Victorian Farm TV Programme
Watching Victorian Farm on the TV, the programme is quite interesting as I've been looking into my family history and most of my ancestors on one side were agricultural labourers, so it is interesting to see how they might have lived their lives.
However, the Victorian farm they set up and the cottage they lived in, was for farm owners - not agricultural workers. Also, everything on the programme would have shown the latest products and thinking and cooking from the times - and not how the common peasants who worked on the farms were living at all.
It's a posh person's Victorian Farm. It's still interesting to watch, but the reality for thousands of agricultural workers was completely different to this programme.
Indeed, in the Victorian Farm they just had the latest cooking range fitted into the fireplace - and I know my great-grandmother didn't have any such cooker until the 1940s, some 60-70 years later. My great-grandmother, born in 1881, had no oven part to her range. My mother was brought up by her grandmother and told me that if they wanted to bake anything she had to walk it across to the bakehouse as all they could cook in their cottage was stews and things in pots.
Also in the programme, as they are farm owners - and not agricultural workers - they had horses and carts for everything. I expect the agricultural workers walked everywhere and had to collect their goods, coal and provisions by hand. They are also cooking and eating a lot of the animals they are rearing on the farm - whereas agricultural workers would have just been growing food in their little gardens (provided usually with their cottages) and whatever birds, rabbits and other animals they could catch in the surrounding fields. Maybe a few had a couple of chickens, but that'd be it.
It's an interesting programme, but, as I said, it's just showing the cutting edge lifestyles of the more well off so while an interesting snapshot it's the lifestyle of the few.
Image Credit » My photo - I took this at the Museum of Welsh Life in February 2008