Richard West: in the field with farmers and tractor drivers

Richard West comments on positive relations with farmers and tractor drivers during recent fieldwork in Beachamwell, Norfolk.

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They see somebody wandering around like this on a nice day and there they are sweating away in a field and you think, you’re a lucky – you’re a lucky person, having a job like that, you know. And I can – well, that’s a very rational feeling [laughs]. And, er … it’s a very lonely job, driving a tractor, and boring as well, and so quite often they're quite pleased to talk to people and you explain what you’re doing. And I often say, when I’m talking in the field, that I really don’t like being inside and I prefer to be outside. And they all appreciate that point ‘cause they’re doing the same. And they can be – they – I mean, a particular one that's helped me a lot in Beachamwell is a chap called Robert Boughen, who works for a farm there and he’s a very observant person and he’s lived in the village all of his life. And he – he notices things. He knew I was interested in stripes and there was a – a wheat field coming up. It was – I should say it was within a few weeks of ripening. And he said, ‘There are stripes there in that green field.’ And I hadn’t seen that at all [laughs]. And when I looked closely he was right, there were stripes there. And he knew the distribution of the gravel, for example, and the size of the flints which occurred. He is a very observant person. And he – I’ve sent him stuff on the geology of his area. But on the whole people are very ready to talk to you, just what they're doing. I always ask them how they’re doing as well. And I've learnt quite a lot about the pig industry, which I didn’t know before [laughs].

  • Interviewee Richard West
  • Duration 00:02:19
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Paul Merchant
  • Date of interview 3/21/2011
  • Shelfmark C1379/34
  • Keywords

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