Gone To Burton

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Filmed and televised in 1974, this is the third of the 'Bygones' special features that re-created the experiences of East Anglian farm workers before the First World War.

Gone to Burton deals with a seasonal labour migration made possible by the development of the railways. East Anglian farm workers with little prospect of employment in the winter months were now able to travel to the Midlands in order to find work in the maltings. There was a particular demand for large-framed single men strong enough to withstand hard work in very hot conditions.

Although by the time the programme was made this custom had long died out, producer Geoffrey Weaver was able to locate two men in their eighties, James Knights and Stanley Whiting, who were willing to retrace their steps back to Burton-on-Trent where they had worked a lifetime before.

The result is an absorbing documentary in which the ebullient farm workers reveal what the tough life in the maltings was like for them more than sixty years earlier. They were survivors of an age captured just before it was too late, and now long gone.

DVD Info

Region: 2
Running Time: 37 minutes

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