25 October 2012
Dr Nick Mansfield, Senior Research Fellow in History at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will tonight star in the hit BBC 2 TV series, Wartime Farm.
The series charts presenters and authors, Alex Langlands, Peter Ginn and Ruth Goodman as they spend a year turning the clock back and running a Hampshire farm as it would have been in World War Two.
They deal with everything from the desperate battle to get as much land as possible under cultivation to mobilising the land army, cooking on rations and keeping themselves entertained.
Dr Mansfield, an expert on rural labour history from the School of Education and Social Science, discusses the social and political history of British countryside during the Second World War, but focusing on the role of the Labour Party in rural areas and in particular the General Election of 1945.
"It was a fantastic experience and in my view the programme achieves its aim of bringing a key period of our past to life in a way that is both engaging and accessible to a wide audience.”
This election resulted in a landslide victory for Labour, including many rural constituencies which were won for the first and only time and enabled Clement Atlee’s Labour government to implement the Beveridge Report, thus setting up the National Health Service and Welfare State.
The filming took place in hot weather at the end of July at Manor Farm and Country Park near Southampton.
“The shooting took place outside and in the farmhouse kitchen under hot lights,” said Nick. “Being dressed up in a 1940s Fair Isle sweater and tweed cap, with several takes needed, was certainly a little different to delivering a standard history lecture.
“However, it was a fantastic experience and in my view the programme achieves its aim of bringing a key period of our past to life in a way that is both engaging and accessible to a wide audience.”