Mr George (Geordie) McMillan talks about tramps

George McMillan at Craigneston, near Moniaive.

George McMillan at Craigneston, near Moniaive.


George (Geordie) McMillan, 72 years of age, interviewed at Craigneston by his daughter Kerry Allan. George was a farm worker who has lived and worked in and around Moniaive for most of his life.

  • Interviewed: May and July 2012.
  • Ref: DG1/1/1/4.
  • © Photo: Kerry Allan.
  • © European Ethnological Research Centre, 2012.

GMcM: And ah can remember tramps askin ma dad if they could stay the night at the farm out-buildings, sleep the night. And one man in particular came for years and ah can. He always slept in the byre, where the cows were in the winter. And he would make a bed o straw behind the cows and he would lie there.

KA: So what were tramps doing in this area, in the middle of nowhere?

GMcM: Well, a lot of them were people that had been, during the War [WWII] they had been fightin, and ah think they jist, they never could settle-down to civilian life and, because quite a few of them had actually been fightin in the War. And it was quite a common sight to see them. But then, it’s totally changed now, ye sit on a pavement and beg for money now. But they didnae ask for money, they would ask for a piece – something to eat.

KA: Something to eat.

GMcM: And ma mother would make them-up something and they were quite happy with that and their bed fir the night.

KA: And they, they weren’t seen as a threat at all, that they might steal things, or?

GMcM: No. No they didn’t steal. I don’t think we’d any problem wi stealin.