Sunday, February 5, 2012

May 17-23, 1940

Swindon National Farmers’ Union appealed to the Government to allow boys under the age of 12 to assist with haymaking and harvest work after school and during the holidays. Union member Mr R.W. Horton said it was extraordinary that boys who wanted to work on farms in their spare time were not allowed to. Another suggestion to address the acute agricultural labour shortage was that townspeople might also be asked to volunteer for farm work.

Meanwhile Swindon’s answer to Covent Garden opened at the market repository, the first in a series of twice weekly produce sales conducted by Swindon auctioneers Fielder and Jones.

Growers included Plough Hill nurseries who sold more than half a ton of locally produced tomatoes at prices averaging 1s per pound. Best cucumbers fetched 7s 6d a dozen and lettuces sold at 3s a dozen.

Mr Fielder told the Advertiser that there had been a satisfactory response to the new venture. These markets will ensure that Swindon will have regular supplies of produce, fresh from market gardens, no matter how transport difficulties may restrict supplies from the bigger markets, the report continued.

Swindon savers were investing more than £8,000 a week in the ‘lend to defend’ campaign. The sale of National Savings Certificates and Defence Bonds averaged about £2.10s per head of population and the town looked set to reach its target of £500,000.

However, neighbouring Chippenham left Swindon in the shade and had already banked £120,000 since October 1, an average of £10 per person.

Much of the credit for this achievement was due to Mr H. Greenwood, headmaster of Ivy Lane School. When Mr Greenwood became National Savings secretary for Chippenham in June 1939 there were just 23 savings groups in the area. In less than four months he had increased the number to 28 and by May 1940 there were 86 groups.

A driver had a narrow escape when his car collided with a motor cycle at the junction of Devizes Road and Newport Street. While Mr A Holt of Swindon escaped injury, the report failed to mention what happened to the rider of the motor cycle, Mr Edgar Evans of Sherston.

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