Joan Mitchell recalls her father’s beginning in farming

Joan Mitchell interviewed by Robert McQuistan on 13 August 2012, Carsluith.

Interviewed: 13 August 2012.
Ref: DG2-6-1-2
© European Ethnological Research Centre, 2016.

Joan Mitchell recalls her father moving from Ayrshire to take a farm near Carsluith.

DG2-6-1-2 Joan Mitchell, 69 years of age, interviewed by Robert McQuistan on 13 August 2012, Carsluith.

JM: Ma family took this farm as tenant farmers in 1945. An just tae gie ye a bit o background Robert, I’ve been farmin here maself for 40 years, so that’s since 1972 we came back doon here. But ah spent a lot o time aboot the farm as a wean, although I wasn’t, we didnae actually live at the farm, but ah spent a lot o time as a wean at the farm, and as a teenager and then we came back doon a farmed ourselves for the last 40 years. An there’s been a lot o changes but there’s also been a lot o things that huvnae altered that much.

RMcQ: To go back to the very beginning: Yer faither had the farm in the early days, when you were born?

JM: No, ah would be 3 year auld before we took the tenancy o the farm because he was in other kinds o business. And then we took the tenancy o Begbie in 1945.

RMcQ: Right. Right, an did he hae a background in fairmin?

JM: No, he hudnae really a background in farmin. Ma faither’s family were quarrymen. But of course he was brought-up in a wee village, he was interested in farmin, he would work about farms as a wean himself, an he ay wanted tae farm. An he got the chance tae get a tenancy o a farm in 1945.

RMcQ: So, so, right, so, he was a full-time quarryman. Was he a full-time quarryman?

JM: Ma father wasnae. No, no. Ma grandfather, ma father’s family were quarrymen. [RMcQ: Right.] Ma father had his ain business, lorry business, haulage business fae a fairly young age.

RMcQ: Ah, right, right. An then, he aye had a kind o hankerin for …

JM: He’d a hankering for farmin. He started-off he was in the quarry office actually as a young man when he left the scuil. An then he got a wee business o his ain an worked fae there.

RMcQ: A wee bit enterprise an did that.

JM: Yeah.

RMcQ: But he must’ve picked-up somthin aboot famrin. Ye cannae just walk intae a farm an dae it!

JM: No. No, obviously. As ah say, he would always be interested, an he would work aboot at farms, as a boy, ye know.

RMcQ: Labourin?

JM: Aye, aye, just in his holidays and ken he would be jist interested an things.

RMcQ: So quite a, quite an ambitious move on his pairt? [JM: Aye] Quite something.

JM: Aye he was ambitious, aye, uhuh.

RMcQ: So he took-over the tenancy …

JM: He took-over the tenancy o Begbie but he continued to have other businesses at the same time.

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