Oral history project: interview. Sample containing about 1736 words speech recorded in leisure context

4 speakers recorded by respondent number C140

PS238 Ag5 m (John, age 80+, crofter) unspecified
PS239 X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
FXPPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
FXPPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 093901 recorded on unknown date. LocationUnknown () Activity: oral history interview

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (FXPPSUNK) [1] Tape number three in conversation with Mr John .
[2] You were mentioning the the old coffin route from .
[3] ... Starting at , you said.
John (PS238) [4] Starting at a hundred and ninety.
(PS239) [5] On the one inch, map.
John (PS238) [6] Hundred and ninety.
[7] ... Up by that loch.
(PS239) [8] Now that's near ... Loch . ...
John (PS238) [9] That's it.
[10] Watch me now.
(PS239) [11] Ah can you mark it in maybe?
John (PS238) [12] That's it.
(PS239) [13] I see, up to the Glen .
John (PS238) [14] That's right, but it doesn't go as far as the Glen ,
(PS239) [15] Right.
John (PS238) [16] it keeps this side of the Glen , [...]
(PS239) [17] To the side.
John (PS238) [18] And then in like that.
(PS239) [19] Mhm.
John (PS238) [20] Follow me?
(PS239) [21] Yes.
[22] ... I'll just have a shot at pencilling that in.
[23] ... Yes it's a very
John (PS238) [24] Its near it anyway.
(PS239) [25] a windy track.
John (PS238) [26] It's a, oh yes a windy track.
[27] Not the easiest ways. [...]
(PS239) [28] The people who undertook such a
John (PS238) [29] It's more or less the hard ground.
(PS239) [30] Aha, the ground very much [...] ?
John (PS238) [31] And there was and there was cairns where they used to rest the the coffin, cairns here and there along the route.
(PS239) [32] Was there?
John (PS238) [33] Where they used to rest the the coffin for a m m and have a dram and a piece of cheese or some biscuits.
[34] I'd read about, I read erm read in erm some paper or other not so very long ago, about erm a funeral ... and the ... that was going along the road of course, ... and they came to a to a erm hotel and they were och, they were going for miles and miles and miles and they went into this hotel and the they party the funeral party went into the hotel and had a good few drinks and they were well away when they came out and they they they went away without the coffin, for two miles, two miles before they discovered that they didn't have the coffin.
[35] They had to go back ag go back again for the coffin. [laugh]
(PS239) [36] The people who undertook er following that route, through such a an entanglement of lochans and turns, would have had to have know their directions very well otherwise
John (PS238) [37] Yeah.
(PS239) [38] they could have been lost quite easily.
[39] And do you know think that these cairns possibly were there to guide them as mu as much as anything?
John (PS238) [40] Oh well they they knew the road, these men knew knew the road very well, and er they knew the
(PS239) [41] Area.
John (PS238) [42] area, they could tell by the hills, they could tell the way.
[43] I came from m my from , across the hill with my father when I was sixteen, at night.
(PS239) [44] At night?
John (PS238) [45] At night.
[46] But it was a lovely moonlit night and we didn't leave , it was about eight o'clock at night when we left .
[47] We were at at there, and I went with er with my father er on a Friday and we came back that night.
(PS239) [48] Now that must be a good, what would you say, seven miles at least in one direction?
John (PS238) [49] Well it it would be something like that,so something like
(PS239) [50] At least.
John (PS238) [51] seven miles.
(PS239) [52] Easily.
John (PS238) [53] And ... Well it would, it was two good hours, to walk across the erm ... .
[54] Take you two hours anyway.
[55] That was ... well it's wasn't quite a mile and a quarter.
(PS239) [56] And this was just a beaten track?
John (PS238) [57] Oh just a beaten track.
(PS239) [58] Whereas the other one in Glen was an actual made track?
John (PS238) [59] Well I'll tell you a good story about that, to s , to let you see that it was a well beaten track.
[60] And it was just ... the the the people were often walking along this track, anyway there was a man, ... there was erm, ... was a, there was ... a man and a woman walked over to and walked back again at night, well in the the even , evening anyway.
[61] And the woman lost her brooch on the way back and she saw this man next morning, he was a policeman in , and he he was too fond of the drink,a and he he was on, he was a railway policeman, and he fell onto the rails, when the train was coming, nobody knows how he how he how he er he lost one arm er about there and the other one about there, both arms but he he survived it.
[62] Nobody knows how he he how the ... how his head wasn't bashed.
(PS239) [...]
John (PS238) [63] But anyway ... this woman that lost the brooch, she me she saw this man, without the hands going across the hill to , she asked him where he was going, and he said, I'm going to to , across the hill.
[64] Are you coming?
[65] No, she said, I've been there yesterday, but er I lost a brooch, and I wish you would be on the look out for it.
[66] Did you keep the track all the way? he said.
[67] Yes, all the way.
[68] Anyway this man without the arms, he went to and he had er he had er a pocket outside his jacket here, and he he erm got the brooch ... and he ... called on the at the house where this woman was and he says, Put your hand into that pocket, he said, and she puts her hand in, Oh, she say, she says, You've got the brooch.
[69] Yeah, yeah, he says, I think that'll be yours.
[70] But how did ... the, what was puzzling a lot of people how did he manage to get it off the ground and into his pocket.
(PS239) [71] By his teeth?
John (PS238) [72] He must he must erm stooped down on his knees and caught it in his mouth and and got it into his pocket some way or another. [...]
(PS239) [73] Mm, but both these people ... came from ?
John (PS238) [74] Yes, both of them.
(PS239) [75] And that's a, an incredible tale.
John (PS238) [76] It is, right enough .
(PS239) [77] Because it ... it really bears out what you were saying that the ... there was a track which
John (PS238) [78] Well it it erm, it shows you that there was a track.
(PS239) [79] Because no one could have found that brooch if it had just been a wilderness.
John (PS238) [80] No, no, no, no.
[81] If you had been any any where else on the hill you'd have, wouldn't have a chance cos you couldn't, you couldn't follow the track ... that they they di they followed the day before.
(PS239) [82] And that was the lady's son involved who told you this?
John (PS238) [83] That's right.
(PS239) [84] Roughly when do you think it happened, that incident with the brooch?
John (PS238) [85] Pardon?
(PS239) [86] When in time did it occur?
John (PS238) [87] That's right.
(PS239) [88] Aha, can you put a date on it though?
[89] Was it the, before the Great War, during the
John (PS238) [90] Oh yes I think so.
[91] Think
(PS239) [92] [...] before the
John (PS238) [93] I think it as before the War but I'm not quite sure mind either, could have been after the War.
(PS239) [94] That's the first War?
John (PS238) [95] I know the lady, oh yes first War, I know the lady was going to after the War, the man could have been.
[96] ... Very
(PS239) [...]
John (PS238) [97] possible.
(PS239) [98] Do you have any reminiscences of ... the the Great War and the way it affected , were many of the men called up to to serve from the area?
John (PS238) [99] Well all the young they were, they were either called up or they vol volunteered.
(PS239) [100] And did you see vessels in the area, because you yourself would be too young were you not?
John (PS238) [101] N well I was I was erm ... I would have been called up ... in another two months after the War was over, if the War had continued ... I would have been eighteen in in that in the following January.
(PS239) [102] Do you recall seeing any ships that were involved in ... the War coming by,?
John (PS238) [103] Well the the some of the soldiers and sailors used to walk from all the way home to or or .
[104] The snow was that heavy that no traffic, nothing could move.
[105] They were walking
(PS239) [106] Er about
John (PS238) [107] all that distance .
(PS239) [108] And there weren't really proper roads?
John (PS238) [109] The road
(PS239) [...]
John (PS238) [110] the roads were there alright but they were
(PS239) [111] Snowed.
John (PS238) [112] covered over with sn with a few feet of snow.
[113] ... There was no snow ploughs in those days, it was all hand cut if they were cutting drifts it was manual labour.
(PS239) [114] Spade?
John (PS238) [115] Spade.
(PS239) [116] Were you badly affect in the, by winters?
John (PS238) [117] Well we had we had a lot of snow in those days, far more than than there's been since then.
[118] The seasons seem to have changed.
(PS239) [119] Now, how did these people you mentioned before make this track at , it was a better made track, you said it wasn't just a beaten
John (PS238) [120] Well from inside the inside the forest fence
(PS239) [121] Aha.
John (PS238) [122] it's there it started and the rest of it was all a beaten track like what was going to .
(PS239) [123] If, so from the the [...] with Loch down towards it was a beaten track?
John (PS238) [124] That's right.
(PS239) [125] But from the towards it was a proper track?
John (PS238) [126] That's right, proper track.
(PS239) [127] Now how did they in those days make ... the the track?
John (PS238) [128] Well there'd be be a squad of men working there, paid by the estate.
(PS239) [129] And use any materials that were found near by .
John (PS238) [130] And they they wouldn't be getting the money they're getting today.
(PS239) [131] Aha.
John (PS238) [132] If they they they would, if there was a gaffer there he would be getting a shilling a day and the labourers would be getting ninepence or something,n ninepence a day.
(PS239) [133] and it would be hard work too.
John (PS238) [134] Perhaps perhaps a pound or two of [...] .
[135] These were the conditions then.
[136] ... That's how they had so much money, all these landlords in those days.
[137] There were no taxing.
[138] ... And any servants they had were low low were very lowly paid.
[139] ... I'll tell you a story about erm ... erm ... a girl from , she was on service in with erm ... [...] Sir John , Sir John and Lady .
[140] There was a lodge there in ... in the in the village.
[141] ... And this day Lady had some letters to post in the early morning, she wanted them away, on the mails in the early morning.
[142] And she told this maid to go with the letters to post them.
[143] And it was going, but she doing something and she the Lady seen her going through a corridor and she said to her, Run Annie run.
[144] No my lady I never run for d anybody and I'm not going to run for you.
[145] [laugh] ... She was a good maid though.
[146] ... [...] and she didn't get the sack. [recording ends]