A GREAT-grandmother has received a medal for her efforts as a land girl more than 60 years on.
Delighted Alison Ashworth, 83, of Edge End, Great Harwood, received the gold medal after husband Robert sent off an application form.
Mrs Ashworth, who later worked at her husband’s shoe factory, Ashworth Young and Co Ltd, had her medal and certificate signed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and delivered by post.
The Women’s Land Army was formed at the start of the Second World War in 1939 and disbanded in 1950.
Women were called up to help in agriculture as the men were called up to fight.
Meanwhile, the girls worked on farms milking cows, digging ditches, hay-making, sowing seeds and harvesting crops to alleviate food shortages.
She said: "I’m very proud of the medal. We worked hard during the war.
"When I was 18 I joined the land army.
"I was stationed at home and worked at Cotswold Farm in Great Harwood just off Heys Lane.
"We had 200 pigs, 2,000 hens and a field full of rhubarb. It wasn’t uncommon to start at 8am and finish at 11pm and then we used to distribute it to the shops because there wasn’t a lot of fruit then.
"We provided eggs and bacon to everyone.
"It was quite interesting and I enjoyed it very much. I have good memories of those times.
"I also learnt to drive. We used to go around leaving pig bins for peelings and scraps to feed the animals."
Alison was one of 30,000 people to have applied for the medal.
She added: "I’m very honoured, but I worked hard for it. The other land girls who I worked with have since died."
Alison met her husband at the farm. He was unable to go in the Army because he had a perforated ear drum.
Robert said: "I heard about the medals being given out and wrote to the MoD who sent me an application form. It has taken about a year to arrive but the medal is very nice indeed."
The couple, who celebrate 61 years of marriage in September, tied the knot at St Bartholomew’s Church, Great Harwood, in 1947. They have four children, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.