Conisborough Experiment – Women on the Land

April 1916

Conisborough Farmers Experiment
Women On The Land

Mr W Appleyard, of Conisborough, was one of the speakers at a meeting held at Doncaster, on Tuesday afternoon, called for the purpose of establishing central committees in connection with the South Yorkshire branch under the West riding War agricultural committee, with the object of obtaining women Labour on the land.

Mr Appleyard said he had some little experience of women’s work on the land. When war broke out he had five eligible men on the farm. Two men went the first month, and his own son in October 1914. He was then employing girls potato picking, and the also work for different farmers in the district.

When the Labour difficulty arose he got the girls to take up regular work. At the present time he had two girls and their mother working every day. One girl assisted with the milking and the cows generally, and the other did anything about the farm, ploughing, or anything else. That day she had gone to Denaby with a dray and two horses, with 2 tons of potatoes.

In his opinion it was only a question of physique in the first place, and willingness in the second. If a girl was not strong she could not do it; if she was not willing she would not do it. But the present neither girl had lost a single day, having worked good weather and bad. He had also two more girls at the first, and he tried to train them, but they turned out failures.

That showed they were not all alike. If the farmers would give them a chance they would find some to be of real service.

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