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Wartime Farm - Episode 8

Updated Wednesday, 10th December 2014

As the Allies arrive in Berlin, victory is secured in Europe - but that doesn't mean our farmers' lives are going to get any easier.

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VE Day in Piccadilly Circus - but what turned the war? VE night in Piccadilly, London We reach the end of the series from the BBC and The Open University which saw our intrepid time-travellers returning to the Second World War.

The team face the conditions of 1945 and prepare to tackle the most crucial event of their farming year: harvesting the wheat crop.

They grapple with weeds, one of the wettest summers in memory and wartime machinery to bring the crop home, but take a giant leap into the modern era with the arrival of a 1940s combined harvester.

As ever, on the wartime farm the goalposts are constantly moving. The team discover that as the conflict drew to a close, the need for home-grown food became greater than ever.

Exploring countryside memories of VE Day, they discover how pressure on farmers increased throughout the final dramatic year of conflict.

Victory in Europe meant that Britain had to share the responsibility for feeding populations across the war-torn continent whose food supplies had been devastated. On top of that, as soon as the war ended, American aid stopped.

The financial cost of war left Britain bankrupt and struggling to afford imports, leading to a burden on farmers that remained long after the war finished. Rationing lasted well into the 1950s.

As a fitting send off, the team celebrate the harvest with a 'Holiday at Home' - inspired by a government scheme to encourage exhausted workers to make the most of time off without travelling anywhere.

Alex has a surprise up his sleeve to make the party go with a bang, as the team prepare to leave the Wartime Farm.

Wartime Farm: Episode Eight is first shown on BBC Two and BBC HD on Thursday, 25th October 2012 at 8.00pm. For further broadcast information, and to watch online where available, please visit






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