The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville


On 9th February we had a very funny evening with Ollie Butler.

She was saying monologues of what young children say, eg two boys went into a shop, one of them bought some Tampax. The lady behind the counter said, “Are you really sure this is what you want?” One lad said, “Oh yes, he can now ride a bike and even swim with them which he couldn’t do before.”

Two lads in their room standing naked with their arms outstretched. Their mother came into the room and said, “What are you doing standing like that?” The boys said, “We are now like Jesus.” The mother said, “What do you mean, you are like Jesus?” They said “We don’t have any sandals either.”

A little boy said to his class teacher that his cat was dead. The teacher said, “How do you know the cat was dead?” The boy said, “because I pissed in his ear and he didn’t move.” Teacher said, “You did what?” The boy said, “I went up to his ear and said Piss in his ear, and he didn’t move.”

A little girl went to church with her mother. It came the time when the Vicar was reading his sermon. It seemed to go on and on for ages. The little girl felt very tired and soon fell asleep. When she did awake soon after, she said to her Mother, “Is it still Sunday?”

The teacher in class said to Tommy, “How did Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem? Tommy said, “By bus, Miss.” The teacher said, “No, Tommy, they did not travel by bus.” Tommy said, “Yes they did.” Teacher said, “Tommy they were on a Donkey.” Teacher said, “Why do you say they were on a bus?” Tommy said, “Because they couldn’t get a donkey on the bus.”

Glamour, Gumboots & Guernsey Cows

Steve Harris came on 23rd February to give us a talk which was titled, “Glamour, Gumboots and Guernsey Cows.”

The Womens’ Land Army (WLA) was established in WW1 but was refounded shortly before the outbreak of WW2. Women were initially asked to volunteer for the WLA.

Women could choose whether to enter the armed forces or work in farming or industry. By 1943 more than 80,000 women were working in the Land Army. They were nicknamed Land Girls.

The WLA set out to replace men in the fields, the milking parlours and the forests for the duration. This was achieved so successfully thanks to the organisational skills of Lady Denman, the WLA’s director.

Lady Denman was the only daughter of Lord Cowdrey. She married in 1903, and in 1905 Lord Cowdrey bought her own country estate, Balcombe in Sussex.

The WLA lived either on the farms where they worked or in hostels. They worked long hours, especially during the summer, mostly outdoors and often in cold and rain. They had a medical by the local doctor and an eyesight test. Their height was 5 feet and above and minimum shoe size was 5.

Rubber was short and wellington boots were needed for the farmwork. The girls did work on the farms like milking the cows, lambing, fruit picking, dung spreading, picking sprouts in winter, rat catching, thatching, digging ditches, and carrying out farm maintenance work. Some women worked in the Timber Corps, chopping down trees and running sawmills.

The work was hard and smelly. It was thought that small size girls were not strong enough to do the work, and even lifting bags of potatoes weighing 112lb was done by the women.

The farmhouses had no heating, frost was on the inside of the windows. Food was poor. There was no bath, the women would have a standup wash, if the farmer had a bath he would be the first in line, then his wife and children and the WLA would be last in line. The toilet was at the bottom of the garden, no lock on the door and newspaper was used for toilet paper.

The cows were milked twice a day, the udders were washed, the girls would find it warm being near the side of a cow. Ploughing was with Shire Horses. The girls would wear a hat, long coat and boots.

To catch the rats they would put food down for three days, no food on the fourth day and poison on the fifth day. The rats would be hungry by then, so would probably eat it.

Their clothes were mended by the Farmer’s wife. In the hostels the girls slept on camp beds. In 1939 it was a hard winter and many girls found that their chilblains went away. You would have thought that the chilblains would have gone away in the office where they worked before and stayed with them whilst working on the farm.

They had as many as 400 pigs and 100 goats to look after. Once forgetting that their silk stockings were on the line, they found the goats had eaten them, just leaving the toepieces behind. Bedtime was

The Land Army was disbanded in 1950. Although the work was hard, conditions were often bad and the pay was low, many women enjoyed the experience and formed lifelong friendships with fellow Land Girls.

Priscilla Barlow

Easter Edition 2012

St George’s Ladies Group