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Land Girl Betty Craig’s story, part 4

Betty Craig-4: Duration 4:41

[HB] You’d moved from Glenlussa to Dhalling Mhor and we were talking about going out to the different farms.

That was in Glenlussa, yes. Dhalling Mhor was a great big garden where we worked in. And in there I learnt all about the tomatoes and the vine house and growing all different vegetables. And there was a big staff in there. That guest house, I think, was for people who were maybe needing a break, I think, sometimes from what they were doing during the war. There was two of us worked in there. One of my friends who had been with me in Glenlussa, she came to work in Kirn as well. And we worked in there ‘til, she got married and left, I worked in there until 1947. I went on after I could’ve come out, but I was getting married in the September and I think I got my . . . my four year . . . armlet . . . in June. Yeah, the twelfth of June I got my four year armlet. But no, the Land Army was good to me, I enjoyed it.

[HB] It sounded as though if you had a very interesting time there and you, I mean it sounded as if you really liked the outdoor work. 

Yes. Yes I did.

[HB] So, when you first started, you weren’t living very close to your family were you? 

No, no. It was quite a long way from Campbeltown to get to Dunoon although it’s not long as the crow flies. But we weren’t crows. Looking at one of these papers that I have here, now this was dated 1945 and it said we were going to be granted four free travel vouchers instead of two. So, and I know we got home at least a couple of times and we could go home ourselves if we paid it and if we could get time off. But that was what I liked about being in the hostel. If you went to work on a farm you were there, you were stuck there, because morning, noon and night you would be on hand. But going out with a bunch of girls was nice because you became good friends with quite a lot of them. Different things I do remember about Glenlussa. I woke up quite early and I was thirsty and I had to go downstairs. And I went into the kitchen and I looked out the window and the whole beach was full of soldiers. I got such a fright . . . the second look I knew they were ours, they must’ve been practicing for D-Day or whatever when it was going to happen. And I just, I stared out the window, I just couldn’t believe what I was seeing because normally there was nothing there, but just the beach and the sea.

[HB] So you were right on the coast, right on the sea? 

Yeah, Peninver’s just further up from Campbeltown.

[HB] So, do you know which troops it was who were doing the practicing up there? 

Well, they were Scottish but I don’t remember which part of the army they would be. Because, where we lived in Kirn, further down, nearer Toward there was a lot of the Canadians. They were practicing coming ashore there. They must’ve been practicing all over the country for D-Day, for the invasion. But that was a fright in Glenlussa because that was such a quiet place. There was a wee hall there that we used to go dancin’. And I think we just went in our uniform.

[HB] Really, would that mean going down to Campbeltown? 

In Peninver itself, it was what five miles north of Campbeltown. But Campbeltown was the main area and we used to go in there. And if we did get home to Dunoon, you had to get a very, very early bus to get to Glasgow before you got back down to Dunoon. And what I did, I went to the police station and asked them if I could have a cell for the night, so that I would be there in time for the morning. And they said, “Oh we can do better than that for you, hen” and they gave us the address of a lady, a Mrs McKay, in Campbeltown. And she gave us a bed for the night and charged us a shilling for washing the sheets and gave us dried scrambled egg in the morning. It was no trouble to her to get up in the morning because her husband had been a fisherman.

 

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