Skiddaw and Six Acres
This book is the culmination of several years work excavating stories and photographs of the Land Settlement Association: Crofton, Cumbria, 1936 – 1974.
Whilst the Jarrow Marches are well documented, the movement of unemployed miners and shipbuilders to work the land has been overlooked. With the assistance of Dr. Bill Martin, who has researched widely on the LSA nationally, the story of Crofton has emerged.
Editors Tony Britton and Eileen Devenney both grew up on smallholdings in Crofton LSA, they represent the two distinct eras; the original tenants, 1936 and the agricultural recruits of the late 1950s.
Over the lifetime of LSA Crofton the stories resonate with prisoners of war, crashing planes, displaced people and Land Girls.
The migrants from the North East, Scotland, Ireland and elsewhere were all brought together in a patchwork of six acre smallholdings; theirs was a rich tapestry of cultures, camaraderie and co-operation, which the Land Settlement Association project required.
Individual storytellers speak passionately of their goats, greenhouses, steam sterilisers, flowers, tomatoes or mushroom crops; their tales open up the world of mid century rural life as part of a unique government experiment in returning ‘the poor’ to the land.
Beneath the Skiddaw skyline 70 smallholders and their families toiled llong days and slept short nights in a bid to make a living from Cumberland soil.