Land girl Betty Craig’s story, part 9

Betty Craig-9: Duration 4:30

[HB] Oh you had a nice story about frightening the postman.

Ah yes now that was a farm in Campbeltown again and it was up a hill and from where we were working we saw the postal van and we were all waiting for letters, as all girls do, and I was the one that decided I would run down the hill and get the letters before he went away to Glenlussa with them. And I’m coming running down this hill and the postman I thought he looked absolutely shocked and he thought I was a, a German parachutist. All I wanted was the letters not to frighten the postman, but he really got, he really got a fright. I don’t even remember if we had any post. The other thing I’ve forgotten today was about the, the bull. We were working on a farm with these great big scythes and we were cutting thistles. We were on this sort of hump and the farmers had said “Right you’ve to sack these thistles the bull’s in the, the top o’ the field if he comes down here get out the field, but don’t leave the scythes because we don’t want the bull to get hurt”. So it didn’t matter if we got hurt.

[HB] The bull was much more important.

The bull was much more important. The first farm I worked on, now that was when May Allan and I had been to the church on the Sunday, and we came back and came into the kitchen, looked out the window and there was the bull; it had followed us. Their bull had followed us up round into the steadin’ at the back and we breathed a sigh o’ relief and we never even heard it nor noticed it, it just had followed us up. And that farm too when May and I went, that was our first day our first farm, and we thought oh roses round the door an beautiful and we went to this front door and it, it was lovely and the woman opened the door and that was the last time we saw the front door ‘cause nobody used the front door. You used the back door ‘cause it came into the kitchen and the front parlour was, was nice and clean and tidy so. Don’t remember ever being in it.

[HB] Was that the farm at Southend?

The farm at Southend. Funnily enough we went back there to work one day, the hostel girls, and Nettie McGan had gone to the toilet and, whatever, she had pulled the plug and the, the ballcock or something had jumped out of the cistern, it hit a, a glass shelf and there was ammonia and different things on it which all went into the bath. And Netta was in such a state she’s “What am I going to say” I said “How did you do that” there was just this enormous bang, I had forgotten about that. And that was all the stuff had gone in the bath and broken umpteen different things. Mrs McKay said “It’s alright, these things happen”. She was a beautiful cook, she made the best cheese and you didn’t help yourself to the cheese, the farmer he sat at the table and he would cut you a piece of cheese. But he would also cut a bit for the dog and the dog would sit there waiting patiently for its bit o’ cheese, but it was lovely cheese. Thinking about that dog, that was a very clever dog because we must’ve been working there when it was absolutely mawcky weather and, when you’re bringing the, the cattle into the byre the dog, of course, would be ushering them in, That dog use to bite onto one of the cows tails and get a lift over the mud. I’ve never seen a dog do that before. It was a brown and white collie, that’s what it did. It just sort o’ gripped it by the tail, up near the top of the tail, it didnae matter which cow it was I don’t think, it just, that was it went over the mud.

[HB] Well thank you very much for that. That was really interesting talking to you again, I enjoyed it.

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