BNC Text HE8

Orkney Sound Archive tape OSA 335: interview for oral history project. Sample containing about 5896 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C357

PS2UP X f (No name, age unknown, historian, Interviewer) unspecified
PS2UR Ag5 m (Ned, age 80, retired farmer, Interviewee.) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 102801 recorded on 1993-02-09. LocationOrkney () Activity: Interview for oral history project Interview/reminiscences

Undivided text

(PS2UP) [1] Check that.
[2] Okay that's [...] on.
Ned (PS2UR) [3] We er when you [...] .
(PS2UP) [4] Right okay.
Ned (PS2UR) [5] Forty three.
(PS2UP) [6] That's it on now then.
Ned (PS2UR) [7] Yes.
[8] Well that's when I first started farming.
(PS2UP) [9] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [10] After I left the council, I worked for the council for ten years and then I stopped the council in nineteen forty six for I I telled you that afore have I.
(PS2UP) [11] That's right.
[12] Yes.
Ned (PS2UR) [13] I couldn't leave them you see with the war on.
(PS2UP) [14] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [15] Well then in later years t baling came to be a great fashion in Orkney here.
(PS2UP) [16] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [17] And er J and W in Kirkwall started to bale hay in Orkney but it didn't pay [...] for you to take [...] to Kirkwall everyday to go to [...] since the war.
[18] And if it was bad weather he'd to take them home again.
[19] So he asking me if I would do it.
[20] So he gave me a baler and I did all of Ork around about Birsay and Sanday and [...] round the area here and baled their hay to them.
[21] And then he bought another baler and he worked with two balers.
[22] But there was no balers in Orkney then at all, that was the first balers that came here.
(PS2UP) [23] Aha.
[24] So was that first baler belong to this chap in Kirkwall?
Ned (PS2UR) [25] J and W .
(PS2UP) [26] Oh right?
Ned (PS2UR) [27] He was the agent you see for for International Balers.
(PS2UP) [28] I see .
Ned (PS2UR) [29] And he was going to start [...] old Charlie , a very old man.
[30] The grandfather of the people that has it now.
[31] And he wanted to help me to get under way you see but I wasn't long started farming [...] .
(PS2UP) [32] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [33] So then he bought another baler.
[34] Well then people started to get balers of their own and er d I didn't er get so much work.
[35] But I did the whole of Orkney for a while I did everything that could be done.
(PS2UP) [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [36] And then later on combining started.
[37] And er for the [...] and then at Rendall took on two new combines from Ma from the Massey Ferguson company that was [...] them days.
[38] And of course they didn't hire with them.
[39] But the man who lived at [...] in Rendall, he was going to retire.
[40] So I bought his combine from him.
[41] So I hired it out to people and work night and day when the weather was bonny, combining their barley and that.
[42] And then I bought another one and then I bought a third one so that I had three combines but there were no other [...] combines on Orkney at all.
[43] That was the first of the combines.
[44] But what date it was I couldn't tell you but if you like to mind when [...] when they first started.
(PS2UP) [45] Aye. [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [46] I think it'd been about nineteen sixty maybe but I'm not sure.
(PS2UP) [47] Mhm.
[48] So
Ned (PS2UR) [49] And the and then the the council, they used to cut the roads with scythes you ken, cut the weeds on the roads.
[50] [...] and I worked for the council so he spoke to me one day and he said, Will you cut the roads with a tractor and a mower.
[51] I says, Yes I'll cut them.
[52] So he [...] in the paper then asking farmers, anybody had a tractor and a mower if they cut a certain section of the road.
[53] Well he didn't get much satisfaction with that for some people wouldn't do it.
[54] So I said, I'll cut all the roads in the West Mainland if you want.
[55] So they took me on and the to cut all the roads from Kirkland right to West Mainland right out into Kirkwall and [...] .
[56] That's the end you see.
[57] Some other body did the East Mainland.
[58] And I cut the whole roads in three weeks time with a mower.
(PS2UP) [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [59] And I oh it's you see three weeks [...] to cut the Isle of Orkney mind.
[60] I wonder how long it takes them now to cut the roads.
[61] And they paid me sixteen and six an hour for the tractor and a mower and myself.
[62] And I started in the morning at eight o'clock and I didn't stop till midnight.
[63] I did sixteen hours every day, six days a week.
[64] I didn't cut on a Sunday.
[65] For I had to stay at home and look after me farm for [...] .
[66] But me wife was good then you see and so was my son and they both worked the farm you see.
[67] And looked after it and I went to do this job for.
[68] It was [...] .
(PS2UP) [69] Mhm.
[70] Was it?
[71] So what happened afore the machinery came in?
[72] Did they actually have folk with scythes?
Ned (PS2UR) [73] Scythes.
[74] Aha all cut with scythes
(PS2UP) [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [75] long ago.
[76] I mind it all cut with scythes.
(PS2UP) [77] The the verges?
Ned (PS2UR) [78] Yes.
(PS2UP) [79] The road verges ?
Ned (PS2UR) [80] Yes.
[81] See the road verges wasn't the same long ago, it was ditches.
(PS2UP) [82] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [83] On the roads.
[84] But as i told you before, when the council started preparing for Hitler, in when I went on the council work in nineteen thirty six I had to fill the ditches in there.
[85] And make verges on the roads.
[86] And they widened the roads and tarmacadamed them.
[87] Well they only started tarmacadam in nineteen thirty six.
[88] That's the first they started in Orkney.
[89] It was [...] the road was still there [...] he had to do it and they were put there by the government.
[90] To be a road surveyor and a travelling foreman.
[91] And Peter [...] was a super foreman.
[92] But he was coming for doing the borders [...] Peebles and Selkirk down that and Roxburgh.
[93] [cough] And [...] they were a they were [...] you see.
(PS2UP) [94] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [95] At the job.
(PS2UP) [96] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [97] And they took me on in nineteen thirty six to help them you see.
[98] For I was looking for a job I was newly married in nineteen thirty six [...] make a pound or two.
(PS2UP) [99] Mhm.
[100] [...] I see.
[101] So how did they work it with the scythes?
[102] Was the council chaps employed [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [103] Council men [...] put out with scythes.
(PS2UP) [104] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [105] And a lorry you see to cut the road verges.
(PS2UP) [106] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [107] Well they found they could do it far better with a tractor and a mower.
(PS2UP) [108] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [109] And then you see the the council I did that for nineteen years.
[110] And then I stopped farming in nineteen seventy cut it till sixty nine.
[111] Well the council started then and they took on machines of their own.
[112] Which they work on the same system as a as a rotovator.
[113] And it cuts up the grass in wee bits and instead of er making the roads better it makes them worse.
[114] For it cuts up the grass like farmyard manure, it chops it up you see and it rots quick and makes the grass grow quicker.
[115] But when I cut the roads it was cut with a finger mower.
[116] And it lay flat and it rotted the grass out.
[117] And it only needed to be cut once a year.
[118] Now when they cuts the roads every week if there was a [...] watch as you go by, you see them cutting the whole time with a tractor.
[119] The council.
[120] How do you like to hear what it's costing now.
[121] The old fashioned way was the best way to do it.
(PS2UP) [122] Mhm.
[123] And when they cut it with scythes, did they gather it?
Ned (PS2UR) [124] No no they left it lying .
(PS2UP) [125] They just left it lying. [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [126] Yes I rot it out you see.
(PS2UP) [127] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [128] To rot out the grass.
(PS2UP) [129] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [130] See anybody who cuts their garden with a mower, if you drag the grass off, it doesn't grow so quick.
(PS2UP) [131] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [132] But if you let it lie it manures it you see.
(PS2UP) [133] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [134] Till you put it down on a on a field.
(PS2UP) [135] Mhm. [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [136] And that's what's happening with the council you see.
[137] They cut it and chop it up.
(PS2UP) [138] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [139] And makes it s small.
(PS2UP) [140] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [141] Well it rots quick.
(PS2UP) [142] That's right.
[143] Mhm.
[144] So when you had your combines, did you did you go round the neighbouring peedie farms [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [145] Yes they used to book for cutting you see.
[146] I used to go and cut their barley to them and I bought a thing for drying the barley too.
(PS2UP) [147] Oh.
Ned (PS2UR) [148] A great big Leicester thing.
[149] That blowed the moisture out of it.
(PS2UP) [150] Oh right.
Ned (PS2UR) [151] If you'd anything to put in it you'd blowed the a the dampness out you see and dried it.
(PS2UP) [152] Oh.
Ned (PS2UR) [153] What they called a moisture extractor.
[154] I bought it from [...] .
(PS2UP) [155] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [156] A very powerful thing.
[157] You couldn't stand in front of it there was that much power in it.
(PS2UP) [158] Oh right.
[159] And was it mostly the bigger farms that wanted you [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [160] Anybody who wanted combining I did it.
(PS2UP) [161] Aha.
[162] Was it mostly the bigger farms or did the peedie ones [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [163] Oh the peedie ones did it [...] four or five or six acre you cut the [...] and bag it the barley to them put it in the er the bagger on the machine you see.
(PS2UP) [164] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [165] But in latter days they came with a tank and they put it out and put it in a trailer you see but I just worked with bags when it was the first of it.
(PS2UP) [166] Oh right.
Ned (PS2UR) [167] But you can't get bags now except plastic ones it was all jute bags then.
[168] I worked every day there was weather.
(PS2UP) [169] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [170] If it was a bonny day you worked on till sometimes three in the morning they were doing the [...] .
(PS2UP) [171] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [172] You would work any hours to suit the weather you see.
(PS2UP) [173] Mhm.
[174] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [175] And it's never hurt me hard work.
(PS2UP) [176] [laugh] It must have been quite a spectacle though when the first combine came [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [177] Oh folk folk came form far and near to see it.
(PS2UP) [178] Is that right?
Ned (PS2UR) [179] Oh yeah.
(PS2UP) [laugh]
Ned (PS2UR) [180] On a bonny day [...] .
(PS2UP) [181] Ah.
[182] It would be quite a unusual thing at first. [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [183] Oh it was the first that ever started in Orkney, nobody ever thought You see before they used to cut their crop and set it in stokes.
[184] Then you used to build it in a stack and then you used to take it in the barn and thresh it.
[185] Going with a combine it's all done in one operation you see.
[186] The the barley's in the bag.
(PS2UP) [187] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [188] Then you do the [...] it.
(PS2UP) [189] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [190] And [...] three great big bins from [...] from the [...] they called them and I had three bins in my shed that I stored the barley in and I put the moisture extractor into them and it blew It had wee [...] in it and it blew all the moisture out.
[191] And when you brought it for your cattle [...] like the highland parkway making whisky.
(PS2UP) [192] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [193] It fermented you see [...] the cattle was [...] for it.
(PS2UP) [194] Oh.
Ned (PS2UR) [195] It fermented and made it very sweet.
[196] And it made your dairy cows milk awful good.
(PS2UP) [197] Oh right.
[198] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [199] We worked with dairy as well, seventy two dairy cows.
(PS2UP) [200] Mhm.
[201] Right.
[202] I suppose the milking machines coming in would have been another [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [203] They come in in nineteen forty seven , I started dairy in nineteen forty seven.
[204] I shifted to this farm in nineteen forty three but I d worked on the council in nineteen forty six.
[205] And then I start dairy work.
[206] Well dairy cows.
(PS2UP) [207] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [208] And bought a milking machine.
(PS2UP) [209] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [210] [...] used to start to work with the farmers you see but I didn't [...] .
(PS2UP) [211] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [212] And put it in bulk tanks you ken [...] taking milk away down in a tank I mean we used to take it away in cans.
(PS2UP) [213] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [214] Ten gallon cans.
[215] On a lorry.
(PS2UP) [216] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [217] Take it into Kirkwall.
(PS2UP) [218] Mhm.
[219] Mhm.
[220] Mm.
[221] A big change from the from the milking by hand .
Ned (PS2UR) [222] Oh same as always.
[223] Yes
(PS2UP) [224] You know [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [225] I never milked by hand it was always the machine.
(PS2UP) [226] Yeah [...] .
[227] Do you mind seeing folk doing on the [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [228] Oh yes er when I was at home as a wee boy everybody milked by hand and give their calves the milk then to drink.
(PS2UP) [229] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [230] But then later [...] to suckle their calves, it's less work.
(PS2UP) [231] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [232] Everything their doing now is always making less work and that's why there's so much unemployed.
(PS2UP) [233] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [234] They're cutting labour you see.
(PS2UP) [235] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [236] And there's no It doesn't help any for anything's so expensive to buy, the machinery.
(PS2UP) [237] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [238] [...] like a combine now's about thirty or forty thousand.
(PS2UP) [239] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [240] Well that's a lot of wages.
(PS2UP) [241] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [242] And they's only used a s short time of the year.
(PS2UP) [243] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [244] But it's only used in the bonny weather [...] you see.
(PS2UP) [245] I see.
Ned (PS2UR) [246] Tractors are used for the twelve months you see but not a combine.
(PS2UP) [247] Mhm.
[248] More worthwhile getting a tractor right enough.
Ned (PS2UR) [249] Yeah.
(PS2UP) [250] Yeah.
[251] That's true.
Ned (PS2UR) [252] And then i when I was was [...] about the trout fishing in the loch here.
[253] Well my gra my great grandfather came from Sanday with his wife and a wee daughter.
[254] And my grandfather married the daughter and he came to [...] .
[255] [...] Harray Loch and the Stenness Loch were fishing.
[256] With the tourist trade so they always kept boats you see.
(PS2UP) [257] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [258] So we worked with boats [...] those lochs for four generations.
[259] And my mother came from the farm along the shore and they were in the same position [...] they worked with boats too.
[260] And you hired them out to the tourist trade.
[261] But in them days there wasn't many tourists came to Orkney for they didn't have transport, no cars.
[262] But latterly you see there's an awful lot of folks coming and buses on tours and that and the tourist trade on the Loch here's busy you know.
[263] There's more folk working [...] don't make so much money on it.
(PS2UP) [264] Mhm.
[265] Did your father do that when you were peedie farmers [...] ?
Ned (PS2UR) [266] And my grandfather and my great grandfather.
[267] All did and so did my mother's side, they came from the farm up the L up the Loch I mean, that's where my mother came from. [...] .
(PS2UP) [268] Mhm.
[269] What sort of folk was it then?
[270] Was it gentry folk coming up for their holidays ?
Ned (PS2UR) [271] Yes they came for for their holidays.
(PS2UP) [272] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [273] And no they come from all the world and hire boats that people would make [...] .
[274] All over the continent and all over the States and that.
(PS2UP) [275] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [276] Aye [...] show you people you'll see in the Loch not last July but the July [...] came to the States.
(PS2UP) [277] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [278] I can show you photographs of them in the Loch here.
(PS2UP) [279] Mhm.
[280] Yeah.
[281] So when you first started hiring out boats was it where did you get your boats from was it [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [282] Well I mean, they were handed down for generations.
[283] [...] our forebears had boats see and you either bought new ones or repaired the ones that was there.
(PS2UP) [284] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [285] But my family done that for four generations.
(PS2UP) [286] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [287] On the Harray Loch and the Stenness Loch.
(PS2UP) [288] That's some while.
Ned (PS2UR) [289] It was a while ago.
(PS2UP) [290] Yeah.
[291] That's some while.
[292] Were your boats made by a local boat builder?
Ned (PS2UR) [293] Well somebody [...] built them at the boat builders in Orkney [...] built some [...] .
(PS2UP) [294] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [295] They used to they they started boat building in Finstown where the the builders is now you ken, what do you call them.
(PS2UP) [296] Aye [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [297] [...] builders, what do you call them?
(PS2UP) [298] Erm
Ned (PS2UR) [299] Well that's where they started boat building there.
(PS2UP) [300] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [301] At that big shed.
(PS2UP) [302] I see.
Ned (PS2UR) [303] What do they call that place now?
(PS2UP) [304] Erm has the dolphins, that it?
Ned (PS2UR) [305] Yes.
(PS2UP) [306] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [307] Well that's where they started building boats at .
(PS2UP) [308] Something [...] I can't remember what it is.
Ned (PS2UR) [309] Yeah.
(PS2UP) [310] Yeah.
[311] I see so that was originally where the boat builders was.
Ned (PS2UR) [312] And they came with a [...] and started there.
(PS2UP) [313] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [314] was the name.
[315] And the same firm's working in Ayrshire yet.
[316] Descendant of them making making boats in Ayrshire.
[317] But I get people to the fishing here [...] asking if the boat's built there.
[318] By .
[319] And all grand boats.
[320] They built awful bonny boats.
[321] But there a [...] that builds boats [...] some of them you're in the [...] builds boats.
(PS2UP) [322] Mhm.
[323] Right.
[324] And I suppose they would be wooden boats would they [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [325] Aye, timber boats but now they're making fibreglass ones but they're not so good in the loch for the the water runs up them quicker they're so smooth.
[326] [...] bodies are made in in planks you see and there's a rib in it.
[327] And it keeps the water from running up them so quick.
(PS2UP) [328] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [329] In windy weather.
[330] When you get strong winds here in the sometimes in the Summer.
[331] You get gale force winds sometimes.
(PS2UP) [332] Mm.
[333] Did you fish much yourself then?
Ned (PS2UR) [334] Oh yes I always went fishing as a wee boy, me and my brother.
(PS2UP) [335] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [336] We used to catch a lot of fish and it was always in them days you [...] used to catch the trout in the Summer [...] and you used to dry them on the on the dykes and hang them on the line like you could see haddocks and that drying.
[337] You've seen that on South Ronaldsay you know.
(PS2UP) [338] Mhm.
[339] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [340] We used to dry the trout here.
(PS2UP) [341] I suppose trout would be your fish of the Summer rather than er [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [342] Well [...] get it Aye it was only trout you get in in the Harry Loch you see.
[343] You'd get a chance salmon.
(PS2UP) [344] Mm.
[345] Yeah.
[346] What about Stenness, do you ever get the sea fish coming [...] .
Ned (PS2UR) [347] Well it used to be [...] the Stenness Loch was very good till they built the barriers.
[348] The barriers spoilt it.
(PS2UP) [349] Is that right?
Ned (PS2UR) [350] Yes when the barriers wasn't there you see, the water came right out through Hoy and went right out at [...] .
[351] And kept Stromness and Kirkwall clear of sewerage.
[352] Now you see it's blocked and [...] good now is at [...] .
[353] Or
(PS2UP) [354] Mm
Ned (PS2UR) [355] or er Hoy.
(PS2UP) [356] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [357] So it made the Stenness Loch polluted for the as pollution comes in the Stenness Loch and it f spoilt the fishing here.
[358] Since the barriers was built.
[359] That's my experience of the [...] happening in my time.
(PS2UP) [360] Mm.
[361] Do you mind actually, what would you ever get sea fish in Stenness Loch then ?
Ned (PS2UR) [362] Oh it's sea trout you get there.
[363] Come from the sea.
(PS2UP) [364] Would you ever get like [...] or sillocks .
Ned (PS2UR) [365] Oh yes you get [...] sillocks.
(PS2UP) [366] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [367] And Stenness it's [...] sea is salt you see.
(PS2UP) [368] Mhm.
[369] Would you get a mixture, would you ever get the freshwater fish as well as the sea fish ?
Ned (PS2UR) [370] Oh yes you get them too.
[371] They come through to the
(PS2UP) [372] Aha.
[373] Must be kind of it's kind of unusual really [laugh]
Ned (PS2UR) [374] Yeah
(PS2UP) [375] both the sea and the
Ned (PS2UR) [376] Well when i was a wee boy the loch had never looked it before the barriers was built [...] When I was going to school Well I was born I started a co school at [...] nineteen eighteen.
[377] Well there was a air station at Howtown at er Stenness then for sea planes landing in the loch.
[378] That was during the the first war.
[379] And [...] seen gillies going out for the Stenness Hotel s with sailing boats, I've seen eight leaving there in the morning I went to school.
[380] All on Stenness, they never went to Harray for there were plenty of fish in Stenness you see.
[381] But now you can fish Stenness all dy and you'll never see a fish.
[382] The sewage has spoilt it [...] whether you can't come it [...] it's all dirty.
(PS2UP) [383] Yeah.
[384] Yeah.
[385] Mhm.
[386] Would that be where the local the local sort of gentry tourists stayed then at the Stenness Hotel ?
Ned (PS2UR) [387] [...] there wasn't [...] there's no other hotels, one at the [...] but there's very few hotels then.
(PS2UP) [388] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [389] It was it was called Hotel then.
(PS2UP) [390] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [391] built it and he built he had the Kirkwall Hotel, the Stenness Hotel and the Stromness Hotel and an hotel in [...] in Shetland.
(PS2UP) [392] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [393] And the hotels he put up, he bought them in Glasgow, there'd be an exhibition hotel made of wood, built in Glasgow.
[394] He took two of them up here and took them in sections and built one in Stenness and another in [...] .
[395] And this man came from the Highlands of Scotland.
[396] I remember him finding [...] going to the school.
[397] His son took over the Kirkwall Hotel when he grew up.
[398] And his grandson did couldn't manage the hotels at all and him he went away he lived in Vancouver and Canada a while.
[399] And I don't know if he's living or dead [...] .
[400] That was three I remember.
(PS2UP) [401] [...] Er.
[402] So did they just keep the hotel open all year for these visitors?
Ned (PS2UR) [403] No but they didn't use it [...] for they didn't have a license then, they only got a license after the war you see.
(PS2UP) [404] Oh I see.
Ned (PS2UR) [405] And the same the Kirkwall Hotel was kept open and the Stromness Hotel but the Stenness Hotel was closed.
[406] For they'd no work you see and the staff there was paid off.
[407] For I remember it all shut up.
(PS2UP) [408] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [409] They'd no They'd no electric or nothing there you see and they'd water through a well.
(PS2UP) [410] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [411] But then the got the electric and the county water but the Sten the Kirkwall Hotel and the Stromness Hotel and the Stenness Hotel was all connected with the man's own private phone.
[412] He had his own private phone.
[413] For he quarrelled with the telephone people and he put another wire on the other side of the road to himself..
(PS2UP) [414] Good grief.
Ned (PS2UR) [415] He didn't th he didn't have a public phone that was a private phone he had.
(PS2UP) [416] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [417] I remember [...] the school.
(PS2UP) [418] Mm.
[419] Heavens.
[420] So the Stenness Hotel has been up for a while then.
Ned (PS2UR) [421] It was up [...] nineteen five I think for tourists or nineteen three somewhere ni Just after the turn of the century.
(PS2UP) [422] Heaven sakes.
Ned (PS2UR) [423] But I think it was built maybe in er in the er nineteen eighty or early eight maybe nineteen ninety five or thereabout but it took a while while they got it erected.
[424] And they came from Glasgow.
[425] In sections.
(PS2UP) [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [426] And they added onto it and made it bigger since.
(PS2UP) [427] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [428] But the last the first part of it that was built went on fire not long ago.
(PS2UP) [429] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [430] And it was rebuilt, that's the only part [...] burnt out.
[431] And it [...] built of timber.
(PS2UP) [432] Which would be why it was such a terrible blaze, it ripped the roof right off .
Ned (PS2UR) [433] Yes.
[434] Yes it was all timber.
(PS2UP) [435] Aye.
Ned (PS2UR) [436] I remember I remember [...] first war starting.
(PS2UP) [437] Oh I see.
[438] So did this fella keep visitors right up through the year or was it just the Summer [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [439] Not in Stenness.
(PS2UP) [440] Not in Stenness.
Ned (PS2UR) [441] But in you see travellers and that came up to Stromness [...] and the Kirkwall Hotel.
(PS2UP) [442] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [443] And then he used the Stenness Hotel for visitors but there's not [...] you got some.
[444] See in them days of the old steam boats and they came from er from Leith and Aberdeen.
(PS2UP) [445] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [446] And then they had to walk.
[447] No cars you see.
[448] I remember people walking [...] .
(PS2UP) [449] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [450] pony and gig.
(PS2UP) [451] Mm.
[452] Yeah.
[453] Would did the local folk get employment there?
Ned (PS2UR) [454] Oh yeah, that's what I'm saying, there's eight people used to go up I've seen eight people leaving the Stenness Hotel [...] crofters were around [...] go round gillying for for the Stenness Hotel.
[455] I've seen eight boat leaving there with sails on them.
(PS2UP) [456] I see.
Ned (PS2UR) [457] When I was going to school.
(PS2UP) [458] How big would these boats be?
[459] How many folk would they carry?
Ned (PS2UR) [460] Two folk and the gilly.
[461] There was two folk one each end of the boat and the gilly in the middle.
[462] They boats were anything from ten to twelve feet.
[463] That's the size the boats were [...] boats [...] you see.
(PS2UP) [464] Mhm.
[465] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [466] That's a [...] making some of them fourteen feet long now.
(PS2UP) [467] Mhm.
[468] And I suppose er l some of the lasses would have gotten work as
Ned (PS2UR) [469] Oh they all got work making food you see waitresses .
(PS2UP) [470] [...] and whatever Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [471] And chamber maids.
(PS2UP) [472] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [473] All the local people you see there's nobody goes to work now there's nobody to work.
(PS2UP) [474] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [475] [...] the houses, there's nobody.
(PS2UP) [476] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [477] There used to be big families I've seen [...] down at [...] there were six girls there.
[478] We'd have plenty of work for them you see.
(PS2UP) [479] Mhm.
[480] [...] And did did anybody ever hire out like ponies and gigs for this [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [481] Yes [...] everybody nearly had a pony and gig then.
(PS2UP) [482] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [483] Now then you see the motor cars came.
(PS2UP) [484] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [485] My father had a pony and gig.
[486] Every family nearly had it.
(PS2UP) [487] Mhm.
[488] Right.
Ned (PS2UR) [489] And my father used to gilly in the Summertime.
[490] And my brother and my grandfather used to and my great grandfather they all took helped on the loch you see.
(PS2UP) [491] Mm.
[492] Did you do that too?
Ned (PS2UR) [493] Oh yes I did it not long ago.
[494] I used to [...] I gillied here.
(PS2UP) [495] Mhm.
[496] Would that have been a kind of enjoyable job?
Ned (PS2UR) [497] Well if you were interested.
(PS2UP) [498] Mhm.
[499] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [500] The first pay they got was two the the first I remember people gillying for the Stenness Hotel, their pay was two and six and a gill of whisky.
[501] That was the days pay.
[502] Two and six.
[503] That wasn't much money.
(PS2UP) [504] No.
[505] No no.
[506] Would that be straight from the folk that
Ned (PS2UR) [507] At
(PS2UP) [508] they gillied for?
Ned (PS2UR) [509] Yes the
(PS2UP) [510] or from the chap at the Hotel?
Ned (PS2UR) [511] No they they were paid from the people that employed them.
(PS2UP) [512] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [513] And they give them a gill of whisky that was supposed to be for their lunch you see.
(PS2UP) [514] For their lunch?
Ned (PS2UR) [515] Yes.
(PS2UP) [laugh]
Ned (PS2UR) [516] A gill of whisky's not much.
(PS2UP) [laugh]
Ned (PS2UR) [517] And it was good whisky they got [...] was too new made you see.
(PS2UP) [518] Mm.
[519] Mm.
[520] Mm. [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [521] Yes.
[522] And there were a woman in Stromness at a White Horse there were a garage in Stromness they call the White Hors.
[523] Well there were a woman that used to have have that and they called her Maggie and she used to serve drinks there, whisky and that was before Stromness was voted dry you see.
[524] After the last war you see it was voted dry.
[525] Did you know that?
[526] It was voted completely dray and the people who wanted to drink had to go to to Finstown.
[527] Well Maggie at this place they called the White Horse and it was two er two pence for a nip.
[528] And they used to heap the glasses [...] .
[529] And she always gave them good measure and did an awful trade.
[530] But then they voted Stromness dry you see.
[531] There was no drink in Stromness of any kind.
(PS2UP) [532] Was that just after the second war or just afore it?
Ned (PS2UR) [533] The first war.
(PS2UP) [534] Oh the first war.
[535] Ah right
Ned (PS2UR) [536] Right and they didn't get a license back to the second war.
(PS2UP) [537] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [538] I remember Stromness dry for I was I used to drive a car then I used to pick up folk and take them to the Pomona and take them back again.
[539] But I used to do work for [...] customer down the [...] garage there he used to have two cars to hire and I drove one in my spare time.
(PS2UP) [540] Oh right.
[541] I see.
[542] So was Stromness voted dry after the first war then or afore it?
[543] After .
Ned (PS2UR) [544] After the first war I think it was.
(PS2UP) [545] Oh I see.
Ned (PS2UR) [546] And there was a big distillery in Stromness you see.
(PS2UP) [547] Ah.
Ned (PS2UR) [548] I can't remember the people [...] that'd be in records, there used to be a distillery there.
(PS2UP) [549] I've heard of that right enough.
[550] Cos there
Ned (PS2UR) [551] Yeah.
(PS2UP) [552] was a bottle of of whisky from that distillery went for a huge p price at one of the big
Ned (PS2UR) [553] Yeah.
(PS2UP) [554] auctions South.
Ned (PS2UR) [555] Aye.
[556] I and I can't mind [...] forgotten.
[557] I can't [...] minded there. [...]
(PS2UP) [558] Mhm.
[559] Right.
[560] I see.
Ned (PS2UR) [561] The man [...] was [...] heard of him.
[562] I don't know he's the same s in South Ronaldsay or not would he be different s?
(PS2UP) [563] No idea.
Ned (PS2UR) [564] Would it be the same
(PS2UP) [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [565] [...] a draper in South Ronaldsay is it not.
[566] Used to be.
(PS2UP) [567] That's right.
[568] Yes that's right .
Ned (PS2UR) [569] Are they there yet?
(PS2UP) [570] No.
[571] Er well not the same folk.
Ned (PS2UR) [572] Oh different ones.
(PS2UP) [573] The shop's still there,
Ned (PS2UR) [574] Yeah.
(PS2UP) [575] it's kind of it's it's calls itself the Treasure Chest now.
Ned (PS2UR) [576] Well that man bought the distillery in Stromness and broke it up and sold the timber out of it.
[577] Grand timber in it you see.
(PS2UP) [578] Aye.
Ned (PS2UR) [579] It was a big place.
(PS2UP) [580] Mhm.
[581] I see.
Ned (PS2UR) [582] And I can't remember what they called the whisky.
[583] They shipped it South you see.
(PS2UP) [584] Shame though you know.
Ned (PS2UR) [585] Yeah.
(PS2UP) [586] Mm.
[587] Stromness must have had a big temperance movement then.
Ned (PS2UR) [588] Yes.
[589] And [...] the herring fishing in Stromness they used to walk with the boats [...] right across the pier.
[590] They would walk over the boats, the herring boats, herring fishing.
[591] And then it stopped and they went to Stronsay then.
(PS2UP) [592] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [593] But [...] Stronsay fishing [...] from the herring fishing.
[594] You've seen old photos of that.
(PS2UP) [595] Yes.
[596] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [...]
(PS2UP) [597] Quite amazing the number of peedie boats just available.
Ned (PS2UR) [598] I'll show you a photo here in the water right up at the c the cathedral.
[599] You ever seen it?
(PS2UP) [600] No.
Ned (PS2UR) [601] I'll show you a photo of that.
(PS2UP) [602] Oh brilliant.
[603] Is that just with a high flood?
Ned (PS2UR) [604] No there was no houses there.
(PS2UP) [605] Oh I see.
[606] Oh right.
Ned (PS2UR) [607] Back road wasn't there.
(PS2UP) [608] Ah right.
[609] Oh yes I'd like to see that.
[610] That'd be great.
Ned (PS2UR) [611] [...] .
(PS2UP) [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [612] See folk well maybe [...] bairns plying in boats right up to the cathedral.
(PS2UP) [613] You'll not mind it like that though do you?
Ned (PS2UR) [614] No but I mind it Well the power station, I mind it no road there.
[615] Great Western road.
(PS2UP) [616] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [617] I mind no road there.
[618] For I worked at the council they were trying to make a road there then.
[619] [...] dumping rubbish in that end you ken [...] driving the council lorries.
(PS2UP) [620] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [621] They built the council garage with [...] built for the when Scott came here.
(PS2UP) [622] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [623] And he built a new house at [...] and they call it Scott's House yet.
(PS2UP) [624] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [625] And they call the road Scott's Road.
[626] Is that finished?
(PS2UP) [627] No it's a wee while to go yet.
Ned (PS2UR) [628] They call it Scott's Road you see.
(PS2UP) [629] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [630] He's a marvellous man, he came to Orkney to improve the Orkney roads.
[631] That's [...] about him and Peter [...] , they're two men who could do it.
(PS2UP) [632] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [633] They understood what they were doing.
(PS2UP) [634] Mhm.
[635] Mm.
[636] Well there must have been a lot of roads.
[637] You know that they did improve [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [638] Well they made an awful lot of new roads since you see.
(PS2UP) [639] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [640] Well [...] if it was a narrow road then they made it twice as wide.
(PS2UP) [641] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [642] I mean you could hardly pass two buses on it then.
(PS2UP) [643] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [644] And the road here was just grassy road [...] grass road in the middle of it.
(PS2UP) [645] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [646] Now it's a [...] having buses on it.
(PS2UP) [647] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [648] Since the war Orkney's changed terrible.
(PS2UP) [649] Mhm.
[650] Mm.
[651] Yes the amount of machinery and changes in farming and everything it's all just
Ned (PS2UR) [652] Yeah.
(PS2UP) [653] all the all over really.
[654] Mm.
[655] Mm.
[656] What about going right back again, what was what relation of i of yours was the the had something to do with breeding horses is that right?
Ned (PS2UR) [657] My gran my father
(PS2UP) [658] Ah.
Ned (PS2UR) [659] start the what they call they what did you say the name of it again?
(PS2UP) [660] Horse breeding
Ned (PS2UR) [661] Central Horse Breeding Society.
(PS2UP) [662] Yeah.
Ned (PS2UR) [663] And then when he gave it up when his wife died, he stopped it then and they changed it into the West Mainland Horse Breeding Society.
(PS2UP) [664] Mhm.
[665] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [666] And they used to wh Why they used to work this breeding you see, they used to ad well some people in the South [...] stallions they wanted to travel to Orkney to make money and advertise them.
(PS2UP) [667] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [668] And they used to call a meeting and this horse breeding society would have called a meeting you know the ones that looked after choosing the horse they were gonna select for this certain season you see.
[669] They started in April and they travelled on till July.
(PS2UP) [670] Oh.
[671] And was it his job to take the stallion round [...]
Ned (PS2UR) [672] Well the man travelled round the man travelled round with a pony, riding a pony and the stallion walking alongside you see.
[673] And er they like I told you before they used a whole a crafty in Kirkwall.
[674] That's where the Phoenix is standing right now there was great big piece there and they held a crafty there in the very first [...] early in April.
[675] And all the people that had stallions [...] South [...] been left in Orkney all Winter somebody had kept them.
[676] They all paraded in there.
[677] On a certain day.
[678] And I used to get in when I was a young boy and see them when I started working on a farm I always to see them.
[679] It was awful interesting to see bonny horse.
(PS2UP) [680] Mhm.
[681] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [682] And then you see they when the crafty was by they used to set out the next day, some [...] maybe taken for the West Mainland and some [...] taken for [...] and some were [...] .
[683] And they went round on their rounds and they called along every eleven days.
(PS2UP) [684] Why every eleven days?
Ned (PS2UR) [685] Well that's when your when your mare came in season.
(PS2UP) [686] Ah.
Ned (PS2UR) [687] And then when you put her in foal, [...] served her with a stallion. [...]
(PS2UP) [688] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [689] When they served her with a stallion you see, it was three weeks elapsed then before she if you didn't go and foal with that service it was three weeks elapsed afore you game again.
[690] But if she took the stallion at the end of that three weeks, he came back in another eleven days in case er she wasn't [...] settled you see.
(PS2UP) [691] I see.
[692] Mm.
[693] And is that when they would say that you know, they had so many good foals the year before or
Ned (PS2UR) [694] Well you see then er say a man owned two stallions here, and he'd two grooms travelling.
[695] Well er they they took so much money when the end of that when they stopped travelling the horse when they was finished the season, they went round all the farms and collected what they call the fairways money.
[696] Which maybe be two pound for every mare.
[697] Or three pound.
[698] At the end when the mare proved in foal, you'd pay another three or maybe four pound.
[699] Well they went round then the spring and collected all that from the farmers but the men that travelled the stallion went to the house first to see the mare was in foal.
[700] For some farmers would say their mare wasn't in foal you see.
[701] And the grooms went round to make sure she was in foal before he took the money.
[702] And they would collected maybe maybe a hundred and fifty pound for the season for travelling round.
(PS2UP) [703] Mhm.
[704] Mm.
[705] And was that their main wage was that how they got paid ?
Ned (PS2UR) [706] Well that's that's that's groom what they call the groom, then he had another job he did in the Winter, he [...] out in the council with the roads or any kind of job like that.
(PS2UP) [707] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [708] But he usually travelled the stallion for three month.
(PS2UP) [709] Mm.
Ned (PS2UR) [710] Well they started in April.
[711] April, May, June and July you see.
(PS2UP) [712] Mhm.
Ned (PS2UR) [713] And some travelled the horse walking it, but some rode a pony.
[714] But in later years they got a gig and it was far easier on the pony you see with a big heavy man riding a pony is awful tiresome on the pony you see.
(PS2UP) [715] Mhm.
[716] Mhm.
[717] And would [recording ends]