Land girl Betty Craig’s story, part 7
[HB] Oh, we haven’t talked much about when you use to go to dances and . . .
Oh yes, well in Peninver we went to the village hall or we went into Campbeltown to the pictures. Now, I can remember we were going to see Yankee Doodle Dandy . . . with Jimmy Cagney. There’s two picture houses in Campbeltown and when we got in the picture house had gone on fire. We were so annoyed because that was our Saturday night pictures. And we had to be home for a certain time of course. I think we had to be back in the hostel about ten o’clock or something like that. When I was in Dhalling Mhor you could go to the dancing in Dunoon. And that was just ordinary ballroom dancing. But for a shilling you could go up the stairs and have a look and see if there was any talent on the floor below before you paid the extra money to get down to the dancing.
[HB] So was that something you did?
Yes, yes, yes, yes quite often we did that.
[HB] And was that were you met your husband?
Yes actually it was packed there was a lot of sailors there, a lot of army there. And George he had been in hospital and got back on leave. And that was where I met him there. So I met a local at the dancing after having going out with all these other sailors and soldiers from everywhere else. He died in 2002. And we were married the same year as the Queen. We were married in the September she was married in the November.
[HB] Last time we spoke you told me some of your outstanding memories of the, of the time when you were doing a job there, like the time when you nearly got pulled into the machine . . .
Oh yes, that was, that was at the harvest that was working on the mill. You cut the string that was round the sheaf and then the sheaf went into the mill. And one time I didn’t get this string off quick enough and it went round my leg and I just got it off in time. But . . . that was just something that happened.
[HB] Now that sounded quite alarming.
It was alarming for a minute until I thought oh what would have happened if my leg had, if, I probably would’ve fallen in, but it was, it was moving the, the machinery is moving, because everything is moving as, as, as it’s working.
[HB] Did you have to do that quite a lot . . . ?
Yes, yes at harvest time you did yeah. You had to have it in as near a decent day as you could or decent days. But you did and everybody from the, the neighbouring farms the men all came along and worked on the one farm and probably if there was a Land Girl on the farm they were on, they would be there too. But it was a busy time harvest time. They wore like what we would call Nicky Tams round the bottom of their trousers to stop the rodents when you were working on these things. And we wore these dairy coats with the big pockets, and we never saw the boys doing it, but you’d put your hand in and you would find a hand full of little struggling jelly bean baby rats or mice. But that was the youngsters that would do that, you just got use to that. The first time like aaahhhh, but, in fact they would have the dogs round about then because if there was any rats or mice or that in the haystack that you were working on they would all move of course once you had started moving it so they would kill them then.