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16 October 2014
Scotland in the 60s

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Rural Life

By the 1960s one third of all farmers in Scotland owned their own farms and as the years rolled on this increased. It was very different to times before when landowners had owned big chunks of land and farmers were simply tenants. But although more farmers owned the farms, the numbers of people working on them dropped as modern technologies became cheaper and more available.

Castlebay on Barra
People in Castlebay on the island of Barra in the Outer Hebrides.

Workers in the fishing industry also suffered because of new technologies. As bigger fishing trawlers were used there was less need for as many fishermen. Also new technology was being used to process fish (clean, gut and all the messy stuff) and so less workers were needed there too.

Unlike in the cities, religion continued to be an important part of people’s lives in more rural areas - especially in island life. Church was seen as an important part of socialising as well as a way of expressing your faith. However, in cities church attendance fell as people moved around. Some people felt that the church was outdated and was the opposite of the 'swinging sixties' life they saw on TV and experienced on the street. Because the countryside was more cut off from the rest of the world, popular culture just did not impact on life in the same way.

Some people in distant rural areas still did not have running water, electricity or indoor toilets! Some did not get these necessities until as late as the 1970s!

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