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Joyce Mildred Iris Barker

Land Army

from:32 Eva Road, Warley, Oldbury, Birmingham

My name is Joyce Barker, and my daughter is typing this for me in Hampshire, and I'm living in St.Austell, Cornwall now, and we're doing this via a telephone. Kathleen Strong, was my best friend, we took a day off from work and went to Birmingham, where we saw a lorry full of land army girls in bales of hay with a fork in their hand. We liked the uniform so much, Kath and I said, thats it we're going to join up. We went to the cart and asked them what we had to do, and we went and joined up straight away. We had to wait to three weeks. The place they sent us to was a hostel in Small Heath, Dudley. We think there was about 30 other girls there too. The next day we went on a lorry to a farm and we went potato picking, our first day, very hard work. Other days we went thrashing, fruit picking and sprout picking, we got frost bite through sprout picking and had to go hospital, off sick for about a week.

We loved our nights out at the local dance and the pub. The pub was called the Yew Tree with a big dance hall at the back. I've got some really funny tales of our dances and doing the jitterbug! We went to an RAF station dance, the whole hostel was invited. We went on a lorry! Next day, after the vaseline had worn off from our faces from the good sleep, back to work again! I drove a tractor and a milkround, milking cows, this was at Chadersley Corbett at 5 o.clock in the morning!

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