Nostalgia: Making hay while the sun shone

Haymaking near Earnley, Chichester
Haymaking near Earnley, Chichester

George Andrews from Bracklesham Bay evoked memories of halcyon days of haymaking when he spotted this delightful scene near Earnley.

He wrote: “Memories from over 70 years ago helping with haymaking on my grandparents’ farm in Ireland came flooding back when I had this photo opportunity walking near Earnley.

“My reward for fetching and carrying water and sandwiches for the adults was the chance to sit on top of the hayricks as they were taken to the barns.

“Of course balers did not exist then and the load was drawn by the farm horse, not a tractor, but the feeling of being so far above everything else must have been the same for the young lady who waved a cheery hello as I made room for the combination to pass by. I continued on my way, realising memories of times during the second world war and the post-war years were embedded far more deeply than I had previously thought.

“I’m so glad I had the chance to do things such as riding the haystack home; driving the cows to the milk shed; collecting water from a spring at the end of a field, taking it home to the farmhouse and making tea you could trot a mouse on for 
my grandfather when he came for lunch with his faithful collie who always, over the years, seemed to be called Peg. And Peg was 
never allowed inside the house, she waited outside the door or took her favourite spot in the near barn. As grandfather 
said ‘she’s no pet, she works for a living’. I found that so harsh and unfair, but that dog (dogs I suppose given the 
number of years I spent my summers there), yes, that dog loved her 
master and stayed by his heel from morning to night.

“But I’m rambling now and all because I went walking at Earnley. The best decision I’ve made in some time.”