Working as a farm servant at New Pitsligo by David “Mac” Morrison

David was named after his father, who was known as “Big Mac”. He was known as “Wee Mac”. He missed a year in school and went through a year late and as a result he came out a year later. Just escaped being called up. His Father was a doctor and had a busy GP practice at New Pitsligo (about 12 miles inland from Fraserburgh). It was very competitive before the NHS as each doctor charged the patients directly for their services. It was not unknown for doctors to pinch each others’ patients. As a result doctors rarely took a holiday or even an afternoon off just in case something came up. Once someone had been treated by a new doctor they might continue to go to them taking their family with them. His father was on duty 24-7. Mac remembers when he was off when he was ill with a double hernia and he recuperated in Nairn. If a practice was large enough it could afford an assistant and therefore an ability for the doctor to take some time off. Mac was very keen to go into medicine but his father was not due to a fear of the unknown. Mac was also keen on farming so he went for a job as a farm servant. farm servants worked on farms all over the country. He learnt how to use a plough with a couple of horses before leaving to attend agricultural college in Aberdeen. He completed a certificate course and then did a National Diploma in Agriculture. Then the job hunting started. His first job after college was as a arable manager on a mixed farm in Oyne. It was a large unit. He met a lady who got a job in East Anglia so Mac applied for a job in Norfolk. He was the manager of an arable unit with 1300 acres under plough, a dairy unit, sheep unit and beef unit. The farm produced barley, wheat, oats, sugar beet and root vegetables. There was a rotation of sprouts, cabbage and root vegetables.

The farm supplied stalls at Covent Garden which were open every day. They were sent new supplies every 2-3 days leaving very late at night. The stall holder was called Fred. A selection of the farm crop was sold this way. Wheat and barley was sold through an agricultural merchant. Beef and Sheep were sold through the local markets in Norfolk. There no farm shops at this time. Mac thought it was the best job he ever had. They had their own mechanic who maintained the rolling stock which included six tractors and two combines. The staff included ten farm labourers, a cow man, a sheep man and a beef man. The land was spread over two farms. One farm could be sown a fortnight earlier as they had different soils. One farm had light loam soil (at Walsingham) and the other was a clay soil. It was very labour intensive work at that time. While he was at this farm he got married and had a son.

Continue reading about Mac’s working life here including his family’s part in the start of Bernard Matthews business >>>>>>

Memory contributed by David “Mac” Morrison from Aberlour

Additional information

memory website- New Pitsligo over the yearsMemory website about New Pitsligo over the years.

The Electoral register for 1931 in New Pitsligo lists Mac as his full name David Robert Morrison and living at Denburn House. Dr Cameron moved to New Pitsligo in 1934. He retired 32 years later and is listed as living at Denburn House.


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