Sunday, 6 March 2016

Earlston Women at Work

Women's Worktime Fashions is the theme for  our latest post - from munitions to mills, housework to farming.

                     Earlston Munitions Workers at Charlesfield, St. Boswells.

Around 950,000 British women worked in munitions factories during the Second World War, making weapons like shells and bullets. Munitions work was often well-paid, but involved long hours, sometimes up to seven days a week. Workers were also at serious risk from accidents with dangerous machinery or when working with high explosive material.  Some munitions workers handled toxic chemicals every day. Those who handled sulphur were nicknamed ‘Canary Girls’, because their skin and hair turned yellow from contact with the chemical. [Source: My Learning.Org ]

 Nurses  in the Second World War

Housewives at the Travelling Co-op Van  
I remember my mother wearing this kind of pinny with a handy front pocket for dusters etc. . She made them too for many a sale of work. 

Workwear at the Egg Packaging Station at Georgefield Farm
   At Simpson & Fairbairn's Rhymer's Mill, Earlston 

Bondagers were female farm workers in south east Scotland and Northumberland. As part of their husband's contract (or bond) with the farmer, he would undertake to provide another worker (usually his wife) to help as and when required. The women wore a distinctive dress with bonnet, described as the "last remaining peasant costume" in Britain.


Thank you to everyone who has  donated or loaned old photographs for scanning. 

For more photographs on village life,  
look at our associated Facebook page  Lost Earlston


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