This final book from Fred Archer, written just before he died, recreates the hard times and the joys of the year 1924 on Bredon Hill where he farmed. After the sacrifices of the First World War, the villagers gradually come to terms with the loss of their young men, only to find themselves facing the anxiety of the Depression, and the tragedy of foot-and-mouth disease. As grain and stock prices tumble, they have to find other ways of making a living, and so the land begins to reak of sprouts, as farmers turn to market gardening on the rich black soil. But against this bleak background, we are surrounded by the characters Fred met as boy. Fred Chandler the cowman, who sang hymns to his herd as they munched their bait from the manger. Walt, one of the last real ploughmen, whose faithful horses were his world and granted them regular treats of cattle cake. Sam, who somehow created an orchard on the land and sold blood red wallflowers in the markets of the north. And Fred recalls his own first days as a farmer's boy, straight from school, desperately trying not to plough a 'furrow as crooked as a dog's hind leg'!
Alongside the text are his own interesting recollections of how he first came to writing, and a biographical introduction written by a Worcestershire journalist who knew him well.