Haymaking

IT HASN’T BEEN haymaking weather today, with a month’s rain falling in 24 hours in some places; these men were photographed making hay while the sun shone in Coxley Valley during one of the long remembered glorious summers of the Edwardian that preceded World War I.

It wasn’t just nostalgia for the days before the horrors of the war that made a generation remember golden summer days, apparently there really was a series of better summers at that time.

This is another of my sketches for the article that I’m writing for the village newsletter/magazine, taken from an old postcard in the collection of Horbury historian Christine Cudworth.

I found the simpler forms of the farm hands easier to draw than the laces and faces of the mums and children watching the procession at the Netherton Carnival in another postcard in Christine’s collection, dated 1910.

The girls are holding cards and wearing decorated straw hats – had they entered an Easter bonnet competition? It’s more likely that the parade would mark Whit Sunday, the time when people habitually packed away their dowdy winter clothes and treated themselves to new outfits.


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