Oaklands Park: Women's Land Army hostel (General)

by stephaniejr @, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UK, Thursday, October 19, 2017, 12:32 (34 days ago)

While researching the history of the Oaklands Park estate, I found mention of a Women’s Land Army (WLA) hostel which was there during and after the war (up to 1949). I would be very interested in any information anyone might have about this.

Many thanks
Stephanie

Oaklands Park: Women's Land Army hostel

by Mike Pinchin @, Bedford, England, Thursday, October 19, 2017, 20:40 (33 days ago) @ stephaniejr

It’s not much but it shows they were prepared to go on strike,

BNA Cheltenham Chronicle - Saturday 21 April 1945

LOCAL LAND GIRLS ALL BACK AT WORK

The North Gloucester shire Land Army girls who were on strike on Friday as a protest against the non-granting of gratuities by the Government returned to work on Saturday. The strike involved girls from W.L.A. hostels at 1 Dumbleton Hall, Southam Priory, Wycks Elm, Tetbury, and Oaklands Park. These hostels were visited on Friday by Mr. H. A. Myring, a representative of the Gloucestershire WA.E.C.; Mr. H. Collison, County Organiser of the Agricultural Workers' Union, and Mrs. Heydeman, County Secretary of the W.L.A. After these speakers had addressed the strikers and answered questions, the girls agreed to return to work, and some of them resumed straight away.

Oaklands Park, Soudley/Newnham: Women's Land Army hostel

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Thursday, October 19, 2017, 23:23 (33 days ago) @ Mike Pinchin

Hi Stephanie,
I'm interested in all things WW2 related, but I've never tried researching the WLA before. I suspect it will be just as difficult as it definitely is for the Home Guard and ARP units. I'm sure you've tried this site, but in case not please see
http://www.womenslandarmy.co.uk/research-and-contact/

I suspect that site's Facebook pages may be particularly helpful, altho clearly the fact that most Land girls will have passed-away by now is a problem.

My initial advice would have been to use the local newspapers, both by writing letters requesting information from readers, and also by searching old issues from the time, as Mike has kindly done. However they would have only given quite scant coverage during wartime due to censorship. Don't forget that not all our local newspapers are online, eg Cinderford library carrys the DF Mercury etc, see
http://www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/media/1904/gloucestershire_newspapers_2016_v1-24402.pdf

This censorship included the wartime issues of Ordnance Survey Maps, which don't show munitions factories for example. Whether such maps would show somethig as relatively small and "temporary" as a WLA Hostel is debatable, certainly I cannot see any hint of it on this map, despite zooming-ito it with my mouse.
http://maps.nls.uk/view/101453664

On a more general level, as I'm sure you've already found, the BBC site has several pages of recollections of life with the WLA, some of which refer in detail to the hostel at Dumbleton Hall in the north of Gloucestershire, now an impressive looking hotel. Apparently there were almost 700 WLA hostels across the UK during WW2 !
Sadly not easy to search thro' the large number of posts on this site.
eg
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/categories/c1171/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/02/a4392902.shtml

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumbleton#Dumbleton_Hall

Sadly I don't currently have access to my FoD reference and old-photo books, but I recommend looking-up "The Forest of Dean in Wartime" by Humphrey Phelps, pub 1995, it may possibly help you.

The Sungreen site has a few photos of Land Girls, but at Bream, not Oaklands.
https://www.sungreen.co.uk/_Bream/BreamCourtFarm1947.htm

Hoping this helps in some way, Jeff.

Oaklands Park, Soudley/Newnham: Women's Land Army hostel

by stephaniejr @, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UK, Saturday, October 21, 2017, 12:13 (32 days ago) @ Jefff

Thank you Jeff. That's a lot of leads to follow up but something to do during the winter!

Oaklands Park: Women's Land Army hostel

by stephaniejr @, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UK, Saturday, October 21, 2017, 12:12 (32 days ago) @ Mike Pinchin

Thank you, Mike, I hadn't come across this one. I have been searching newspapers using Find My Past.

Oaklands Park: Women's Land Army hostel

by Jefff @, West London, Middlesex, Sunday, October 22, 2017, 03:11 (31 days ago) @ stephaniejr

Thank you, Mike, I hadn't come across this one. I have been searching newspapers using Find My Past.

I've used the BNA site extensively, it's good that you can subscribe for a short period for a fair payment. You can also use their search engine f-o-c, and hence get an idea of what's there and where/when, before actually signing-up, so with this prior-preparation can download scores of pages in just a few days subscription if funds are tight. Probably more relevant to you Stephanie, I've also used the BNA via a trial subscrition to the FMP site, and have found the FMP site doesn't actually give access to all the full coverage of newspapers as the main BNA site does, especially the more recent issues.
The BNA site's search engine is a classic case of "less gives more" results. If you feel you've not found the same articles that Mike found, and am wondering why not, then this old post may possibly help you, I do hope so.
Happy hunting.
http://forum.forest-of-dean.net/index.php?id=36876

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