Orkney Sound Archive tape OSA/RO/A: interview. Sample containing about 2008 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C361

PS2V0 Ag5 f (Isa, age 84, Interviewee) unspecified
PS2V1 Ag2 f (No name, age 30+, radio presenter, Interviewer) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 103102 recorded on 1984-07-26. LocationOrkney: Stromness ( Radio broadcast ) Activity: Interview Interview/reminiscences

Undivided text

Isa (PS2V0) [1] Oh well there was clothes and gardens and [...] and just the same as it is now.
[2] But oh that's where the Was it the Clydesdale bank that's at the top of Castle Street?
[3] Mhm.
[4] That was and that was a grand shop.
[5] We used to all wear pinnies, white pinnies, on the top of our dresses and [...] going to school and I used to go into old Mr n and he would say to me And what colour of the bow do you want on your pinny today?
[6] And I would say He'd wait for me to say, Blue to match my eyes.
[7] Just as a kid he would lift me up on the m up on the er counter, you know and [...] me [laugh] I was born in and then we shifted to the bottom, you know that white house, I think it's all offices now, in the the erm big gates of the cathedral.
[8] You know at the bottom of the market green.
[9] Well the house, you just went in a gate there and went up the stairs there.
[10] So it was just My mother used to see me across the road with my shilling to pay for my pinny.
[11] And one day I dro [laugh] I dropped it down the the drain as I went into the shop.
[12] And I [...] tears of course, you know, and er the poor old man he was a very small man, Mr , and er he lifted me up and told me never to mind, i could get another shilling.
[13] But I don't know whether I ever got [laughing] [...] [] .
[14] Or whether I got the pinny for nothing, I might have easy.
[15] [laugh] Yes?
(PS2V1) [16] Did you have to have a different pinny every day then?
(PS2V1) [17] Oh very nearly.
[18] Oh yes, but they were just things that you tied at the back and and er had a frilled round here [...] They were bonny.
[19] On the top of your dress.
(PS2V1) [20] And what was the pinny for?
(PS2V1) [21] Oh just dress.
[22] You were dressed in a clean one, you had a clean pinny on.
[23] [laugh] You know, just a thing with sleeves and and er han hang loose on you.
[24] You've seen pi pictures of that surely. [laugh]
(PS2V1) [25] Was that to keep the dress clean?
Isa (PS2V0) [26] I don't know I think it was just to make us look pretty with a white pinny on the top of [laughing] our clothes [] .
(PS2V1) [27] And did all the bairns wear t All the girls wear these?
Isa (PS2V0) [28] Oh yes.
[29] Nearly every girl.
[30] Well when they were tiny anyway.
[31] Mhm.
(PS2V1) [32] Well it must have been an awful job to keep all these white?
Isa (PS2V0) [33] Oh yes and then we Oh whenever we had anything like picnics or anything like that, we had lovely white dresses that were made of what they called nun's veiling.
[34] What could I say it was like?
[35] It was a sort of woollen soft material but very er thin.
[36] And the ladies all when they were dressed they would have a skirt made of this and a frilly blouse with a high neck and er a silver buckled belt round their waist. [laugh]
(PS2V1) [37] Did they wear very tight corset [...] ?
Isa (PS2V0) [38] Oh mercy yes.
[39] Yes my aunt was Mrs David , and goodness me I can remember her having the laces pulled in.
[40] [laugh] just slim waists waists.
[41] Big bottoms I always [laughing] used to say [] . [laugh]
(PS2V1) [42] What sort of things did they have to keep their waists in?
[43] They looked terribly tough.
Isa (PS2V0) [44] Well just corsets like that, and they're fastened on the front with things that clicked in and then sometimes they would have a What they called a Oh what on earth did they call that?
[45] ... It was a thing made of whale bone that they shoved down side without fastening.
[46] And there were just as stiff as boards. [laugh]
(PS2V1) [47] Did they have to keep that on all day?
Isa (PS2V0) [48] Oh yes. [laugh]
(PS2V1) [49] Well did that not do any damage to their ribs then ?
Isa (PS2V0) [50] Well you would think so wouldn't you but it Nobody ever to say anything about it. ...
(PS2V1) [51] Did did they have to wear lots of Do you remember your aunties or your your mother Did they have to lots of layers of clothes or they seem to be.
Isa (PS2V0) [52] Yes.
[53] And they they they very often, when they were dressed, they would have a little shawl that they would lay over their shoulders instead of a a long scarf thing you know?
[54] They'd have a little fancy shawl or My Grandma used to always have a fancy shawl that Just a small thing that came, you know, a bit down their back and And my Grandma used to wear erm a white much It was just thing like a baby's A cotton thing, tied with a just a string, you know just to erm just a tie under her chin and it would have a wee bit of lace s on the corner, or the or the end of the tie, that was through the day and it was all ruffled, and then [cough] when she was on holiday and came into town she had a a thing on her head made of velvet and it all had fancy little things in it.
[55] Very posh. [laugh]
(PS2V1) [56] Did she live in the country?
Isa (PS2V0) [57] She lived in Deerness.
[58] Mhm.
(PS2V1) [59] Was it a big event to come into Kirkwall [...]
Isa (PS2V0) [60] Oh yes.
[61] My goodness yes.
[62] Some some of them were never in t I well I didn't know my aunt when I met her with a hat on.
[63] My [...] aunt.
[64] There was one time she was all dressed up to go to town and I didn't know her because she had a hat on.
[65] [laugh] I never seen her with a hat on in my life before, but Grandma wore a a bonnet, when she came into town.
[66] [laugh] and Grandma was the same, she had a she had another little fancy hat that she wore.
[67] Funny little things then.
(PS2V1) [68] Did Could everybody afford to have their own horse and gig or or was there a bus that came in or?
Isa (PS2V0) [69] Oh never such a thing as a bus, was brakes in these days that went to the country.
(PS2V1) [70] They didn't have a horse bus of any kind, did they?
Isa (PS2V0) [71] No Well Yes they had what they called brakes that came in.
[72] And erm they the w it was a place called diamonds in Deerness.
[73] Er Diamonds was the name of the farm or the place and then it came along to the lighthouse corner.
[74] New Lighthouse was the name of the house.
[75] that was one of mu un uncles that had that house and [...] Well my cousins have it now.
[76] And then they set off from there into Kirkwall about What time?
[77] About nine o'clock in the morning.
[78] And we sat in two rows and two horses pulling at us.
(PS2V1) [79] And did they have to stop and change the horses?
Isa (PS2V0) [80] No no.
[81] Just [...] you see?
[82] No no they didn't do tat.
[83] But Granddad had a lovely little What could you call it?
[84] A little gig It wasn't a gig either, he did have a gig but he had this thing, a sort of long shaped er What would you call it [...] ?
[85] I I've got mixed up with the names of the things.
(PS2V1) [86] Before my time [...]
Isa (PS2V0) [87] I think it's [...] Oh by Jove it is.
[88] Er and they used to sit in that.
[89] ... Erm ... two little doors at the Well it's just kind of the shape of What could I say it's the shape of?
[90] Well there would be a seat they would be facing each other in their seats.
[91] There's a picture of Granddad in in erm that new Orkney book that came out.
[92] Erm What's the name of it?
(PS2V1) [93] What the [...]
Isa (PS2V0) [94] N David David Stanley had a whole lot of pictures and there's an awful lot of pictures in it belonging to my Granddad and Grandma.
[95] We're not in it but me cousins and uncles and aunts and everybody's in it.
(PS2V1) [96] Is that the the one.
[97] The all the old photographs of Orkney [...] I've seen that one.
Isa (PS2V0) [98] Yes.
(PS2V1) [99] Yeah.
Isa (PS2V0) [100] Well if you see an old man sitting there with a a shining fronted cap on you'll know that's me Granddad, in a white beard.
(PS2V1) [101] Is there any sort of shelter [...] ?
Isa (PS2V0) [102] Well when No no.
[103] No shelter. [...]
(PS2V1) [104] What happened if it was a pouring day rain ?
Isa (PS2V0) [105] [...] it must have poured on us but I can't [laughing] ever remember it raining [] [laugh] [laughing] You know there was [] [cough] when we used to go to Deerness I had very long hair and we And Kirkwall wasn't just the cleanest of place at places at that time.
[106] And my hair was ... gingery, more or less the colour of the map you know, or a little darker than the colour of the map.
[107] And when I When it was opened out for me going to Deerness, well that was a great event.
[108] Grandma used to always say, Oh I know she's on the bus because I can see her here.
[109] And er when I went to school, Miss the old teacher, she used to take me out, er I used to go to the school ready to go to Deerness, we had to ask out a quarter of an hour early.
[110] And erm when Because we went the first day of our holidays, right away, to Deerness to my mother's people.
[111] And er ... I had to ask out this quarter of an hour early, well I got me hair all combed out all ready to go you see?
[112] But Miss used to take me out into here, to the teachers cloak room and and er er plait my hair up again and s say to me, I'll take it out before you go away Isa, because there was It wasn't a clean place in [laughing] Kirkwall [] .
[113] [laugh] Such a thing's never heard of nowad days I don't think.
(PS2V1) [114] So You said that there wasn't an upstairs downstairs kind of thing at all then?
Isa (PS2V0) [115] Well I didn't feel it.
[116] I never I never had that feeling.
[117] We certainly were like being in the army more or less, and er there was the head servants and erm the under servants, you know?
[118] But it was er we all sort of had a respect for each other and each other 's jobs, but there was none of this erm upstairs downstairs and running frightened for people or anything like that.
[119] We all kept our place but we all It was As I said, just as if they gave you credit for what you could do.
[120] ... It's in er Well how can I describe it to you?
[121] ... [teeth sucking] But we never were made to feel inferior or er erm anything like that.
[122] I never I was never made to feel that way anyway.
[123] I just get so annoyed at this English women that wrote that book, Upstairs Downstairs, you certainly th th th We know that the butler and the cook are boss, you know.
[124] They're the They're the head ones and they're place in you're sort of in charge.
[125] But you don't rub up against that horrible feeling. ...
(PS2V1) [126] What was society i in Orkney [...] just before you left, you said you were a young girl and you left about nineteen nineteen.
Isa (PS2V0) [127] Yes.
(PS2V1) [128] Was there er was there a big gap in society in Orkney, were there You know were the rich were rich and the poor were poor?
Isa (PS2V0) [129] Oh yes, dreadful.
[130] Far worse than anything I ever met in the south.
[131] And er there r there are no real er gentry in Orkney you see, and you'll always find that if anybody gets a a a Well as I said to one boy here, I said to him look here I said your old grandfather worked in that shop till his backside was hanging out his brigs.
[132] And I said that's the reason that you can get a car anytime you want it.
[133] I said I've lived lo long enough to know that.
[134] I said And I always say that it's the Orcad [tape change]