Wartime Farm is a British historical documentary TV series in eight parts in which the running of a farm during the Second World War is re-enacted, first broadcast on BBC Two on 6 September 2012.
Broadcast on 25 October 2012 at 8pm. In this final episode, the team faces a harvest under the conditions of summer 1945. Five years of constant farming have degraded the quality of Britain’s fields, threatening crop yields. The team attempt to reinvigorate their land with a tractor-driven muck spreader, and with cows themselves.
The team soon hear about the Allies’ invasion of Berlin, and on 07 May 1945, the end of World War II in Europe. With the danger of aerial bombardment resolved, they instantly remove Manor Farm’s blackout precautions, and set about planning a Victory in Europe Day party. Rationing is still in force, so Ruth tries a potato-based cake recipe from the Women’s Institute and sweetens it with ‘mock’ orange juice made from swede. Ruth, Alex and Peter talk to VE Day veterans who give their accounts of the end of the war in the countryside.
As summer progresses, and victory is announced in the Pacific, Alex and Peter call in a brand new invention, the combine harvester, to make light work of their wheat crop. The grain is too damp, however, so they improvise a grain dryer from bricks, scrap metal and recently-dismantled concrete from local road checkpoints and defences.
With the end of the war, and the end of a successful harvest, the team plans a final celebration to mark their time at Manor Park. They hold a “Holidays at Home” party, with pilchard and cabbage sandwiches, outdoor games, the hokey cokey, and a firework elephant.
As Ruth, Alex and Peter leave Manor Farm for the last time, they reminisce over the last year, and express their respect for the farmers and their families who ploughed on during the war.
Wartime Farm Series
You can find a full index of Wartime Farm here.
Production & Filming Details
- Release Date: 25 October 2012.
- Running Time: 60 minutes.
- Country: UK.
- Language: English.