Milk boy for Bishopmill Dairy by Bill Forsyth

Bill started work in 1937 at the age of 9/10. His Father had heard about the job in his job at the Tile Works. Joseph Farquhar owned Bishopmill Farm, which was the left hand side of the road on the way out of Bishopmill towards Lossiemouth. It was just past the old Moray Poor House site. He worked for the farm’s dairy before school every day of the week. He arrived about 7 a.m. and collected tin cans, which held about 1 pint of pasturised full cream milk. He could hook 5 cans on either side of his bike. He then set off to deliver milk to the local customers. The job carried on through the holidays as well. When the war started Joseph Farquhar’s son, also called Bill was called up. Bill was asked to help with the milk round. Joseph had two milk floats to deliver the milk to his Elgin customers.

Easterton farm Roseisle © Copyright Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Easterton Farm Roseisle Copyright Anne Burgess Creative Commons Licence

When Bill reached 13 he left school to work for the dairy full-time. He learnt how to control a horse and cart so he could then take one of the carts on local milk deliveries. Two large milk churns were placed in the back of his cart along with a one pint tin jug to dispense the milk from the large cans into whatever the customer had at hand for their milk delivery.The route he took was from Bishopmill along Lesmurdie Road, Kingmills, over the old Bridge to the Cathedral, up King Street, cut across Institution Road, round the Station Hotel and then back to the Dairy. The caretaker at the Cathedral always had two sandwiches ready made with fresh butter and rhubarb jam. One for Bill and one for the horse. No-one had fridges in those days so Bill went on his round every day. When he returned to the dairy he handed back the tin cans for cleaning and put the horse to pasture in the fields around the dairy. Then the cart needed to be tidied up. Next Bill went off to Easterton Farm on Covesea Road to collect the cans of milk for the following day. The milk was processed and pasturised at the dairy ready for the next day’s delivery. Each week Bill handed over his wage to his Mother and received spending money back.

Cattle were also kept on the farm. The dung heap was situated behind the Old Bishopmill School and the smell could be quite strong on some days.

Bill remembered the Old School at Bishopmill had traditional school desks with slates, ink pots and blackboards.

 Memory contributed by Bill Forsyth at the Messages and Memories Event at Elgin Library June 2014

Additional Information

Bishopmill History

nls map referencesLocal Maps of the area
http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/   Either choose Find by place which allows the user to select specific maps individually e.g. This 1938 (published 1946) map of Elgin shows all the detail of Bishopmill including old and new school, the old town centre roads before the bypass, the gas works etc… http://maps.nls.uk/view/75529911

There are various books which describe Bishopmill and its development including the schools. The History of the Local Area is written about in detail in the New Statistical Account of Scotland. Search by putting Bishopmill in the left hand search box or go to page 98 onwards in the Elgin section of the book.
Bishopmill Google booksMoray Poor House, Bishopmill

http://www.workhouses.org.uk/Morayshire/  The Map of the Moray Poor House on this web page also shows the location of the local primary school on Balmoral Terrace and the farm fields around Bishopmill around 1905. To look at other old maps of the area go to the Useful Links/Scottish Maps page on this website and follow the NLS link.

List of Moray Combination Poorhouse residents in 1881

Advertisements

Shop Assistant for Alex Esson, Tailor and Outfitter in Buckie by Ethel Duthie

Ethel worked for Alex Esson, Tailor and Outfitter in Buckie.. There were Ladies wear- skirts, pinafore, trousers. Some were made from the grander tweed. It was lovely to see a suit being made and fitted. The patterns were cut from brown paper.

She remembers in 1956 a woman in a long striped skirt and a shawl. She was an interesting character and one of the last of the fisherwomen in the Broch. The woman smoked a clay pipe. It was unusual for the time for women to smoke. Gallery picture of a North-east fish-wife wearing a pipe and a shawl.

Memory contributed by Ethel Duthie from Portessie.

General memories from the Over 60s group in Portessie.

In 1943 The Rag and Bone Man travelled through the area during the summer months repairing old pots and pans and sharpening ropes & scissors. He also swopped clothes for a balloon.

The three boys at home were kitted out with a new jumper each for the start of the summer session.  Ian appeared home with a balloon and no new jumper. Luckily his mother caught up with the Rag and Bone man and got the new jumper back!

1943-1953
A milk cart delivered milk every morning from Rathven, Aberdeenshire. Willie Findlay drove the horse on its regular round through the villages. If the horse got out at night it did its round by itself and then went back to the field. People could hear it clomping through the village on its delivery route.

Harry Garrick’s work as a farm servant at Kininvie, Maggieknockater

Kininvie Farm Entrance The farm of Kininvie on the road to Maggieknockater. Photo's author Andrew Wood License  Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic  Source Wikimedia Commons image Harry worked for his father on their own farm from the age of 12. The farm was called Kininvie nr. Maggieknockater. He started work in 1950. He was able to do everything on the farm including ploughing with two horses. He had to do milking in the Milking byre if his mother was not there. Farming work continued everyday so there were no holidays on the farm. He got a wage if his Father could afford it and it was something he needed. The working day began at 7 o’clock. His Mother brought them some tea to where they were working. Lunch was at 1 o’clock. When the weather was fine they worked on until the work was finished. Harry enjoyed working out in the open air and driving the tractor. Harry rarely did anything beyond work as he was so tired at the end of the working day.

He carried on working at the farm for the next fifty years.

Memory contributed by Harry Garrick from Dufftown 

Additional Information

Horse Ploughing
Click here to see a Horse ploughing film on Scottish Screen onlineWatch a 1955 film of horse ploughing 

The film shows everyday life and work of a Scottish ploughman, shot at Smeaton Farm, Dalkeith.
It was made in 1955 and lasts 11 minutes.

Delivering pails of milk in Edinvillie by Aileen Garrow

Aileen was born into a farming family in Edinvillie in 1932. They owned Bush Farm in Edinvillie. Aileen’s first job was delivering pails of milk to three cottages in Edinvillie. Each house had their own pail (2 large and one small). Her Father milked their two Black Irish Cows each morning to fill the pails. From the age of 8 or 9 Aileen carried the three pails with her on her way to the local primary school in Edinvillie. The three families (Hume, Ellice and Grays) lived in Milton of Edinvillie and everyone spoke Doric. Each day Aileen was paid 6d per pail for the milk. At the end of each schoolday she returned to pick up their clean empty milk pail ready for the next day’s milk. Other people had their own cow to provide their milk. Milk would vary in consistency such as when the cows went out to grass in the summer. Her Father grew different types of grass for the cows to eat. Once she was ill and unable to do her round and they gave her the money anyway. She thinks her Father took the milk. She felt very guilty because she hadn’t delivered it herself.

Milltown of Edinvillie Primary school   © Copyright Dave Fergusson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. Source: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1968036

Milltown of Edinvillie Primary school © Copyright Dave Fergusson and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

At that time in the 1940s Edinvillie Primary School had about 40 children. There had been 70 children in her Father’s time there. It closed in 2000 when there were only 9 pupils. It had a Big End and a Wee End for the younger children (4 1/2 upwards). Each day Aileen took a bottle of milk (usually a camp coffee bottle).  Many children took half full used bottles of whisky for their milk. This was placed on the windowsill, which could sometimes be in the full sun. The children also took a play piece to eat and nothing else for the day at school. It could be a hard boiled egg, a softie with butter and jam or an apple if it was the season. Aileen met an old school friend recently who said she used to covet Aileen’s regular hard boiled eggs (a benefit of living on a farm). At Bush Farm they also made their own butter and jam (only limited by the sugar which was on ration). During the winter months the children were provided with a soup dinner paid for by funds raised by the Soup Dinner Committee.They made money from whist drives and concerts. Local farmers donated vegetables including neeps and tatties. The money raised was used for the purchase of peas, beef and bread. It also paid for a cook and a set of little soup bowls. Aileen remembers eating lentil and bacon, broth, yellow split pea soup and tattie soup. Being further from the coast they didn’t have Cullen Skink (smoked haddock soup). The bread came from a bread van from Walkers of Aberlour. It arrived on Tuesday and Friday travelling round all the houses. Although many people often made their own bread they still bought softies, plain loaves, butteries, and queen cakes.

When she was 9 she had another job in the fields of the farm. She learnt how to build sheaves of oats and barley. The farm had a Clydesdale Horse and a 2 wheel wooden cart.  The sheaves were forked into the cart when Aileen stood. She had to place them head down to “heart it up first”. She created circles turning round and round the bottom of the cart in a spiral. The heart holds everything together and eventually everything came level inside the cart with Aileen climbing on top. At the farmyard everything was lifted off and formed into a stack. During the farming year there were (and still are in places) ploughing matches and stacks were exhibited.

Aileen stayed on at school into secondary at Aberlour and completed her Higher Leaving certificate. She was not very good at maths. Mr Miller was her Maths teacher. She sat the Lower Maths in secondary in Class 4.  She then went on to do her Higher English, Arithmetic, French, German, Latin and History in Class 6 at Secondary. She went on Aberdeen University to study Arts and later a Masters with honours in English Language and Literature. Her first year involved the study of English, French and German. Second yr- Advanced English, German and Latin. Third year- Junior Honours year- English and Moral Philosophy. Final year- Honours English. She then completed her teacher training at Aberdeen Training College in Psychology, Education and Biology. Her first job was at Narin Academy teaching Higher English. She stayed there her whole teaching career. She did stop in 1961 to help her mother on the farm after her Father suddenly passed away. By then the family had two farms, Bush and Upperton. Mr Grieve was a manager and he ran both farms for them. In 1965 her mother died and she returned to teach at Nairn Academy commuting from Bush Farm. Later she got married to James “Grantie” Garrow and he moved into Bush farm. He came from a local farming family, the Grant-Garrows and she had known him since they were both children.

Memory contributed by Aileen Garrow from Fochabers

Additional Information

The Tale of the Cheeryble Grants written by Aileen Garrow

Farming work
Australian_cart  Taken by fir0002 | flagstaffotos.com.au Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Australian_cart.jpg  Details of licensing is here“Arranging the sheaves on the cart was very skilled as well – as with rick-building the sheaves had to be arranged carefully or the cartload or rick collapsed” source: Dorset Life website
Another link to an e-book about stacking sheaves
Stacking on a two wheeled cart- some pictures of farming in the 1930s.

Edinvillie 50th Dinner Dance
Edinvillie 50th anniversary Dinner danceAileen spoke at the dinner on 14th August 2009 about the early days of the Village Hall.
“Mr Burns then called upon Aileen Garrow, a former resident of Edinvillie, who spoke about the early days of the Hall, remembering many of the personalities who had contributed to its successes.”

History of Edinvillie School

Edinvillie history website featuring the school Source: http://www.edinvillie.co.uk/History.html

Edinvillie History website featuring the school

Here is a website with information about the History of Edinvillie School.