Or The Origins Of Health & Safety and Gender Equality In The Workplace.
[a Guest Spot by The Blocked Dwarf]
whilst ‘researching’ (ok ‘googling late at night’) tobacco growing in Methwold in the fair county of Norfolk, I came across your post http://annaraccoon.com/2010/09/04/cyclical-smoke-rings/ where you confess to having actually lived there at some point.
Do you , by any chance, have a contact in the Methwold Historical Society -I assume there is one? Do you happen to know who now owns the ‘*********’ (and former tobacco drying barn) on the Brandon Road?
On the subject of Methwold Tobacco Growing I stumbled across something that might amuse you for a few minutes.
Notice the rather racy clothes (remember this was still in the days where the sight of a female ankle might cause palpitations when only a ‘HUSSY’ might wear trousers)that the female pickers are wearing? Well the dress/trousers things, called ‘tobettes’, were specially designed for the female workers at Methwold.
And why, you may ask, would any lady of breeding feel the need to wear strides under her , what was for those times, mini-skirt? More to the point, why would any gentleman plantation owner (Major Whitmore btw) feel the need to have special costumes run up for his ‘gals’? Was Major Whitmore concerned that the long flowing, heavy skirts of the Edwardian peasantry might hamper the ‘gals’ a pickin baccy for their Lord and Master? Do we see the first green shoots of Female Emancipation in the workplace?
Nope. Major Whitmore was worried those long, heavy, swinging skirts of the Edwardian era would damage the precious lower leaves of his bloody tobacco plants! Obviously a man with his priorities set aright.
Hope that made you laugh and perchance forget the cramping bowel pain. Oh btw I’m pretty sure this was shot in Methwold…in the pre-tobette era unfortunately: