b'Kathleen Sleightholme - Land Army GirlThis article has been transcribed from a recording made by Liz Jones when she visited Kathleen early in 2009.The people who were at the farm at the time were my aunt and uncle, Richard (Dick) and Annie Sleightholme, Bob, George and Bowman Sleightholme, and also Annie Sawdon who helped my aunt in the house. It was very different for me being in the North, but I enjoyed it from the beginning and everyone made me very welcome. As well as George and Bob who worked on the farm, there was a Mr Foster from Bishop Wilton, and Frank Smith who also helped on the land. There were mainly Friesian cows, so milk was one of the main reasons why I was up there and doing the milk-round. Of course when I got up there I couldnt drive, so my cousins Bob and George taught me how to drive the milk van. It didnt take very long as they were very good teachers and I was an excellent pupil! And so I was soon on the road. Of course it was so much easier then because there was hardly any traffic about because you couldnt drive a car without petrol which was rationed and was very difficult to get hold of. At East Farm I can remember there was no gas or electricity, we had oil lamps and candles. There was no hot waterit was all heated at the side of the fireand there was an earth closet down the garden, so it was all very, very different to me. But it made me feel M y name is Kathleen Mason, and my maiden namemuch more independent than I was before I went up was Sleightholme. I was an only child and I livedthere.in a suburb of Cardiff. It was a pleasant area and weBishop Wilton was the nearest village really where lived between the canal and the river and a lovelythere was anything going onYoulthorpe was only park, and that was where I was living when the wara hamlet, with just farms and some cottages, and started. I was 14 years of age, still at school, and I satmost of the farms had just men, with nobody of my the Matriculation Examination during the war. If thereage. My aunt used to have a licence to sell tobacco was an air raid during one of the examinations weand cigarettes, so we did have callers coming round were all escorted out of the class with nearly all theto the farm to buy those, so there were a few people teachers in the school to wait until the all-clear, andthere. But there was nothing else really apart from they would put an explanation about why we wereMr Fawcett who was the Vicar in Bishop Wilton who going out, and we would continue when we cameused to come down once a month to hold a service back into the schoolroom again. in our farm kitchen. That was very nice. Anyone in When I left school at 16 I worked in the CentralYoulthorpe who wanted to used to come, and after Library in Cardiff; I was very happy there because Ithey had had the service they would remove the top loved books and reading. But as the war progressedof the table and underneath it was a billiard table, I was listening to what was happening and I felt Iand my uncle and Mr Fawcett used to have a game would like to do something to help the War Effort in aof billiards that evening. And that was really all that different way to just being in a library. At the time myhappened in Youlthorpe at that time. On a Sunday the Uncle Richard was at East Farm in Youlthorpe and hepaper-man used to come with a womans paper for ran a milk-round and needed somebody else to comemy aunt, and there was the Farmers Weekly; in the and do it so that my two cousins there could continueladys magazine there were always horoscopes and with the farm work. So I asked my father if it would bethe 5 boys of the Allison family used to come around possible for me to go up to Yorkshire - I had stayed atto have them read outmy aunt and uncle used to East Farm a number of timesand my father agreedretire up to their bedroom for a couple of hours rest rather reluctantly, although he thought I was ratherand they used to come round for me to read all their young at 17, so I was able to come up to Yorkshire. Ihoroscopes.was at East Farm for 3 years, from 1942 to 1944. BULLETIN 19 375'