Before The Harvest

"Before the Harvest " I know you will enjoy this story of three generations of farmers During the outbreak of WW2. Janice Villeverde and her friend Miriam Nixon are sent to Wildacre Farm in the New York Estate. it is there that they are put to work along with many others to help the war effort. it is there that they meet up with young Thomas Hogg who introduces the girls to his friend George Barrett. After a brief courtship Janice finds herself in trouble and George Barrett sends her away when she tells him. Forced to bring up a child on her own Janice swears revenge on the man who wronged her. Before the Harvest gives you an insight of how a farm worked during the war years; a story of love hate and revenge.


13. 13

“Right then, I’m off to my meeting Cora; I shouldn’t be too long I hope.’

“Make sure you’re not or the A.R.P man will be after you thinking you are a spy for the Germans.”

“Don’t be daft woman; me a spy.” He kissed his wife then walked out of the gate and along the pathway to George Baxter’s cottage.

“I hope the weather is going to be fine tomorrow said Thomas; since the outbreak of war the radio had stopped giving shipping forecasts and weather reports in case the Germans were listening in. They would then know when the best times were to come and bomb us so they were stopped. I suppose you will have to trust it to God son and pray that it keeps dry long enough to get the silo built.

Thomas had to make sure that every window was blackened out when it was dark. Wooden frames with black paper were stapled to the frame that fit inside the inside blocking out the light then curtains were drawn as well. One light was all that was permitted but you could use candles or oil lamps if you had paraffin.

In the milking shed the cows were led in just before dark then using a Lister light generator the doors were tightly shut and the milking could then take place once over the light was switched off and the cattle led to the barn and the animals fed and watered before leaving again the lights had to be switched off.

It had taken Thomas a while but he could navigate in the dark by using certain parts of buildings as reference points.

Thomas took himself a candle then went to his room which wasn’t all that big, it had a wardrobe for storing his suit and trousers; there was a set of drawers in which he kept his shirts and socks and the bottom drawer for underwear. In the winter months Thomas wore long John’s but as the weather began to warm up he wore shorts.

His mother knitted him a grey scarf and woollen hat and some woollen gloves that he used when driving the tractor around in frosty weather.

Even wearing gloves his fingers felt the effects of the bitter cold and icy winds.

The bed had been made by his father’s blacksmith for him and the mattress stuffed with feathers from the birds that they plucked.

The floors were made of stone but there was a rug on the floor near his bed that was where Sally his dog had slept. The black and white Border collie was bought for him by his dad as a birthday present and Sally went everywhere with him; she waited for him outside of school at three thirty each day.

She sat at the back of the tractor with him whilst he ploughed the fields or brought in the harvest and it broke his heart when one morning he awoke to find that she had died by his side. She was nearly sixteen years old.


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