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John Meads 2015 from Northampton Mercury & Herald, July 16, 1948
From Tank Range to Farm Production

Burton Wold Farm in 1976
Wold Farm in 1976 long after the Northamptonshire Agricultural Executive Committee had sold it

To gain experience in field operations, some 30 trainees under the Agricultural Training Scheme sponsored by the Northamptonshire Agricultural Executive Committee, spent an afternoon on Burton Wold Farm, Burton Latimer, which for the last three years, has been farmed by the committee with Mr. R. D. Brassington in charge.

Ranging in age from 21 to 45, the trainees were nearly all ex-Servicemen, taking advantage of a scheme, which in the last two years, has passed out 50 men to become owner-occupiers, tenant farmers, smallholders, or farmworkers. Those who have passed out include dockers, ex-officers, and a son of the late Mr. Neville Chamberlain.


Chairman of the selection panel, to which applications are submitted through the Employment Exchanges, is Mr. T.H. Turney. The men are allocated to farmers who are prepared to accept trainees and assistance is given in finding them accommodation. Farmers get a trainee's services free for a time, and the amount which the farmer pays the A.E.C. works up gradually to the agricultural minimum. The committee pays the trainee a flat rate of £3 15s. a week during his 12 months training, plus a maximum travelling allowance of 3s. per week. The married trainee living away from his own home receives £5 14s. and an extra 5s. for the first dependent child. At the end of eight months trainees may apply for institutional courses.


To-day the Northamptonshire committee has 33 men training under the scheme and Mr. H.M. Steele, the Training Officer, whose headquarters are at Delapre Abbey, Northampton, seeks farms on which to place further trainees.

Burton Wold, with its 350 acres of wheat, 150 acres of barley, 100 acres of a mixture of oats, peas and tares for silage, 104 acres of potatoes, and 50 acres each of sugar beet, linseed and peas, gave the trainees plenty of scope for questions. They were answered by Mr. Brassington, Mr. R.M. Deakins, Mr. Steele and Mr. C.S. Pettit, the farm manager.

When the committee took charge, the farm had been a tank training ground and some of the hedges were 20 feet high, and to get the holding into shape eight miles of ditching and seven miles of hedging were necessary.

Erecting the wind urbines
Almost 60 years after the land was reclaimed for farming, wind turbines are being
erected on the Wold fields that were once used as a WW2 tank training ground

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