Dianne Bardsley | The Land Girls | Historical Talk

About the event

To celebrate the closing of our exhibition Home Front Heroines, join us for a special talk with Dianne Bardsley about land girls in Aotearoa.

Throughout the 1990s Dianne Bardsley travelled across Aotearoa to trace and interview women who served in the Women’s Land Service during World War Two. Although she had found meagre official records in National Archives and the National Library, with the help of retired wartime land girl Joan Butland, she managed to find and interview 220 women in person and many more by written interview. Her book The Land Girls: In a Man’s World 1939-1946 was published by Otago University Press in 2000 and reprinted the same year.

The land girls, numbering more than 4000, cut across all demographic categories. They came from cities, small towns, and rural areas, and from a range of occupations or university studies, to live in a range of conditions. Former beauticians found themselves on isolated stations, bathing in tin baths, sleeping on makeshift beds in corrugated iron whare. Others luxuriated in the servant quarters of homesteads. Unused to animals and outdoor work, they bought their own working dogs, rode horses, milked cows, drove tractors, and gutted and skinned sheep.

With a rural background, Dianne Bardsley has been a secondary school teacher and university lecturer. She has a PhD in Applied Linguistics, from which the book In the Paddock and On the Run describes the uniqueness and historical significance of New Zealand’s form of rural language.

26th Jun 2024 -

05:30 pm

Ashburton Museum

Admission: FREE