Suffolk Land Girls Documentary

LOCAL VIDEOGRAPHER DIGGING UP STORIES ABOUT THE SUFFOLK LAND GIRLS WHO HELPED FEED THE NATION DURING WW2

Holly Brega in 1940’s WLA Uniform

Sponsored by Mauldons, Suffolk based film-maker Holly Brega is making a lasting legacy telling the story about the women who worked the land and horses, especially the Suffolk Punch horse during WW2 as part of the Women’s Land Army.

  • The Women’s Land Army was set up in 1917 to undertake farm work throughout the country 
  • In 1943 there were 1853 members in active employment in Suffolk
  • There are less than 500 pure bred Suffolk Punch horses registered in the UK today
  • The Suffolk horse is a category one rare breed meaning they are critically endangered

It is filmed at many locations throughout Suffolk from museums to open farmland, talking to experts in the area including Nicky Reynolds who has dedicated over 25 years to discovering and raising awareness of the Women’s Land Army. Also, Nigel Oakley who works with the Suffolk Punch horse and helps others develop the horsemanship needed to continue the succession of the breed.  

Film-maker Holly, says “This documentary film is important because the part these amazing women and horses played in the Second World War needs to never be forgotten and I want to inspire the next generation to develop an interest in these subjects which go hand in hand but are not often taught at school or seen on tv so I feel it is my duty as a story teller to share”.

The film will premiere with at the Suffolk’s archive centre ‘The Hold’ for Women’s History Month, February 2022. More information to follow.

Sponsored by Mauldons Brewery

FILMING DIARY

July: I had a wonderful time filming with Nigel Oakley and Emma Lodge at Hall Farm in Rede. Emma is learning how to work with Suffolk Punch horses and she is learning from the best – Nigel is a pro!

I have been chatting and filming with the very knowledgeable Nicky Reynolds who puts so much time, effort and love into collating stories from the Land Girls for her exhibition at The Hold in Ipswich for Women’s History Month. I don’t think I’ve met anyone so passionate.

August: I attended the Hay-on-Wye 75 Women’s Land Army Victory Harvest Parade which Kay, Bron, Nicky and Vicky put together amazingly. There was about 16 ladies all dressed up to commemorate the Land Girls, past and present. It was a beautiful day and I met some amazing people!

I have also been chatting to the wonderful Iris Bird (nee Bailey), former Land Girl who worked and trained in Suffolk at Shimpling. I can’t wait to share more about her story with you all.

September: It has been another busy month collecting footage at the Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley, following the farmers to get footage of the harvest and visiting farms that are doing their bit for the environment. I also had a quick trip to the Garrett’s Long Shop Museum in Leiston too.

I managed to get my sister in law, Antonia dressed up in 1940’s clothing depicting a Land Girl heading off to her posting on the train at Sheringham.

October: The Museum of East Anglian Life kindly let me film a recipe from the Land Girls Recipe book in their kitchen which was great! I also met Charlie from Mauldon’s Brewery and we spoke about how Suffolk Punches have inspired his company branding and the effect they had on the business.

That’s a wrap! I want to thank everyone involved, now I will need lots of tea as post-production begins! Trailer launching soon!

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