persevered. She was trained in basic farming skills on the Brigg farm in Lincolnshire. Once trained, she undertook a range of farm work: hay making, picking potatoes, pulling sugar beet and carrots. She ploughed with a tractor. She fed pigs and horses and mucked them out. Her favourite work was driving the tractor and pulling carrots. Her least: digging potatoes.
In the hot weather, Violet and friends tried to keep cool…with some unintended consequences:
‘I remember one time a gang of us Land Girls were pulling carrots in a field at the side of a road. It was a hot summers day and some of the girls had stripped down to their bras. We noticed a car had parked up at the side of the road and stayed for a long time. One of the girls said ‘he’s watching us’ and set off to circle behind the car. We saw her reach the car her arms waving, then the car speeding off. ‘A dirty old man with binoculars’ she said as she strode back across the field’.
Violet remained in the Women’s Land Army until 15th September 1950, just 3 months before the WLA disbanded. Violet married her husband in 1950. He was an ex-solider from the village in Saxilby. Violet and her husband spent the first seven years living in a single decker bus, followed by four years in a caravan. She notes that, ‘hard work in the WLA helped a hard life’.
During her time in the WLA, Violet lived in a hostel at Saxilby, Lincolnshire. She met some lovely women, recounting that she has ‘only good memories of the friends and happy times in the W.L.A’. Today, Violet remembers the names of some of the women and has also shared a few photos of them too, with the help of her son Kevin Scroll right to the end and you’ll see a photo of Violet today….
- Joan Clingham (Leader)
- Florrie Holl
- Marcha Coulman
- Sylvia Hutchinson
- Margaret Spooner