Potato Picking

Now this was hard work.   School half term holidays again but this time we would be set in groups/relays to follow the tractor which went along the furrows and the scrattor would throw the potatoes up to the surface.  Each relay would collect the crop into sturdy wire baskets and from them fill sacks placed along the furrow, or empty the baskets direct on to a following trailer.

On reaching a given mark the relay would then go back to the starter mark just in time to start gathering as the tractor re-started the cycle.

I always envied Walt Riby sat on the tractor but of course we wern’t to realise that the farmers had started working long before and would work long after we had finished.

Payment method was for the day so we all got the same.  You often wondered if it was worth it with clothes mucked up and shoe soles caked so thick you could hardly walk.

There were many other opportunities for casual work if you were hard up including sprouts, frozen hands with this –  turnips, slashed fingers here – – beetroot, bloody hands here.

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