Celebrate the Land Girls with the WEA – supported by the National Lottery


Landgirls

The WEA has received a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant of £97,500 for an exciting heritage project, Women on the Land. As a result, the people of South Yorkshire now have the chance to collect, record and enjoy memories of the work and lives of members of the Women’s Land Army (the ‘Land Girls’) and Women’s Timber Corps (or ‘Lumber Jills’) in the area, during and after the second world war, and the impact they had in local communities. 

Those who remember them will work with the WEA to create an archive of memories to share with local communities and record for future generations. Participants will work with experts in heritage to develop video, audio and written recording, developing a wide range of skills including research, oral recording and digital skills. The project will bring people together online initially before establishing local learning groups across South Yorkshire. 

The Land Girls / Lumber Jills were instrumental in supporting landowners and farmers to provide food and produce timber for Britain throughout the war and the post-war period. Of the 80,000 veterans, very few still survive. 

Commenting on the award from the National Lottery, the WEA’s Rob Hindle said:
“We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. As a society, we are losing our custodians of direct memories of life during the Second World War and with them an unders tanding of how our communities responded to the great social disruption of that period. 

Our recent experience of the pandemic will help us connect with these trail-blazing women and the communities they lived and worked in, and the project will enable a wide range of people to develop a valuable insight into this important chapter in South Yorkshire’s history. 

We are confident that everyone who will be involved in the project, either as a contributor or enjoying the archive once complete, will develop skills and confidence, and enjoy exploring the Land Girls’ and Lumber Jills’ experiences.”

Residents of South Yorkshire can show an interest in participating in the project by contacting the Project Organiser, Richard Godley rgodley@wea.org.uk or Project Manager, Clare Farmer: cfarmer@wea.org.uk  at the WEA. All contributions, however small or large are welcomed, from photos, to diaries, letters, written up interviews with relatives, or just verbal sharing. Please get in touch.