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16 October 2014
Scotland on Film

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Farming in the 1940s
There are 2 messages in this section.

Margaret Strachan from Aberdeen. Posted 12 Feb 2003.
When I was only 12 I started tattie picking for 24 shillings a week. The bonus was getting a free bag of the leftover tatties and carrots from the friendly farmers. During picking season we’d have afternoon tea of bread and jam, with a cup of pale tea. It was so, so cold, I remember my granny knitting me some gloves, but without fingers, so I was still quite cold. There wasn’t much work around and I can remember clearly my auntie going to America to make some money. Another relative of mine, a cousin, went to Australia in the 1960’s on a £10 passage to Australia. A lot of people that left Scotland found that times were still hard for them abroad when they first arrived, having to start again in a foreign country wasn’t as glamorous as it might have sounded.
Mrs Margaret Hay from Bucksburn, Aberdeen. Posted 16 Oct 2006.
I was brought up at Tillygowrie, Aberdeenshire. I left school at 15 years old in the year 1953. It was on a Friday and on the Friday night a farmer from Tough, Aberdeenshire, came in past my home. He had been to Aberdeen Mart and had gone in past the Labour Exchange and got my name. I was employed that night as a domestic assistant and on the Sunday night I was off to my first job on a farm. There were three children to look after. I had to help with them and work inside and out.

I worked at 7am in the morning and worked till 11 pm at night. My duties was feeding hens first, then breakfast. The tow men that were employed, they lived outside in a both. General duties included scrubbing a stone floor with cold water, doing washing, cleaning the house, cleaning the eggs, making butter and cheese. At harvest time I was outside stoaking the corn and bigging carts. It was then taken into a shed and went through the threshing mill and harvested into corn and straw. The straw for the cows to feed on in the winter time, they were inside in the byre. I can remember the hens were fed with a special ingredient in their food called Hormonexa to make them lay more eggs. My wagers were thirty shillings a week. I gave my mother one pound to help her out and I brought her a pound of butter from the farm which cost me four shillings. I was left with six shillings to myself. I got an afternoon on a Wednesday and a Saturday afternoon and Sunday once a fortnight.

My entertainment was I went into the Tivoli theatre on that weekend to see a Scottish show in the Gods’ seats which cost one shilling and sixpence. And my bus fare was four shillings and three pence.
It was hard work but I was happy as Larry. I just got into a routine.

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