Working as a van porter for Henderson’s Furniture by Peter Logie

Hendersons_furniture ElginPeter started work at the age of 15 in 1956. His first job was at Henderson’s furniture in Elgin.  He had left school with no qualifications and he had heard about the job. Peter felt that in those days there were jobs for anyone willing to work. The Local Mills could be difficult to get work in. Young people had their names put down for mill work several years earlier, by their parents who worked there. Peter’s working week ran from Monday to Friday with a half day on Saturday. He earned around £5-6 per week with two weeks holiday annual leave including Christmas Day as a holiday.  Peter’s Father was in the building trade and for him Christmas Day was a working day with New Year’s day as a day off.

Peter delivered new furniture from Henderson’s and also did removals all over Elgin through to Aberdeen and Inverness. On a rare occasion he stayed overnight. It was very hard work with lots of heavy lifting. Four people were on the removal team and two people on furniture deliveries. Sometimes getting furniture into houses was difficult. Windows could be a useful way of getting furniture into a house. Peter stayed in the job for three years and he really enjoyed it.

He went on to work for Grant Furniture until he was made redundant. Looking for a change he took a job as a kitchen porter washing dishes and general “odd bod”.  One day the Head Chef was ill and the owner came down and said  “Peter, you are doing breakfast tomorrow”. From then on he continued to work in the kitchen as a Commis Chef for 2-3 years. He went to college at Elgin Technical College to do his City and Gulids 7061. From there he went to work at the Seafield Arms in Cullen returning to take his City and Guilds 7062 (distinction pass) then back to Cullen for a further 2 years. Peter moved from there to work at the Eight Acres, where he remained the second chef for the next twenty years. He did not want to be the Head Chef as there was a lot of organisational work involved. The hotel had around sixty bedrooms and held functions for up to 200. Most nights there were 40 covers to serve. Peter liked being busy.

Leather strap from the Keith Memory Blog website

Leather strap from the Keith Primary School Memory Blog website

Old Bishopmill School memory
The original Bishopmill Primary School was on Balmoral Terrace and it closed in the mid 1930s moving to its current position on Morriston Road. Peter was at both schools. He remembers taking home the leather strap so as to avoid receiving it as a punishment. Unfortunately his idea was flawed as his Father used the strap to give him 6 lashes for taking it and then when he took it back to school he got six more from the Head Master for stealing!

Memory contributed by Peter Logie at the Messages and Memories Event at Elgin Library in June 2014


Iona Kielhorn’s first job as a P.E. Teacher in Reading

James Ramsey MacDonald in his PM's office

Iona’s Grandfather, James Ramsey MacDonald in his PM’s office

Iona chose to become a P.E. teacher as she was good at sport. Iona enjoyed her teacher training course at Dartford P.E. College. It was a three-year course. The course included Tennis, Athletics, Hockey, Netball, Rounders and Swimming. There were also courses in Physiology, Physiotherapy and Anatomy. The course counted 1 1/2 years towards a medical degree at London medical School.

Iona with one of her Great grandmother Annie Ramsay's dresses.
Iona with one of her Great grandmother Annie Ramsay’s dresses.

After Iona began working as a P.E.teacher she still participated in sporting activities herself. She was a member of the Anglo-Scots Club, which was based in London. The club was developed for Scots who lived in England. Iona competed at an Anglo-Scots Event where she became Scottish Discus Champion. Her next school post was at a mixed school, Cedar Grammar School in Leighton Buzzard. She met her husband when he was an exchange student in the UK travelling from North Germany. He was attending Wurzberg University. They married and Iona moved to Germany, where she settled for the next forty years. They had two sons.

Pathe news Joan MacDonald wedding

Pathe news reel footage of Joan MacDonald and Alistair MacKinnon’s wedding in 1932

Both of Iona’s parents were doctors. Her Father, Alistair MacKinnon was born in South Africa. Her mother was Dr. Joan MacDonald. Her grandmother was Margaret Gladstone MacDonald and her grandfather was James Ramsay MacDonald, the first Labour Prime Minister.

James Ramsay MacDonald was born in Lossiemouth, Moray. He had wanted to a teacher of Science.

Ramsay MacDonald on a Gordonstoun School boat

Ramsay MacDonald on a Gordonstoun School boat in the mid 1930s

He wrote poetry when he was as young as sixteen. Having held the post of Student Teacher at Drainie Primary School for a number of years he moved to Bristol and worked on his Science degree.  James helped his friend Kurt Hahn, former Headmaster of Salem School in Germany, to leave imprisonment in 1932. The letter James wrote is still on display at the school he founded, Gordonstoun in Moray. He also founded the Outward Bound Association, United World Colleges and Duke of Ediinburgh Award Scheme.

Memory contributed by Iona Keilhorn from Lossiemouth

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Additional information

Ramsey MacDonald Heritage trail brochureRamsay MacDonald Heritage Trail
There is a colourful brochure which accompanies an informative walk through the streets of Lossiemouth, his home town and beyond.

Picture library about Ramsey MacDonald

Picture library about Ramsey MacDonald. There are number of pages on this website which relate to the story of Ramsey MacDonald and his links to Lossiemouth.

Moray Connections- James Ramsay MacDonald

Ramsey MacDonald’s Family plot is in Spynie Churchyard

Here is some information which Iona wrote about her Grandfather and one of her Aunts.
Picture set 1
Mountain named after his daughter
Vancouver’s Tribute to Burns in which Ramsay MacDonald gave the Immortal Memory.

Spartacus International Ramsey MacDonald bookAn online article about Ramsey MacDonald including numerous orignal letters and links to the original sources.

Historic Visit to the US in 1929
As Prime Minister he made a historic visit to the United States in 1929. He was the first British Prime Minister to address the U.S. House of Representatives on October 7th 1929. He received a souvenir medal to commemorate the Historic visit.

The Straits Times, 15 October 1929, Page 12- US newspaper cutting

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Pathé News

Pathé News recently uploaded many of their films onto the internet. They include several showing Ramsay MacDonald and often his daughter Joan.

“Newsreel archive British Pathé has uploaded its entire collection  85,000 historic films, in high resolution, to its YouTube channel. This unprecedented release of vintage news reports and cinemagazines is part of a drive to make the archive more accessible to viewers all over the world.”

Ramsey MacDonald as prime minister and politician. Working in his study as PM.

Pathe news Ramsay MacDonald at work as PM

Pathe news Ramsay MacDonald at work as PM

Pathe news reel Chequers 1924

Pathe news reel showing Joan and her Father, James at Chequers 1924

Pathe news reel Ramsay Macdonald plane ride

Pathe news reel showing Ramsay Macdonald alighting from a plane ride

Working as a table maid at Leuchars house by Sheila McGregor

Leuchars House Attibution Anne Burgess This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.Sheila attended Elgin Technical College where she learnt cookery, sewing, knitting and housework. She left at the age of 16 and went to work at Leuchers House situated in a farming area near Elgin. Her employer was Colonel Black who by then was in his 90s and childless. Her room was in the attic. In addition to Sheila there was a housekeeper and a gardener. Each day the housekeeper, Nurse Grant woke her up. Nurse Grant had previously looked after the Colonel’s late wife and stayed on.

Sheila woke the Colonel at 7.30 a.m. setting his breakfast table in the dining room and then moving on to clean his shoes. She was then able to have her own breakfast in the kitchen with the housekeeper. Breakfast always consisted of porridge, toast, home-made butter, jam and marmalade.

The Colonel dressed himself and then went to work every day, even though he was advanced in years, until well into his 80s. He worked for the partnership of Allan, Black and McCaskie in Elgin as a solicitor. While he was out Sheila cleaned the house and helped to prepare lunch. He returned for lunch driving himself home in his Rover car. In the afternoon both she and the Housekeeper were free and sometimes they would cycle to Lochhills, where Nurse Grant owned a cottage. Sheila’s parents lived in Birnie but it was too far to go for just an afternoon. Each Friday and every 2nd Saturday she had a day off. On those days she would cycle from Leuchars House to Birnie to see her parents. She did not take her washing as she was able to do that at Leuchars House.

In the evening Sheila and the House keeper sat in the kitchen and knitted or sewed. The Gardener went home. He did not live in as he had lived a cottage with his family. The cottage was on and belonged to the estate.

On occasion the colonel would entertain neighbours with a dinner party. Regular guests included the Laird of Pitgaveny and Captain Iain and Lady Margaret Tennant from Innes House.

Additional Information

More information about Lieutenant Colonel William Rose Black can be found on Libindx database. Select People search on the left and then click on the blue full information icon on the right (see screenshot below).
Link to the Libindx database which has information about Colonel Black

Leuchars House is a British Listed Building. There is a lot of information about the hosue including a map of its location and photographs of the house. Libindx also has information about Leuchars House under a Place Search including details of a fire which destroyed part of the house in 1948 and the addition of a garage by Colonel Rose Black in 1953 around when Sheila worked there.

An 1870-1 map of the area showing where Leuchars House is. It is in the left third of the map about halfway up.

Plan of Loch spynie and adjacent grounds on the Scotland Places' websiteScotland’s Places website has a wonderful map of the area called a Plan of Loch Spynie and adjacent grounds. It shows the Mill of Leuchars around where the main house is now. The mill run is shown running south from the Loch of Coates and over the Lands of Leuchars. There is also an old channel shown linking the River Lossie to the Loch of Coates which ran across the Leuchars land. The map was drawn up for the Court of Sessions in 1783 as part a dispute between Sir William Gordon of Gordonstoun and the Branders of Kinneddar (Alex Brander) and Pitgaveny Estate (John Brander).

Petrie Dick recording

The Petrie dick is a small toy which was popular in schools in the North-East of Scotland. Here is a recording of local resident, Margaret Forsyth playing it at the recent Christmas Lights switch on in Elgin. Margaret’s Father used to make the toy for his family from spare pieces of wood.

Click here to play an audio clip of a Petrie Dick toy being playedaudio  recording of a Petrie Dick being played

an image of the Petrie Dick musical toyHere is a link to more information about the Petrie dick toy.

Dorothy Lister’s work as a hairdresser

Dorothy Lister was interviewed by Shonagh, a pupil at Burghead Primary School as part of a project about Fishing and their local community.

Dorothy  Lister was hairdresser apprentice in Glasgow in 1958 she was 14 when she got the job.

Liberace source wikicommons by Allan Warren

Liberace  in 1968 Source: Wikicommons by Allan Warren

” I had always wanted to a hairdresser. I was training for 5 years. It cost my dad 100 guineas to do the training as a hairdresser. The man I worked for was world famous .I worked the 5 past Eight Show Girls hair. I met lots of famous people, Kenneth McKellar’s wife, Shirley Bassey and I helped perm Liberace’s  hair. No-one had to know he had a perm, men didn’t in those days. I was given an envelope with £5 in it to keep my mouth shut!! I met my husband there. He was with my employer’s daughter  (a girlfriend).  I pinched him, married him and its lasted 51 years!!??

Holidays-Saturday afternoon and Sunday and 2 weeks off
Wage £1  9 /-  4d  and good tips! I had to give my mum my wage and I got a few shillings back.
Working day- I start at 9 am in Glasgow. I got tea break when you could Didn’t get lunch and finished at 6:30pm. Washed hair and coloured hair and then after 3 years of training perming hair. After 5 years I was qualified. I loved it ! It was tiring but glamorous and I modelled for my boss. Very long hours and didn’t dare complain! Saw how the over half lived.

Perming was unreal, little square sachets full of substance that was clamped over each  curler and up to a machine and heated hair to curl. It was not safe. I got burnt a lot and we cut hair with an open razor so cuts from that.

Training for the job – I went to a night school to get my diploma. 

I did lots of people’s hair to earn more money but if I was not doing people’s hair I would be at the cinema. I worked for 2 salons then ran one.  Married did neighbours’ hair in the spare room in our flat.

My husband has his own business in engineering and I helped with that for several  years. He did business abroad and I had lots of foreign house guests.  I found that very interesting went to Holland to attend a customers son’s wedding and that was very different from weddings here.

We bought a large guest house in Fort Augustus at Loch Ness. We could sleep 23 people so that sure was hard work. Once again I loved meeting the visitors mostly tourists come to see Nessie! I still hear from a few now 14 years later. ”

Dorothy Lister from Burghead was interviewed by Shonagh, a pupil at Burghead Primary School.

Additional Information

Scottish Cinema website has an image of the Alhambra Theatre before it was demolished in 1971.

A website describing the history of the Alhambra theatre

The Five Past Eight Show was shown on Scottish Television during the 1960s.
Details of the stage layout of the show which was filmed at the Alhambra Theatre, Glasgow.

Scottish Music Hall Information about the  Five Past Eight Show and a online article on the Herald website describing why the theatre closed.

A fascinating presentation about the Alhambra during the 1950s and 60s hidden in the minutes of a meeting of the Old Glasgow Club on Thursday 12th January 2012.

Glasgow Story Website has a great poster of the Five Past Eight Show

Testing Steel at Lanarkshire Steel Works by Frank Waugh

LightningVolt Iron Ore Pellets This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0 Generic license.

LightningVolt Iron Ore Pellets  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0 Generic license.

Frank started work at the age of 14 in 1957 at Lanarkshire Steel Works (Colvilles). His Uncle worked there and Frank was spoken for so he could get a job there. he worked a Monday to Friday week but when he truned 16 he started shift work. There were three shift patterns:-

Week 1- Monday to Friday- Day shift  6 a.m.- 2 p.m
Week 2- Sunday- Friday -Night shift 10 p.m. – 6 a.m.
Week 3- Monday to Friday- Back Shift  2 p.m. – 10 p.m.
and then repeat.

Frank’s job was in the testing department. Each day they received samples off the steel plates. They had to test how it bent and how it stretched. Mild Steel was used for ship plates and Brazil Steel was very hard and with little stretch. the company had a number of contracts with shipyards. Thousands of men worked at the steelworks and it had its own ambulance station. One of Frank’s other jobs was as an ambulance driver.  Health and Safety was important , for example there was a designated path through the plate mill marked by a pair of yellow lines. Crossing those lines while passing through the area was a reason for instant dismissal. Frank wore a helmet, leather gloves and steel-toed footwear. He only left the testing section to collect samples. Even so accidents were a part of the working life at the works, some of them fatal.

The steel process involved steel ingots of approximately 3 foot square by 7 foot being sent through a mangle and lain on a rolling mill. The steel was rolled thin to 1 1/2 ” – 3″ thick. cranes with magnetic left moved the steel around the workplace. Steel was also recycled from scrapyards.

Memory contributed by Frank Waugh, Keith

Additional information

Lanarkshire Steel Works memories websiteLanarkshire Steelworks- memories website 
BBC Bitesize- Introduction to Steel – describes how steel is made from molten iron.
History of the British Steel Industry

Elizabeth Beaton’s work as a shorthand typist in Exeter

She started work at the age of 20 in 1950 as a shorthand typist. Her Mother had no real ambition for her as “a girl was useless to teach”. One brother became an accountant and the other a stockbroker. She came from Devon. She married a Royal Marine she met at Lympstone in Devon. Her husband saw no future in the marines so he completed an honours degree with the Open University in Business Studies. He trained to be a Personal manager in Bristol. He worked with unions at Rolls Royce re: working practices. Both of them went on to study with the Open University. Elizabeth completed an honours degree in English Language and Literature.The Open University changed their working lives as they didn’t have the opportunity during their secondary education.

One day her husband saw an advert in the Times by Gordonstoun School. They had decided to change their 6th form teaching and needed a business studies teacher. His Royal Marine background, Industrial experience and OU degree suited the school so Elizabeth and her husband moved up to Moray. They were given a staff house in Duffus.

Elizabeth learnt Italian at the local Technical College and she went on to work for the local tourist board during school hours. She also did some translating. There were quite a number of Italian families in the area including the Sidoli family in Duffus village and the Mieles in Hopeman. She spent several summers with the Tourist Board translating Italian, French and some German (having learnt this at an evening class). Elizabeth also worked for the Elgin firm, Gordon and McPhail. They had an Italian market and wanted to expand into Europe. Elizabeth helped to translate Italian contracts and some French technical documents. She had learnt Italian at Elgin Technical College (now Moray College).

Elizabeth was interviewed at Duffus Fair

Additional Information

History of the Open University
Link to more information about the history of the Open University

“The OU opened to its first students – 25,000 of them –  in January 1971 with a choice of four multi-disciplinary foundation courses in the arts, social sciences, science or maths.”

Working on the family farm by William Stewart Stronach

Maisley Farm Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Geolocation

Maisley Farm

William started working for the family business, Maisley farm nr. Keith at the age of 14  when he left school in 1956. He had been helping since he was a young boy, picking tatties and loading the carts. His grandfather had moved to the farm in 1926. When he died his Mother and Father moved to the farm. The farm had a “chaumer” up a backstair from the kitchen. Stewart slept there on a “caff” bed. His bed had a wooden frame around the edge and inside was placed a canvas-covered mattress filled with the softer outer husks of the oat. When freshly filled it stood at least a foot above the bed frame slowly being compress over time as it was slept on. Sometimes a “caff” bed would be taken out to the stable so that his father could sleep on it if one of his horses was about to give birth to its foal. The Farm’s Clydesdale Horses were  more valuable than the cows and also more becoming stressed in labour.

His Mother would cook soups for dinnertime at midday e.g. broth or tattie served with oatcakes (called “breed” in his family). As the farm did not grow wheat they bought in bread from a Baker’s Van which travelled the area often bartering bread for eggs.

For supper they ate breed, cheese, bread, syrup, boiled beef and chicken. Another meal was “skirlie” served with home-made oatcakes. This is made with oatmeal and onions (see recipe below). The farm had hens, sheep (lambs were sold), cows for milk/crowdie cheese and calves (which were sold on for fattening). Sometimes they ate pheasant which his father would shoot when they came down for the winter. There was no fridge and he remembers the hooks in the ceiling for hanging meat, though his family did not do this.

Crooks Mill source geolocation by Anne Burgess Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Crooks Mill near Keith

Crooksmill Pond The Mill pond and Crooksmill Burn north of Keith source: Geolocation on Share alike licence by Andrew Wood

Crooksmill Mill pond and Crooksmill Burn north of Keith

Farm work

In winter work including pulling turnips putting them into carts (“cairting”). In spring the crops were put into the ground. Stewart remembers the horses ploughing the fields when he was a young boy (in the 1940s) but they were soon replaced by the tractors. The farm grew thinning turnips sketch based on Stewart's descriptionoats and barley. The oats were sent to the nearby Crooks Mill,, just outside Keith. The barley was sent to the grain merchants. Once the turnips were “breering” i.e. their shoots were above the ground then Stewart went along with his hoe and pushed them over. This leaves a single shoot and about a 7″ gap between that turnip shoot and the next turnip shoot.

Like many farms in the area Maisley Farm worked on a seven year crop rotation based around seven fields.

Years 1-3 grass
Year 4-5 oats and barley
Year 6 turnips
Year 7 oats undersown with grass. The oats were harvested above the grass layer leaving the grass and oat stubble. Then the rotation started again the following year.
Events were marked locally by when a field had a particular crop in it. No sprays were used and very little fertiliser. Manure was the main feeder for the soil.

Memory contributed by Stewart Stronach at the Keith County Show 2013 (President of the Show)

Additional Information

Other current interests- The Scottish Simmental Club and President of the Keith County Show 2013

There is a set of images of Crooks Mill, on the Scotlands Places website.

Oat grains source wikicommons 606px-Haverkorrels_Avena_sativa
Oat grain with outer husks

caff” beds– a definition of caff and links to some not always complimentary descriptions of sleeping on a  caff bed. The outer casings of the oat is also part of the group name chaff which also refers to rice, barley and wheat casings. Other definitions of caff-bed

A recipe for “Breed”, a north-east word for oatcakes

“Skirlie”- Stewart’s method of cooking involves putting a bit of fat in a pan, adding chopped onions and then browning them. Next add a handful of coarse oatmeal and stir. The oatmeal cooks in its own steam. You can add a few drops of water to it if the skirlie starts to stick to the pan.

Life on Bomakelloch farm from 1930s to 1950s by Jean Mark

DavidstonFields above Bridge of Davidston. The white house on the right is a new one built beside the old Mill of Davidston. In the distance is Bomakelloch Farm, which is in the next square.

In the distance is Bomakelloch Farm

Jean grew up on Bomakelloch farm in Drummuir . Her parents Jane “Jeannie” and William Stewart, were tenants on the farm. her father was 50 when Jean was born in 1930. her mother was 40. She was the seventh in the family to arrive. Before her were four brothers, 2 older sisters and then after Jean a younger sister. There were two front bedrooms and one back bedroom, which Jean had to herself. In addition to this there was a back bedroom above the kitchen. This Porridge This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.was accessed through a back stair through the back door.  The men who worked on the farm stayed in this room. It was called a “chaumer”.  Her mother cooked for everyone on the farm. There was brose (oatmeal with added salt, pepper and boiling water). Porridge was made in a big pot with oatmeal and salt. Cream was sometimes added to the porridge. Dinner was 12 noon and her mother made soup (tattie, pea and broth). She started to help on the farm as soon as she could walk by hoeing turnips and picking tatties. She enjoyed helping with the lambing and sometimes the calving too.

Jean Marks Keith

Jean Marks from Keith

War years
Her eldest brothers were called up for the Second world war. William was in the RAF and Tommy was sent to South Africa with the Parachute Regiment. They could have stayed on the farm as it was a protected occupation but they wanted to be the same as their “mates”. The farm wasn’t really affected by rationing as they had access to milk to make cheese and eggs from hens (which they ate sometimes too!). The land was unsuitable to grow wheat so they bought that in.

Prisoners of War
The Sandyhillock & Knockando POW camp was near to her parents’ farm at Elchies. Each day a lorry would bring a group of men from the camp to work at the farm. The 4 or 5 mostly young single men enjoyed working at the farm. They brought pieces of bread with them along with ground coffee and Jean’s mother made them dinner with everyone else. Initially she had to be shown by one of the Italian POWs called Mario how to make coffee. Later on in the war Germans POWs also arrived at the camp. Towards the end of the war or just after her mother decided one day to take two of the POWs to the local cinema as a treat. As this sort of activity was not allowed for POWs she had to dress the two germans up in long black overcoats to hide the PW lettering on their trousers below their knees along with the PW written across the backs of their black tops. After the war Eric Penno, one of the German POWs stayed behind. Eventually he married Margaret, one of Jean’s sisters. He did return to Germany to see him family after war but returned to continue working at Bomakelloch. Another German POW called Hans Dobler wanted to stay on after the end of the war. Jean’s mother told him they were happy to have him but that he should first go back to see his family Germany. She was conscious of how she would feel if her son had been away as a POW during the war and he then chose not to come back to see his family afterwards. Hans did return to Germany to see his family but he chose to stay back in Germany and keep in touch by letter as he does to this day. Eric did go back to see his family but returned eventually marrying Margaret in 1951 at Botriphine Church.

Making Crowdie
Crowdie cheese is made by mixing milk with salt and rennet. After the cheese separates it is added to a cheese press. There was top to the cheese press which was pressed down to squeeze out the whey. After it was pressed it was called Crowdie. The cheese was about the size of a dinner plate and about 28 inches high. It was kept in the milk house situated at the back of the house. There were thick stone slate shelves. The cheese can be allowed to dry out further or be eaten straightaway. The soft crumbly textured cheese was lovely with oatcakes. Oatcakes were made at home. The milk was brought into the milking house still warm from the cows. It was poured into large wide shallow enamel bowls. Over the next day the cream rose to the top and it was skimmed off for butter. Butter was made in a glass jar with a screw top and a handle. The paddle inside Butter Pats Bedford Museum Description-Butter Pats Bedford Museum.JPG English: Butter pats, cream measures and butter stamps on display at Bedford Museum. Wikicommons licenceturned the cream to separate the butter out. It took longer if the cream was cool. The butter was left unsalted and kept stored as butter pats. Wooden butter pats shaped the butter with ridges. The ridges stopped the butter sticking to the butter pats. None of the butter was sold as it was used in the farm kitchen.  

The women in the farmhouse did all the baking. When she was young there was no oven in the kitchen. Instead there a huge open fire and a Blaeberry This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.“girdle” (griddle) to make scones, oatcakes and bannocks. During the summer months wild raspberries and blaeberries were collected to make jam. The farm also had blackcurrant and gooseberry bushes.  When sugar was on ration during and just after the second world war the family made a decision to stop having sugar in their drinks so there was sufficient sugar for jam. A 1lb jam jar was filled with sugar for one of the workman who would not give up sugar in his drinks. He used it to the last spoonful. Jean remembers the resentment as this particular person would then happily eat the jam that everyone else have sacrificed their sugar ration for.

Jean had two older sisters (who later married farmers) and one younger sister. Jean hated sewing and her younger sister enjoyed it. She had learnt dressmaking. Jean remembers at the age of 15 or 16 her sister taking over some particularly annoying sewing task. Jean warned her husband before she married him that she hated sewing and she would not be making him clothes. (At the interview she shared the thought that “SHE STILL HATES SEWING”). She bought her wedding dress while her younger sister made her own. She didn’t mind knitting.

Lambing Time
Lambing usually took place during the Easter Holidays when the lambs could benefit from the fresh grass. Each ewe usually had two lambs though occasionally there were triplet and single births. The ewe only has two teats to feed the lamb milk so the optimum birth was two. If there were more than two then the lambs were allowed to feed on the first milk (colostrum), which is very important as it is rich in nutrients and anti-bodies safeguarding against infection. One of the lambs is taken away and given to a ewe that has lost its lamb for some reason. If presented early after an unsuccessful birth a ewe will take on another lamb as its own. This common practice on the farm. If a ewe is struggling to feed its lamb than the lamb can be given to a more experienced ewe with plenty of milk. Jean has seen a ewe look after three of her own lambs if she has lots of milk.

The cows usually had one calf, sometimes two. The vet would need to be called to help out if there was a problem.

Little Pitlurg  - Geograph © Copyright Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Little Pitlurg © Copyright Anne Burgess Creative Commons Licence

After her marriage to a local farmer in 1957 Jean and her husband built up a farming business initially at Little Pitlurg. In 1963 they acquired the tenancy of the farm at the Mains of Pitlurg from the Laird Gordon-Duff of Drummuir. In the 1970s Jean and her husband heard that the Estate was considering allowing the sale of some farm houses. They arranged for the factor to visit their farms and decide on a valuation. The Laird agreed to sell both properties and Jean and her husband became land owners for the first time. Her son runs Little Pitlurg now.

Memory contributed by Jean Mark from Keith

Additional Information

Jean’s dance troup activities

Jimmy Green worked for Jean’s parents and latterly her brother, William. He has shared his memory of working at Bomakelloch with this project earlier this year.

Butter Churns
A link to a web site devoted to antique dairy equipment including butter churnsHere is a website devoted to antique dairy equipment including butter churns.
There are many examples of butter churns on the internet.
You tube video of an antique butter churn in use making butter.

Wikipedia page about how to churn butter. There are many website which show us how to make butter.

Crowdie- more information about the cheese Crowdie

Prisoners of War
Imperial War museum- archive recordings- There are archive recordings of Eric Penno and his wife Margaret. Eric was captured in North Africa and brought to POW camp near Keith during world war 2. The Libindx database has a marriage record of 4th May 1951, Botriphine Church. The Banffshire Herald has an article about the marriage.

There are several website with recipes for girdles and photographs of them in use.

Speyside Lunch Club-general memories

whiskThere was a lady who had worked on the boats called Granny Steven. She lived in Pennan.
They knew of women who used wisker to knit socks, jumpers and ganseys.

Fishing tales

The fishing women sewed the money made from gutting fish into their underwear to keep it safe on long journeys by train.
The women wrapped cotton around their hands to avoid cutting thier hands by accident when preparing and salting the fish. Afterwards they would wash the cotton, wrap it up and keep it safe for the next time.

Tattie picking in the Tattie holidays
The money made during these weeks were used for school uniforms for the following year. The children made 8 /- 6d. a day which was handed over to their Mum at the end of the day.

Pocket Money
To earn extra pocket money, children went around the neighbourhood collecting tattie peelings and veg peel in a bucket. The bucket contents were sold and then money used to fund trips to the cinema on a Saturday afternoon. 2d. for a front seat. 6d. for chumming seats and 1 shilling for the courting couples seats at the back of the cinema. Tattie peeling burnt well on the fire and lasted ages. The Fleming hall had a cinema in it.

The Speyside Lunch Club remembered there was a film called “Calling Blighty” about the servicemen calling home during the Second World War.

Additional Information
How a wisker/weker or knitting belt was used to support knitting >> knitting in the round