Ploughing Up Our Past

Audio interviews

Audio interviews

Interviews conducted in 2021 with older members of the farming community on their memories and experiences of farming in Ayrshire, Scotland.

Ian Howat

Ian Howat was brought up at Farden farm , New Cumnock. He has been at Laglaff since 1976.

Robert Mills

Robert talks about life at Borland Mill, Cumnock

Jean McHarg

Jean tells about her childhood at Craigdarroch farm in New Cumnock where her father John Todd was a shepherd. She works as a milk recorder.

Anne and Hugh McLanachan, brother and sister

The Respondents talk about farms their family was connected with – Loganhill, Barshare, Skerrington, Borland, Craigens, Dickston, and Rottenyard, the size of the farms and the types of farms.The Respondents go on to tell us how their grandfather bought Loganhill Farm in 1938 and their father’s move into Skerrington Farm. They explain that the tenants prior to the McLanachans were the Dicksons who supplied milk to the houses in Cumnock.|

They remember that the bothy at Skerrington Farm was used to house their father’s budgies but that the bothy at Loganhill was used to store their grandmother’s home-made cheese and butter. Hugh says he still has two old butter churns. They talk about their father’s early rises to milk the cows and the chores they had to do before going to school. Hugh tells how sometimes at Glaisnock Rural School the headmaster would come into the class and order him to go home because his father needed help in the field.He talks about how he would drive the tractor from the young age of 10 yrs and how he had to stand up to drive it because he was so small. Anne talks about her dislike of the hens because of the rats and about working in the field when she was 8 or 9yrs old with Jean, the horse. 06.01- 06.37 | They talk about the uses of the horse on the farm. It was used for everything, horse-drawn reaper, cutting the hay, dung spreading. 06.38 – 07.71 | They talk about how their mother was a Land Army Girl. She was billeted at Auchingibbert Farm which was next to Loganhill which is where she met her husband. They explain the work of the Land Army Girls and how they were only allowed to eat cracked eggs. 07.72 – 08.64 | The Respondents reminisce about their grandparents in Loganhill.

08.65 – 10.91 | They continue their interview by talking about their mother’s jobs around the farm. As well as cleaning the dairy dishes and feeding the calves and hens she had a full-time cooking job feeding all the workers. They talk about the types of ovens she used. 10.92 – 11.66 | They talk about seasonal workers and Italian prisoners-of-war who worked at Loganhill and the neighbouring farms to Skerrington Farm. Hugh relates that when he worked in the south side of Glasgow in later years he walked into a cafe and met one of them who had remained in Scotland after the war. 11.67 – 13.62 | They remember vagrants sleeping in the hay shed and their mother giving them ‘pieces’ to eat. They were also visited by Onion Johnnies who would arrive on their bikes with strings of onions around their neck, a knife sharpener, and Sikhs who would be selling cloth. 13.63 – 14.42 | They talk about going to school, farm accidents and the dangers of driving a tractor. 14.43 – 16.00 | They continue the interview by talking about the day a weasel got into their Dad’s pigeons in the bothy killing all of them. They talk about the accommodation in the farmhouse when they were young. 16.01 – 17.92 | They talk about being members of the Young Farmers and their activities and competitions. They also talk about their father’s and Hugh’s involvement with football.

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