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Suffolk WLA Rally Ho - July 2023

A jolly weekend of camaraderie, hilarious team games and a poignant Drum Head Servive parade took place at The Suffolk Military Show in Ipswich on the 28th and 29th July 2023.

Our biggest event of the year took place recently at The Suffolk Military Show. Suffolk Women's Land Army Memorial Trust, along with our living history display, The Soil Cinderellas, were at The Suffolk Military Show portraying a snapshot of the Suffolk Women's Land Army that was held in Ipswich on the 28th and 29th July 2023.

With a showground packed full of interesting multi-period displays and keen visitors, our gals learnt how to make nets to trap rabbits, demonstrated milking by hand using an artificial udder machine; perused period newspapers and demonstrated their tractor driving skills. They enjoyed a delicious ploughgirl's lunch served by the East Suffolk Branch of the WVS whilst a Spitfire flew overhead and listened to speeches and news about the Women's Land Army from County Representatives.

The gals had a jolly time playing Team Games such as Tattie Tossing, Egg and Shovel; Sack Race; The Churn Rolling Relay; Drown the Rat and Tug o' War, competing against each other to win The Lady Cranworth Challenge Salver. The three teams were The Red Roses, The Ray Catchers and The Golden Girls and included some enthusiastic members of The Home Guard. On the Sunday afternoon the teams were joined by members of The Tigers Army Parachute Display Team and some enthusiastic youngsters.

Competition was fierce! Was there some cheating? You betcha there was, all done light-heartedly and with lots of laughter especially as the gals realised the difference in the weight of the milk churns when the teams set off on the Churn Rolling Relay! Drown the Rat was probably the most popular event with participants dunking the rat in a pail of water at the front and then alternately passing it over their heads and through their legs to the next person . The gal or lad at the back then had to squeeze the rat into their pail and run to the front and so on.

The gals also had the chance to recreate some special photos that we have in the project, and, of course, to honour the county's WLA veterans by parading at the Drum Head Service held at 11am on the Sunday.

A huge thank you goes to our trustees who helped to plan and deliver the event, and, of course, to all those lasses and lads who came from all over this country and indeed Europe to make Suffolk WLA Rally Ho the resounding success it was!

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