The Banff and Buchan Collection

Harry Legg, Longside, 23/09/1994

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NEFA 1994.055.01   Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: Family background
S: Born at Backhill o Knaven. Lived and worked there till he went into the army. He was in France, Belgium and Germany after the invasion. Drove vehicles, channel crossings and did guard duty. In Purfleet. Born in 1916. Worked on grandfather's farm before the army. After the army, he worked on farms round and about. Then married and cottared. Lists farms on which he worked, including some south of Aberdeen. He later owned a farm and injured himself, then decided to sell up. Wife was a nurse at Maud. HL drove for construction companies. Doctors advised he stop driving.

NEFA 1994.055.02   Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: More background

S: Then worked at Bond Helicopters, cleaning. Hated it at first, but did it for fifteen years.

NEFA 1994.055.03   Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: Horses, grass sickness and the coming of tractors

S: Drove a pair o horse for four or five years. He was orra loon, at first. After the war, the tractors came in. Horses suffered a lot from grass sickness. Some horses just died suddenly, others lingered on. Horses were pretty expensive at that time.

NEFA 1994.055.04    Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: Horseman's word

S: Some of the older lads used to make out that the young ones did not have the word.

NEFA 1994.055.05    Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: First cottar fee

S: First cottar was £4 a week. Shifted for a 5s. raise. Worked on his grandfather's farm when he left school. You did not get paid, but you got pocket money. You are better to go to someone else; you learn more.

NEFA 1994.055.06    Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: Feein markets

S: Describes farmers arguing about wages. Farm servants' union led to a minimum wage of sorts. HL had uncle at the largest farm in the area, Balquinichie(?) at Methlick. They would have had eight or nine horses. Uncle was the ostler, driving the farmer's gig. Jock Wilson, the grieve, and HL's uncle were sowing seed and Watson had the tip of his finger taken off. He continued working. A hardy man.

NEFA 1994.055.07-8    Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: More stories about Jock Wilson,
Aikey Fair, Travellers and fishwives
 Another story about Jock Wilson. Had a brother too. They always went to Aikey Fair. There were strings of horses there, but even after the horses stopped, they still went to the Sunday. Very busy. There would be a lot of stands and games. [Other word used to elicit:] Travellers used to come to the Moss o Belnagoak. HL's uncle said they were never any bother, but Saturday nights might be a bit lively. An old woman, Kirsty, used to come round all the farms with a heavy pack. The fishwives came out to Auchnagatt on the train and then walked around the countryside with their very heavy creels (Massies from Aberdeen).

NEFA 1994.055.09    Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: Itinerant sellers
S: This old woman used to walk to Aberdeen with butter and cheese. Chrissie Crichton lived in a thatched house, but died in a fire. Describes where it was. Describes route to Aberdeen taken by the old woman, with various place names along the way. Talk about Babbie Jeannie.

NEFA 1994.055.10    Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: Hogmanay, Candlemas, Easter, school picnics
and bikes
 They stayed home and maybe had a bit of a sing-song on Hogmanay. Recites part of Candlemas rhyme. They used to roll an egg at Easter, possibly. HL remembers the school picnic when they would go to Stonehaven, or Tarlair, or some other such place. Some people got a school bicycle from the council. Mentions Jimmie Crichton, from New Deer, who used to play cornet and teaches fiddle. He was very keen on bikes. They used to race and tie the bikes one to the other. They used to belt through New Deer to see how far they could go up the other side. Describes car accident in New Deer.

NEFA 1994.055.11    Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: Dingwall-Fordyce
and George Catto
 Used to visit the school in his Rolls-Royce and give the lads rides. George Catto was a croney of HL's. Dingwall-Fordyce called him his poet. Describes where GC stayed. Hebbie(?) Bruce was another pal. HL cannot remember any of GC's poems.

NEFA 1994.055.12    Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: Local songmakers  

S: There were not too many songmakers. Norman Grieve, Maud, was one, but he is gone. He could put up a fence, tend the greenhouse, and such like, though he was completely blind.

NEFA 1994.055.13    Transcription
P: Harry Legg
T: Local singers
S: Allan Taylor from Lonmay was one singer, bothy songs especially. Latterly at Woodland Poultry Farm, Newmachar. There was also a great whistler, Jock Tawse. Nethermuir Shop was a good gathering place for farm servants. The cobbler would work away, while the others stood around, chatted and traded songs. Sultana Jim.


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