Land Girls at Winacre Farm

In 1941, 60 acres of potatoes were ready to be picked at Winacre Farm in Lancashire. Traditionally the potatoes would be picked with the aid of seasonal travelling Irishmen, but they were no longer available because of the war.

Prompted by a letter received from the Agricultural Labour Board, John Sephton, tenant farmer at Winacre Farm, applied to the Women’s Land Army for potato pickers.

The Land Army secretary offered to provide 14 girls to stay at the farm provided each could have a single bed. John and Elizabeth combed the neighbourhood for beds and the girls duly arrived.

The Land Girls were from various backgrounds: office girls, shop workers, kennel maid and even a ladies maid, while others were straight from college.

The photos below come from an album, shared by Kathy Mills, whose grandparents, John and Elizabeth Sephton, lived on Winacre Farm.

John and Elizabeth Sephton, tenant farmers at Winacre Farm, married 1926

Land Girls at Winacre

The first 14 Land Army girls to arrive at Winacre, pictured with John and Elizabeth (centre) and Women’s Land Army representatives each side.
Land Girls at Winacre in 1942

Many of the girls had boyfriends in the Forces, and much of their free time was spent writing letters.

Winacre Farm

At work

Land Girls out in the fields of Winacre Farm
Picking potatoes at Winacre Farm
Land Girls carrying potatoes
Weighing and bagging potatoes
Storing potatoes
Sorting potatoes
Moving potatoes at Winacre Farm
Land Girls sorting potatoes at Winacre Farm
Power digger in use at Winacre Farm
Land Girls directing a pig
Land Girl in a Danish style piggery, constructed by Mr Sephton.
Land Girls on a tractor

Free time

Dinner with the girls at Winacre
Land Girls having dinner with Tom and Betty, the Sephton’s children

John gives Land Girls a lesson in billiards
Land Girl wedding

In the news

Winacre Farm today

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