Diaries of everyday village life published in Australia

DIARIES recording everyday life in the tiny village of Briestfield just after World War II have been published in Australia.

The diaries were kept by Ruth Walker, who lived at Oak Cottage in the village, and cover the period from 1945 to 1947.

When they were found they were sent to Ruth’s granddaughter Susan Rintoul, who runs a book company in Adelaide and she decided to publish them.

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Last week Susan, who had come to the UK with a friend to attend a wedding in Scotland, visited Briestfield and was taken to Oak Cottage by John Lyte, chairman of the village’s history group.

“I never met my grandmother, but reading the diaries really brought her to life for me,” said Susan.

“My mother was a British Army nurse in the Second World War.

“She couldn’t settle after the war and emigrated to Australia where she met her husband, my father.

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“The diaries record some of the concerns Ruth had about her daughter being on the other side of world.

“They also show her to be a shrewd, humorous Yorkshire woman.”

Mr Lyte said the diaries were a fascinating record of life just after the war.

“Times were hard, there was still rationing and the period covered includes the winter of 1947, one of the most severe on record,” he said.

“It is fantastic to think that diaries about everyday life in a little hamlet in this part of Yorkshire are being read in Australia.”