Middlemere – Facts

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The reason why Samuel is evicted is because a decision of the County War Agriculture Executive Committee. The War Agricultural Executive Committees were government-backed organisations tasked with increasing agricultural production in each county of the United Kingdom, during both the First and Second World Wars. They were established in Autumn 1915  in a collaboration between the Board of Agriculture and County Councils, with the aim of better managing the country’s limited wartime agricultural resources.They were later re-formed in Autumn 1939 with the outbreak of the Second World War, and given more expansive powers over farmers and landowners in the United Kingdom. After performing surveys of rural land in their county, each Committee was given the power to serve orders to farmers “requiring work to be done, or, in cases of default, to take possession of the land”. Committees could decide, on a farmer’s behalf, which crops should be planted in which fields, so as to best increase the production of foodstuffs in their areas.

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Both Caleb and Jem do their National Service in the book. National Service as peacetime conscription was formulated by the National Service Act 1948. From 1 January 1949, healthy males 17 to 21 years old were expected to serve in the armed forces for 18 months, and remain on the reserve list for four years. National Service ended gradually from 1957.

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There are a few events that the characters mention like Coronation Day. Coronation Day is the anniversary of the coronation of a monarch, the day a king or queen is formally crowned and invested with the regalia. The coronation of Queen Elizabeth II as sovereign of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon took place on 2 June 1953, at Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth ascended the throne at the age of 25, upon the death of her father, King George VI, on 6 February 1952, and was proclaimed queen.

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Another event is the hanging of Ruth Ellis. Ruth Ellis (9 October 1926 – 13 July 1955) was a British model and nightclub hostess. She was the last woman to be hanged in the United Kingdom, after being convicted of the murder of her lover, David Blakely.

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Some character also mentions the crisis of Suez Canal. The Suez Crisis or the Second Arab–Israeli War also named the Tripartite Aggression (in the Arab world) and Operation Kadesh or Sinai War (in Israel), was an invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by the United Kingdom and France. The aims were to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and to remove Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had just nationalized the canal.

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One of the problems that Romy has to face up to with her hotel was the dry rot that she finds on her walls, windows and doors. Dry rot is wood decay caused by certain species of fungi that digest parts of the wood which give the wood strength and stiffness. It was previously used to describe any decay of cured wood in ships and buildings by a fungus which resulted in a darkly coloured deteriorated and cracked condition.

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