Carrie Paterson’s farm life in Spey Bay

Spey Bay This view shows why sea defences were thought necessary. The houses are very close to the shingle banks, and a wild winter storm could threaten them        Spey Bay Looking along the curve of shingle towards the distant Bin of Cullen. 

Floods Farm Spey Bay by Colin MurphyDuring the war years Carrie was at school. She lived on a farm called Darnish Farm, Keith. She went to college in Keith for a year from 1944-1945 for shorthand and typing. At the age of 20 she got married to Alexander “Sandy” . They lived on the Crown estate of Spey Bay and the farm was called Floods farm. Carrie has a drawing of it on her wall drawn by Colin Murphy.


The farm grew turnips, carrots and potatoes. During the Tattie holidays local school children were paid “10 bob” a week. They picked “Tatties” and put them in a box. The potatoes were bagged and sold on to merchants who collected them from the farm. The carrots were for their own use.

Poultry provided eggs, which were then sold. Initially the hens were free range but then they moved to deep litter barns as it was more efficient.
Pigs were processed for pork on site to provide sausages and ham. The trotters were not used as there was considered to be no meat on them.
Cattle were sent to market in Elgin at the auction house. Some of the milk was used for butter. Using the farm’s churn the butter was made into butter pats collected and sold.

Life in Spey Bay

Spey Bay Hotel Picture taken in 2007 source WkiThe Spey Golf Course was very well known and was a busy place. The gravel pit was also going then. That was between the farm and the seashore. There was also a railway station in Spey Bay. Lots of visitors came to stay at the Spey bay Hotel to play golf and enjoy the seaside. At Christmas it was very busy.  Carrie and her husband would go for a meal at the hotel on a Saturday night. There was music, dancing with accordian playing and local fiddle music. Sometimes there was a four bit band (drum, fiddle, accordian, piano?).
Further down the road towards Fochabers was a shop and post office. It sold papers and local groceries but did not deliver papers.

Memory contributed by Carrie Paterson, Buckie

Additional Links
potato advert from Scottish Screen OnlineScottish Screen Online 1951 advert to children to encourage them to take part in the potato harvest.