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1916: NFU questions employing women

Updated: Dec 27, 2022


Mr JC Macfarlane, of Cuckfield, chairman of the Haywards Heath branch of the National Farmers Union, when the question of women’s labour was being discussed at a meeting of the Cuckfield Rural District Tribunal by the latter authority, said that he himself had given a trial to two women, but the result had not been entirely satisfactory. When it came to milking cows the slightest movement on the part of the animals frightened the ladies. One sent the milk flying, rose from her stool, bolted out of the door, and had not been seen since! (Laughter).

South of England Advertiser, 18 May 1916


This must typify attitudes at the time, but Cuckfield was very active among the suffragette movement to reverse such notions. Women's right to vote in the United Kingdom finally succeeded through laws in 1918 and 1928. Here are some Cuckfield Connections articles on the subject:

Photo: A member of the Women's Land Army milks a cow at the WLA training centre at Cannington, Somerset in 1940.. Wikimedia public domain image.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

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