We had the wonderful pleasure of hosting Iris Bird at Roots Café as part of her 95th birthday celebration.

She is no stranger to Rougham Estate, having first come here during WWII as a Land Girl, and she features glamorously in the time-feature at Roots Café, which shows old pictures of the Estate.

The British Women’s Land Army was first set up in January 1917 for WWI and was re-formed in June 1939 in preparation for WWII. Women, known as Land Girls, replaced the male farm workers who were fighting in the war. Coming from all backgrounds, Land Girls were critical to increasing the country’s food supply. Over 200,000 Land Girls worked in the WLA from June 1939 until November 1950.

Iris was from Buxton in Derbyshire and only 17 years old when she signed up to be a Land Girl. She spent time working in the Farm Dairy at Rougham Estate and ended up staying in the area.

We wish Iris many happy returns and thank her for her work. It was a delight to see her back here.

Look out for the photo of Iris when you are next at Roots Café (the photos are in the entrance to the Washroom area).

You can find out more about Iris from an interview she gave to Holly Brega in the Suffolk News for the film: The Land Girls and Horses of Suffolk, which is well worth a watch.