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Viewing single post of blog Memory of Clothes

Jackie was bought up in Worthing, the daughter of a pub landlord. She joined the Womens Land Army in Ferring. She cycled to work, her main duty was digging vegetables, until she did her back in lifting a box of potatoes. Then she worked on the buses in Worthing for the remainder of war. I asked if she continued gardening or growing vegetables after the war. She said no as she lived in a flat once she was married and they didn’t have a garden.

Womens Land Army Uniform – Worthing Museum Collection

I came across a book by Vita Sackville-West about the Land Army. In it she romantically promotes the noble work of the Land Girls, at the same time sympathizes with a seemingly prevalent snobby attitude towards the Land Girls and their appearances. She reminds the readers they were not part of the military, so not expected to adhere to their standards, but wishes they could see how ridiculous they look with example their hats on crocked, which seems extremely harsh!

I bought a pair of WLA breeches on ebay. I am not convinced they are genuine. The fabric feels slightly synthetic, less course, than the pair the museum has. I asked the ebay seller, she said she doesn’t know about their history. She herself had bought them from ebay to wear Goodwood Festival, but they were too big so she never wore them. I might put them in the exhibition as handling item, people could try them on!

I think about Jackie and the photo in the Vita Sackville West’s book of heaps of potatoes. At the same time I collected some stones from Worthing beach. I started to draw stones and potatoes on postcards, making connections between the two. Both dug up from under the earth, a geological link to place, a similar size and weight, a size that fits neatly into the hand. Year’s ago I was told that there is a German word (Handgröße)that refers to something that fits satisfactorily in the hand.

Potato and Stone drawings on postcards