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16 October 2014
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Forum - rural - Click here to return to the Forum menu page.
Rural Life
There is 1 message in this section.

Andy Waugh from The Borders. Posted 19 Feb 2003.
I was born and brought up during the 1950s. & 60s on a farm 15 miles South of Edinburgh on the edge of "Border Country". My memories of being a child on a farm at that time were terrific. We used to play outside all day during the week-end and holidays. There was something to do in every season of the year. In the winter we used to go to the woods and collect firewood with a tractor and trailer. This was the season that the cattle and sheep had to have supplementary feed so that was a chore that we joined in with. My father would let me guide the horse (and later the tractor) in a straight line across the fields while he was in the trailer shovelling out turnips to the animals.
Spring brought some sunshine and we used to see if we could catch the lambs that were born the previous month. We never could since they could run very fast. The Waverly Line went through our farm so we often used to sit on the railway bridge and wave to the train drivers who would whistle back at us as they passed. Spring also meant that we had an influx of Peeweeps. They nested all over the lambing field and you often found them running around making lots of noise and pretending to be injured so that they could lure you away from their nests.
Summer was great because we had 7 weeks holiday from school. Early in the summer was when the hay was made and this meant all hands to the pumps in these days. The wives of the farm workers used to come and help in the hay field to build Kyles and then Ricks. We also sometimes had to get some of the miners wives up from Newtongrange or Arniston to help if the weather was good and my father wanted to get the hay lead in before the weather broke. As kids we used to watch the Ricks being winched up onto the hay bogie and then run to get a seat on the corner and a lift into the hay shed from the field. Towards the end of our holidays the harvest was being cut and this was another labour intensive job. collecting sheaves and making them into "stooks" to let the corn and straw dry. Then we had to lead these in to make stacks in the farm steading. Again all the women helped out and this gave my mother a full time job of feeding them all with drinks in the warm weather and food at the break times. Harvest went on late into the evening if the weather was good but us kids were off to bed by then, completely tired out after a full days play in the fields.
In Autumn we had more fun with the root crops being brought in. This gave us the opportunity to through rotten tatties at each other. We also used to pull up handfuls of stubble and through them at each other as we went across the fields to the school. It was also the time of elder berries and these were brilliant as ammunition for our "rhubarb stick" pea shooters cut from beside the burn. They didn't half sting if you were hit on the neck or face. There are so many memories I could write a book. My abiding memory of the farm in those days was one of lots of happy people working hard but having fun as well. There were always lots of people around doing something so there was never a dull moment. Just like the Darling Buds of May! - PERFICK

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