David Hannay interviewed by Robert McQuistan at Carsluith in 2012.
- Interviewed: 30 August 2012.
- Ref: DG2/13/1/2.
- Photo: Robert McQuistan.
- © European Ethnological Research Centre.
David talks about the management of farms and changes in land ownership on the Cudrow Estate, Carsluith.
RMcQ: Who was working, I presumed it was farm-land it was also generating income for the estate?
DH: It was, it was rental. Because it was all tenanted.
RMcQ: Right, so the whole thing, the whole thing was sub-let to …
DH: Well it wasn’t sub-let, these were tenanted farms. So Carsluith, Stroans, Bagbie, Daffin – included, Cambret, Claughreid, Barholm, Hallcroft, Bardristone. Those were all part of the estate.
RMcQ: Yes. And that’s not even including Cardess, this is purely Cudrow estate.
DH: This is Cudrow. But what was happening was that the changes in the law meant that this wasn’t really a very, very good arrangement because the rents were very much controlled. Moreover, if somebody was farming and they died, they could leave it to anybody in their family, even whether they farmed or not. And therefore, the landlords couldn’t take it in hand. And the result was that the whole of the sort of system ceased to work very well. Donald MacCrae’s written – I don’t know if you know about it – a very interesting book about the Machars. Ah mean in 1900, 90% of the farms were owned in 3 or 4 estates. In 2000, 90% of farms were owner-occupied. So there’s been this huge shift.
RMcQ: But there must’ve been some overview, management. Where was that base, where was ..?
DH: Ah well very, very interesting, there was an interesting person, a family called the Glovers in Gatehouse. And they were solicitors in Gatehouse, they were also registrars. And David Steel’s got the, managed to, got the book of it. And what would happen as far as Cudrow estate, Cudrow estate, the farms were all run by him and the houses [unclear] the servants all came with whoever was there. There were 2 people who were quite important: one was the estate joiner, who did repairs; and the other was the game-keeper. Now the game-keeper, in fact Mr Inchly you know, but he was employed by the McClagans because they had the shootings was rented to them so. And we also had the walled garden you see, there was walled garden there which was. There was gardener employed there by the McLagans. But the, so joinery was very important you see. There were lists of repairs and he had to do those. And what happened was, Neil McGillp you’ll remember.
RMcQ: Uhm, he lived at Curdell. Port, em Curdell Bank.
DH: Correct, yeah, no Neil McGillip and he was the joiner and what would happen was that Mr Glover was the man of business. Every six months he’d come down to Curdell Port and the rents would be paid and the whole list of repairs given and that’s how it all worked.