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Bedfordshire Women's Land Army

Bedfordshire Hostels
"Chimney Corner"
(Elstow/Houghton Conquest)

Bedfordshire Women's Land Army > Bedfordshire Hostels
Location: Hutments (former barracks?), Thickthorn Lane off B530 road (between Kempston Hardwick, Elstow  and Houghton Conquest) almost opposite Chimney Corner public house (now an industrial site). Italian POW camp nearby. Munitions works by and under (ground) the hostel.
OS.Ref. TL03974332
Description: Large hutment hostel including 3 dormitories for up to 94 land girls and separate dining room and lounge.
Opened: July 1943
Closed: July 1950
Chimney Corner Hostel

The WLA Hostel, Houghton Conquest was commonly called 'Chimney Corner' hostel because it was nearly opposite the Chimney Corner public house.  The brickworks at Kempston Hardwick are seen in the background.

Location of Chimney Corner hostel in Houghton Conquest/Elstow

Location of Chimney Corner hostel in Houghton Conquest/Elstow
OS 6" map 1952 Bedfordshire sheet VIII SW

More information about this hostel

  • Opened about the time Hulcote Moors Hostel opened, near Cranfield.
  • Miss Lamb was the first YWCA Warden.
  • Gymkhana held which attracted a large crowd, 11 Sept 1943.
  • This hostel came a good second in the threshing achievements (to Kensworth House) (report in The Land Girl Magazine, December 1943).
  • Now full with 94 land girls many from the north (The Land Girl, October 1943).
  • Mrs Rogers was the second YWCA Warden c. 1944-45.
  • 18 "volunteers" (land girls) set a new record when they "lifted" 25 tons of potatoes, December 1944.
  • Hostel was active up to July 1950.
Spraying apple trees in Cockayne Hatley

Spraying apple trees in Cockayne Hatley

  • Hostel girls praised for "splendid work" in clearing adjoining fields of stacked corn when a serious fire broke out among adjoining ricks, late at night - report in The Land Girl magazine, Feb 1945.
  • Mrs Bodden was the warden in 1946.
  • Peggy Jones was a Forewoman at this hostel.
  • Miss Elsie Noble led the contingent in the Bedford parade, 14th February 1946.
  • Elstow girls gave a physical training display as part of the Land Girls concert at the Corn Exchange, Bedford, 15th February 1946.
Joan Brown at "Chimney Corner" hostel

Joan Brown at "Chimney Corner" hostel, near Houghton Conquest

More Pictures of Chimney Corner Land Girls


Stuart Antrobus Historian/Author

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Page last updated: 28th February 2014