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Land Girl's Hostel Given Listed Status

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by GRW, Mar 4, 2020.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "Rare survivor" is a classic British understatement.
    "One of the last remaining Women’s Land Army (WLA) hostels has been given Grade II listed status for being “vitally important” in recognising women’s wartime efforts.
    The humble hut, in Smallwood, Cheshire, is one of the few surviving WLA hostels, and has been listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.
    The WLA, also known as the land girls, was established in 1917 and re-formed in 1939. It helped to feed Britain during the second world war, when Britain imported the majority of its food.
    Queen Elizabeth, later the Queen Mother, said the land girls “supplied the needs of this island and sustained the life of the nation”.
    Some of the hostels were set up in a range of existing buildings, from country houses to stables, to allow the land girls to eat, sleep and socialise.
    From 1942 hostels like the one in Smallwood were purpose-built and housed up to 48 women. Nora Wright, a 14-year-old orderly in 1942 who later joined the WLA, described the building’s “cold concrete floors. Coke stoves and a coke boiler” that “provided heating but there was none in the dormitories”.
    About 200 hostels are thought to have been purpose-built and of those many have been lost over the past 75 years, making the one in Smallwood a rare survival. There is a listed, purpose-built land girls hostel in Flintshire, north Wales.
    All hostels were staffed by orderlies and a warden or matron, and the layout usually consisted of a dormitory, dining and common room, kitchen, matron’s room, sick room, bathroom and showers."

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