A summer potato picking will teach young people to value work and money

From Stephanie Shield, Sinnington, York.

A group of land girls bringing in sheaves of wheat from a field reclaimed for the war effort from 400-acres of unused land in August 1941.

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New Land Army could recruit from schools to help farmers

DAVID Craggs (The Yorkshire Post, April 11) is correct. Young people should be willing to help pick our crops and be told how teenagers helped in the production of our crops in the war years, and after the war.

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Not only will they help the country, but they will have spending money when they resume their academic studies.

15th May 1940: Four members of the WLA (Women's Land Army), shearing sheep in London's Hyde Park. (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

As a young teenager and at secondary school, I used to look forward to October half term – “Tattie Picking Week”. For a day gathering potatoes I was paid five shillings (25p) and given a small bag of potatoes to take home. It was a back-breaking job, but I gained satisfaction as I had earned some spending money.

In the autumn, I also used to gather rosehips in the hedgerows and take them into school from where they were collected. We were paid three pence a pound and I would be delighted to receive a half crown (12.5p in today’s money) for my efforts.

These memories go back to the 1950s when food and other commodities were still rationed. There were no handouts.

This year’s crops will soon be ready for harvesting – sixth form and university students take note. You can earn pocket money and help this country.

25th June 1941: Two members of the Essex women's land army at work in the fields. (Photo by PNA Rota/Getty Images)

A way to aid our economy

From: Neil Fahey, Mirfield.

FURTHER to Andrew Vine’s excellent journalism every Tuesday (The Yorkshire Post, April 14), I offer a further potential solution to boost our country’s economy.

I presume the lockdown will be reduced in phases – construction and manufacturing first, then schools, then retail where necessary, and finally the licensed and leisure trade and sporting arenas. The Covid-19 problem will still be apparent, but contained by our excellent NHS and ancillary professionals.

To avoid any further risk of infection coming into our country, for a further period of time we should keep our ports and airports open only for vital imports and exports.

This may cause inconvenience for those of us planning an overseas break, but will help protect us from further outbreaks and would boost our domestic economy during the summer and autumn seasons.

Millions more nurses needed

From: Lord (Nigel) Crisp and Baroness (Mary) Watkins, Chairs of Nursing Now, House of Lords, London.

IN a moving tribute on Easter Sunday, the Prime Minister described how nurses combine continuous personal care with deep professional knowledge and skills. It was a wonderful demonstration of the importance of nurses during this Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.

Yet there is a worldwide shortage of at least 5.8 million nurses and too many feel undervalued and unsupported. Governments worldwide must now invest in nursing and change this for the future.

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

MY FRIEND, who recently had a hip replacement, tripped and fell last Friday. She was reluctant to go to A&E in the present crisis, but her pain became so severe that her son insisted she went.

They arrived at 11.30pm and found there were no other patients in the department. She had two X-rays having been seen by a nurse and a doctor and was back home by 1am.

It just goes to show how many people misuse A&E and put pressure on the NHS in normal times.

Such a pity that it takes a pandemic to make many realise they can deal with most so-called emergencies such as drunkenness without the aid of the medical profession.

Sack the rail union leader

From: Keith Sturdy, Grimbald Road, Knaresborough.

I BECAME a union member in the mid-1960s and joined the National Union of Railwaymen in 1970. From 1974, I was in the police for 27 years where I was no longer permitted to be in a union. I became a member of Unison from 2001 until 2012 whilst I worked for the NHS.

I have seen plenty of underhand tricks played by union leaders. All these things pale into insignificance when I learnt of the remarks made a by Steve Hedley, an RMT union leader, aired at our sick unfortunate Prime Minister.

If I were still a member of this union, I would be calling for him to be sacked.

Put Piers Morgan in the Tower

From David Warnes, Hymers Close, Brandesburton, Driffield.

DURING recent mornings, I have witnessed two female Cabinet ministers being subject to rage and abuse by a TV presenter.

This trial by television was an obscenity. The bumptious and holier-than-thou Piers Morgan, and others of his ilk need to be reminded that this country and indeed the world is at war.

Could one imagine that sort of behaviour going on in the last war? No, in those days we had a supportive media which boosted morale against a common enemy and, in no small way, helped us win that war.

Perhaps Mr Morgan and others like him could do with a spell of reflection in the Tower of London. Isn’t that what we do with subversives?

Editor’s note: first and foremost - and rarely have I written down these words with more sincerity - I hope this finds you well.

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Sincerely. Thank you.

James Mitchinson