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Hay Making in the Dales

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About Eleanor's Story

In this story Eleanor Scarr recalls her childhood experiences of making hay in Swaledale. For hundreds of years until the 1970s, hay making was a slow process that dominated the summer months. For children like Eleanor it was usual for every member of the family to help with the hay from an early age.

When Eleanor was growing up hay making was hard physical work, but also an occasion of great fun with everyone on a farm working together for long days. Eleanor describes the social changes that mechanisation brought into the farm. She still lives in Swaledale today.

Eleanor's story was recorded as part of the 'History Revisited: Back to the 50s' project which is recording memories of locals around the Yorkshire Dales National Park for the Dales Countryside Museum.

The interview was carried out by Anne Walker, a Year 11 pupil at The Wensleydale School as a member of the Comenius Partnership Project funded through the British Council.


You can hear Eleanorís story (click the video or audio links) and see photos of the haymaking here.   You can also listen to another of Eleanor's stories on this website, in which she talks about the changes in Hay Baling that she witnessed over the years - click the Related Link at the bottom of the page.

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