William started his first job in 1946 at a place his father had chosen. It was called Ross of Burnhead Accredited Hatcheries. William got a special excemption to leave school. He was earning 7 /- 6d. a week. There were thousands of birds in very large cages. 30-40,000 birds running around in sawdust.
The sawdust was very good used on the nearby tattie fields. The same farmer had acres of tatties and William was also employed picking them. He got 1/- 6 d. for this work. Farmers could apply for an exemption from the schools for the children they wanted for the picking time. The work lasted three to four weeks and was more or less the same time every year. Most of the children worked in the fields from 7.30 a.m. 1/2 hr for dinner and then finish 4-5 p.m. Each child took a pail to put them in.
Hand-me-downs and other memories
He remembers his mother using an old blanket for a skirt. Very few shops sold clothing. Eventually hand-me-downs were cut up for rugs for the floor. Christmas was an apple, an orange and a penny. Collected holly locally (at 4 a.m. in the morning!) and made holly wreaths to sell.
Memory contributed by William Brown from Fochabers
Scottish Screen Online 1951 advert to children to encourage them to take part in the potato harvest.