Food and wages of Aberdeenshire farm workers.

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Title - Food and wages of Aberdeenshire farm workers.
Contributors - Willie Mathieson
Reporters - Hamish Henderson
Item Person - Mathieson, Willie

Summary - Food and wages of Aberdeenshire farm workers.

Farm workers ate whatever grew on the farm: oatmeal, neeps [turnips], kale and sowans. For breakfast they had only brose, which they made for themselves. The farmer's wife boiled the kettle, and the worker took his cup or bowl and spurtle and made his own brose. They had no tea. Poor food occasionally caused protests. Willie Mathieson has seen a wall plastered with kale in protest, and he knew of an incident when he was young where the workers went before the sheriff, who declared there had to be plenty of milk and bread on the table for working men. Willie was very poorly fed at one place where they had neep brose for a week and the foreman made a protest.

When Willie started work he was paid ten shillings for six months, but as a married cattleman of about thirty he got £27 a year, plus free coal, meal, milk and potatoes. Willie met his wife at Milltown of Tarves, which was also where he learned the 'Tarves Rant'. Willie was never a dancer, and did not even dance at his own wedding.

Track Duration (h:m:s) - 00:07:25
Date Recorded - 1952.01
Language - Scots
Genre - Information
Collection - School of Scottish Studies

Track ID - 1918
Original Tape ID - SA1952.003
Original Track ID - SA1952.03.A6
Audio Quality - Fair
Audio Format - R2R

Item Location:
  County - Aberdeenshire

Item Notes - Partly transcribed in the School of Scottish Studies for 'Tocher'.

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