BNC Text K6T

Orkney Sound Archive tape OSA 305: interview for oral history project. Sample containing about 5871 words speech recorded in leisure context

2 speakers recorded by respondent number C640

PS5M6 X f (Maimes, age unknown, Being interviewed by) unspecified
K6TPS000 X u (No name, age unknown) unspecified

1 recordings

  1. Tape 100702 recorded on unknown date. LocationOrkney: Sanday () Activity: Interview for oral history project Interview, reminiscences

Undivided text

Maimes (PS5M6) [...]
(K6TPS000) [1] Yeah, that's it working.
[2] That's just lovely.
Maimes (PS5M6) [3] Mhm.
(K6TPS000) [4] [...] I'll I'll stick it under there. [...] [laugh]
Maimes (PS5M6) [...]
(K6TPS000) [5] That's just lovely.
[6] Now is this just is this to to mind me [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [7] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [8] I was gonna ask you.
[9] And the first one would be where [...] .
[10] That would be Sanday was it?
Maimes (PS5M6) [11] Aha, he was [...] Sanday.
(K6TPS000) [12] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [13] At that time the erm there wasn't he wasn't [...] undertaker.
[14] He was a joiner and on the islands the joiners had to do undertaking.
(K6TPS000) [15] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [16] And any join Well not anyone but most of the joiners did the undertaking more or less in the area they were in.
(K6TPS000) [17] So would like the three different sort of areas of Sanday, the parishes, each have a joiner?
[18] Cross [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [19] Well there was one Well father was in Cross but er there was one in what we called the South End.
(K6TPS000) [20] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [21] [...] and he was getting to be an old man and he had actually stopped and then father would take er would be asked to do the undertaking in that part.
(K6TPS000) [22] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [23] And er there was another m man a Mr Peace who had been
(K6TPS000) [24] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [25] an undertaker and he lived near the centre of the island.
(K6TPS000) [26] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [27] Near the village in [...]
(K6TPS000) [28] Mhm mhm .
Maimes (PS5M6) [29] And he did but then he was a lot older and he eventually stopped and er there would have been one at Woodhouse in Burness.
[30] But eventually
(K6TPS000) [31] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [32] it it came to be that it was the older men usually that were asked to do it I mean the people I suppose maybe felt it was more suitable to have older folk coming in to their houses.
(K6TPS000) [33] Mhm.
[34] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [35] And er and then he was the only one who did it.
(K6TPS000) [36] I see so the older chaps would just gradually [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [37] Well he star I think probably the first He must have been a joiner for a wee while before he was [...] you were just asked to do this the same I suppose as any other job any other joiner job
(K6TPS000) [38] Mhm.
[39] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [40] on the island.
(K6TPS000) [41] Mhm, that was just part of the job then [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [42] It was really part of the job.
(K6TPS000) [43] Mhm.
[44] Mhm.
[45] So did he [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [...]
(K6TPS000) [46] Do you think he served time on the island with one of the older ones ?
Maimes (PS5M6) [47] He served He served his time on the island.
[48] He was actually the oldest son of a farmer and er was expected to stay at home and [...] the firm.
(K6TPS000) [49] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [50] But he went and got himself an apprenticeship and then his parents saw that he
(K6TPS000) [51] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [52] was really serious about being a joiner so he went and he served his time with a Mr [...] at Woodhouse.
(K6TPS000) [53] Mhm [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [54] And they did a lot of things just the old way you know, where they had the
(K6TPS000) [55] Mm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [56] the pit and the the circular [...] with a saw you know, the wood, they had to go down in a in a pit.
[57] I don't really understand it but the the apprentice went down in the pit of course and the [laughing] older man was above and they worked this saw [] all this sawdust was coming
(K6TPS000) [58] Oh I see [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [59] Yes something like that you know.
(K6TPS000) [60] Was it a handsaw?
Maimes (PS5M6) [61] It was a hand sort of saw that they did this ripping of the wood with.
(K6TPS000) [62] Good grief.
Maimes (PS5M6) [63] But that was but a again he served his apprenticeship as a joiner.
(K6TPS000) [64] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [65] Not as an undertaker.
[66] He'd have been undertaking with this man.
(K6TPS000) [67] I see [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [68] But it was all part of the job.
(K6TPS000) [69] A chap on Sanday [...] was in Sanday.
Maimes (PS5M6) [70] Aha this was a man who had been a joiner there for a long time.
(K6TPS000) [71] Mhm mhm.
[72] And was his son going to be a joiner as well?
Maimes (PS5M6) [73] He didn't have a son this man, no he didn't .
(K6TPS000) [74] He didn't have a son.
[75] So he's be able to afford
Maimes (PS5M6) [76] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [77] to take [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [78] Oh well he he he had to take on a oh he could easily afford it because he was paid about five shillings in the year.
[79] And he got the p he I think he said his first years pay was five shillings.
(K6TPS000) [80] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [81] And they got a harvest.
(K6TPS000) [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [82] So they were allowed to go they were allowed to go and work a harvest at a farm.
(K6TPS000) [83] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [84] To make money.
[85] But then father didn't [...] do that because he was staying at home and he was expected to do his harvest on the farm so his money was five shillings.
(K6TPS000) [86] And that was that.
[87] [...] . Yes that's right. ... [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [88] That was it.
[89] And his keep at home.
[90] [...] he didn't have to.
[91] Aha yes
(K6TPS000) [92] Yes I've heard of that in South Ronaldsay
Maimes (PS5M6) [...]
(K6TPS000) [93] it was a chap that was a smithy and they got to choose when they were in their in [...] either the harvest or one season at the fishing.
Maimes (PS5M6) [94] Oh it'll be the same idea aha.
(K6TPS000) [95] Yes. [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [96] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [97] Mhm.
[98] And then how long would a apprenticeship take then?
Maimes (PS5M6) [99] Aye well I think it was three years.
[100] And then they had to be a [...] for a certain length of time before they would be a master joiner.
(K6TPS000) [101] Mhm.
[102] Mhm.
[103] So he would did he
Maimes (PS5M6) [104] I'm not certain about that.
(K6TPS000) [105] Aha.
[106] Did he have to kind of sort of did he look on that as a profession to do beside the farming or did he
Maimes (PS5M6) [107] Oh he just wasn't interested in farming.
(K6TPS000) [108] Right.
[109] Mhm.
[110] So did [...] have to take [...] them
Maimes (PS5M6) [111] And he was Yes aha aha Piece work on the farm.
[112] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [113] Aha.
[114] I see right I get you.
[115] And then he would serve when when when the other was the Mr [...] he trained under, was he one of the two older joiners on the island?
Maimes (PS5M6) [116] He would have been one of the older joiners.
(K6TPS000) [117] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [118] There might have been three of I don't know how many there were but he was one of the older joiners.
(K6TPS000) [119] Mhm.
[120] So would you be brought up on Sanday as well?
Maimes (PS5M6) [121] Yes I was brought up on Sanday.
(K6TPS000) [122] Aha in Cross?
Maimes (PS5M6) [123] In Cross.
(K6TPS000) [124] In Cross.
[125] [...] And yes and how long would did he serve his whole er time on the island?
[126] Worked all his time on the island ?
Maimes (PS5M6) [127] He worked he worked all his time on the island apart from the time he was in the army.
[128] He was in the territorials so he was called up
(K6TPS000) [129] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [130] the Friday before the war started and was there until
(K6TPS000) [131] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [132] he was demobbed.
(K6TPS000) [133] Mhm.
[134] [...] he while he was away, there'd be just the older folk on the island [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [135] I suppose so.
(K6TPS000) [136] Mhm.
[137] And he came back after and carried on?
Maimes (PS5M6) [138] Aha.
[139] And he came back and carried on.
(K6TPS000) [140] Mhm.
[141] So the er the other joiners on the island, they acted as undertakers as well we discussed that.
[142] It was just seen as a normal part of the job then really .
Maimes (PS5M6) [143] It was indeed aha.
[144] You just did what had to be done.
[145] And it
(K6TPS000) [146] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [147] it had to be done.
(K6TPS000) [148] Ad what happened then when somebody died did you hear [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [149] Well s Mm.
[150] Oh there's somebody that lived in the house in [...]
(K6TPS000) [151] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [152] and you would he used to go to the house and
(K6TPS000) [153] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [154] and er had to measure up the body because the coffins were made to measure.
(K6TPS000) [155] Oh I see.
Maimes (PS5M6) [156] He had to go and they would I think [...] actually sometimes had to lay out the body as well.
(K6TPS000) [157] Really?
Maimes (PS5M6) [158] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [159] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [160] I because we didn't have any part of this being children I mean we just knew that he
(K6TPS000) [161] No [...] mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [162] somebody had died and
(K6TPS000) [163] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [164] he used to go to the house and he'd measure up the body and I
(K6TPS000) [165] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [166] think they laid it out as well and
(K6TPS000) [167] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [168] then er they'd come back up.
(K6TPS000) [169] Mhm.
[170] So he would maybe get word from the head of the house or the nearest rel [...] call on them .
Maimes (PS5M6) [171] Yes the the the person most yes would call on him and
(K6TPS000) [172] Aha.
[173] Oh would this be sort of formal would the p other person be dressed in sort of black clothes or Aha .
Maimes (PS5M6) [174] I would imagine they would have worn their black cap anyhow, that would be the respectful thing to do.
(K6TPS000) [175] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [176] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [177] So you would kind of know when you saw what colour th that it would be that
Maimes (PS5M6) [178] Well yes, aha.
[179] Yes
(K6TPS000) [180] they were they were calling for.
[181] And how much time did it take to make the coffin?
Maimes (PS5M6) [182] Well I was just talking that over with er his apprentice and he said
(K6TPS000) [183] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [184] it took them ... a long time to begin with when he started.
(K6TPS000) [185] Oh really?
[186] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [187] It took them I can't remember how many hours but it took them a long time.
[188] But then by the time they were fin he retired and they were finishing they were ta they were taking about less than half the time.
[189] Because they had staplers and before all the
(K6TPS000) [190] Oh I see.
Maimes (PS5M6) [191] tacked everything was tacked
(K6TPS000) [192] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [193] and it took a lot longer.
(K6TPS000) [194] Aha.
[195] So just the new the sort of technology coming in
Maimes (PS5M6) [196] Aye it would probably help a bit.
[197] And the two of them working together over a long time, they would work
(K6TPS000) [198] Aye.
Maimes (PS5M6) [199] together more quickly.
(K6TPS000) [200] Mhm.
[201] So when he heard did he just start immediately then?
Maimes (PS5M6) [202] Oh yes.
[203] Everything
(K6TPS000) [204] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [205] the whole household just
(K6TPS000) [206] Really.
[207] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [208] The whole household was needed because ... the well he had a store of big boards
(K6TPS000) [209] Mhm.
[210] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [211] for the sides had to be shaped.
(K6TPS000) [212] mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [213] Well these had to be bent you see and they they saw a wee bit through them.
(K6TPS000) [214] Mhm.
[215] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [216] But they also had to bend then.
(K6TPS000) [217] Yes to make them
Maimes (PS5M6) [218] And they used hot water.
[219] They had er boiling water.
(K6TPS000) [220] Mhm.
[221] Mhm
Maimes (PS5M6) [222] And the only way of boiling the water at that time was on the [...] stove in the house.
[223] So everything that would hold water was put on the stove and er he did [...] and then it they took it out to the
(K6TPS000) [224] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [225] workshop and they would cover this board with woodcuttings like s what we call spills.
(K6TPS000) [226] Mhm.
[227] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [228] And they poured the water and that held the heat in and then bent to the shape.
[229] For the sides.
(K6TPS000) [230] Oh I see.
[231] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [232] The bo the bottom [...] would be cut to the size and shape.
(K6TPS000) [233] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [234] And then the sides were moulded with the hot water to fit
(K6TPS000) [235] Moulded mhm.
[236] So you didn't need to cut the sides at all.
[237] It was enough just the hot water and the spills [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [238] They I think they made small slits in it.
[239] I can't remember because we weren't in the.
(K6TPS000) [240] No.
Maimes (PS5M6) [241] Really paying much attention to that.
(K6TPS000) [242] Mm.
[243] So that would involve your mother as well.
Maimes (PS5M6) [244] Oh yes.
(K6TPS000) [245] She would
Maimes (PS5M6) [246] Aha and also they had You see they had glue a glue pot.
[247] They had the glue had the glue they did a lot of gluing I suppose fixing on the material [...]
(K6TPS000) [248] Oh I see [...] so Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [249] And er the glue pot was also in the one this [...] stove.
[250] [laugh] It was a metal container
(K6TPS000) [251] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [252] with wa water boiling in it and a wee pot that fitted in the top.
(K6TPS000) [253] Oh I see.
Maimes (PS5M6) [254] And it was great big, lumps of glue.
[255] Looked like huge gigantic pieces of toffee that he used to put in here and it melted and
(K6TPS000) [256] [laugh] And was it sort of dark [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [257] It was dark brown.
[258] Gooey stuff.
(K6TPS000) [259] Mhm.
[260] I can imagine a baby would just delighted.
Maimes (PS5M6) [261] Yeah.
[262] Aha.
[263] Yes aha.
(K6TPS000) [264] Poking a brush in it and whirling it whirling it round.
[265] So would he call in extra help to make the coffin ?
Maimes (PS5M6) [266] No.
(K6TPS000) [267] Just himself [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [268] Just him just him himself and his apprentice.
(K6TPS000) [269] And er would you usually Was there a special time of anything that he would be told.
[270] Was it usually a [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [271] Oh no they would come right away you see, because the body would have to be laid out when it was er
(K6TPS000) [272] Oh of course.
[273] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [274] When it was [...] .
[275] He went right away.
(K6TPS000) [276] Be practically the first person to know then wouldn't he?
[277] Mhm .
Maimes (PS5M6) [278] First.
[279] Aha.
[280] Yes I would imagine so after the doctor.
(K6TPS000) [281] So in the beginning do you think you were speaking about a whole afternoon and an evening to make the coffin or all day? [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [282] Oh much longer.
[283] Much longer.
[284] Between because before they got [...] he went away and measured up the body and he also had sometime then you see he would have to go and [...] put the body in the coffin.
[285] And before the funeral the they would he would probably have to take a window out of the house.
(K6TPS000) [286] Oh [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [287] Because the coffin had to come out of the [...] stayed in the house the b the
(K6TPS000) [288] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [289] corpse.
[290] And
(K6TPS000) [291] Yeah.
[292] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [293] I mean you like the ordinary houses are, there's no room and you could not bend the coffin with a person in it so they would have to take the window or the bedroom or wherever the corpse was
(K6TPS000) [294] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [295] They took it out and sort of temporarily fixed it in so that they could get this out at the funeral and then he had to go back later and fix the window in.
(K6TPS000) [296] Good grief.
Maimes (PS5M6) [297] Well that was in a c certain houses.
(K6TPS000) [298] Yeah.
[299] And
Maimes (PS5M6) [300] If they didn't
(K6TPS000) [301] Just to to to put the coffin into the house, the wouldn't have to take a window out to put the coffin in [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [302] I wouldn't Oh no they would get in alright.
[303] I would imagine yes.
[304] Well in most cases I would think so.
(K6TPS000) [305] Yeah.
[306] Mhm.
[307] So erm as well did you have any [...] ?
Maimes (PS5M6) [308] Oh yes we used to get the job of sewing up the wee cushions.
(K6TPS000) [309] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [310] Inside the coffin that went under the head and the arms and the feet.
[311] And it was made of a sort of very I would think cheap starched er cotton.
(K6TPS000) [312] Be white?
Maimes (PS5M6) [313] Yes white and and
(K6TPS000) [314] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [315] very decorative.
[316] There was sort of [...] decorations that went in.
(K6TPS000) [317] Oh.
Maimes (PS5M6) [318] As well they were they was not just plain yes it was bonny.
(K6TPS000) [319] So was was
Maimes (PS5M6) [320] And er we they used to fill there They were just filled with woodcuttings.
(K6TPS000) [321] Mhm mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [322] And they would be sent in and we would sometimes sew up the the cushions.
(K6TPS000) [323] Oh good heavens.
Maimes (PS5M6) [324] And stuff them.
(K6TPS000) [325] Mhm.
[326] So was the material already with this decoration on it or was
Maimes (PS5M6) [327] Oh yes.
[328] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [329] Aha.
[330] That didn't have to be sewn on by hand then
Maimes (PS5M6) [...]
(K6TPS000) [331] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [332] Everything was
(K6TPS000) [333] Mhm and was it sewn on decoration or was it printed?
[334] The [...] decoration.
Maimes (PS5M6) [335] I would imagine the cushions maybe were more plain.
(K6TPS000) [336] mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [337] But they had sort of decoration that was tacked on or [...] on the inside of the coffin. [...]
(K6TPS000) [338] Oh I see.
[339] So was the inside of the coffin lined with cloth as well
Maimes (PS5M6) [340] It was lined.
(K6TPS000) [341] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [342] And then covers and trimmings round the edge.
(K6TPS000) [343] Ah.
[344] So would it [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [345] And the outside then was covered with black.
(K6TPS000) [346] Ah [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [347] A sort of well it looked like black wool but I mean it obviously was a brushed cotton I would say .
(K6TPS000) [348] Mhm.
[349] Mhm.
[350] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [351] And er that then would be decorated round the edges with a sort of heavy lid kind of braid.
(K6TPS000) [352] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [353] It had gold markings on it.
(K6TPS000) [354] Mhm.
[355] Mhm.
[356] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [357] And then they had the handles and the tassels and then the top there was a tin sort of plate.
(K6TPS000) [358] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [359] With a name on.
[360] And that also had to be done by hand.
[361] Father used to do that, he would sit in the evening then and he had to scratch on this b it was a like a tin plate with a black sort of area to scratch
(K6TPS000) [362] Mm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [363] out the erm [...] the name and age and whatever details [...] wanted on this.
[364] And then it was painted with gold paint.
(K6TPS000) [365] I see.
[366] And would this metal plate and the strip of metal that went round the top, would that be sort of like ready made. [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [367] I Yes aha.
[368] Yes [...] came from some
(K6TPS000) [369] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [370] Ready made.
[371] And another thing that sometimes had to be done was writing out off er the they didn't put er notices in shop windows or anything.
[372] They always bid for funerals and I can remember folk on in [...] being horrified at the idea that folk would put a notice in a window.
[373] In writing, telling folk about the funeral.
(K6TPS000) [374] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [375] They always had bidding for the funeral and sometimes the family would write out the the bids.
(K6TPS000) [376] Oh I see, [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [377] And it was all it they were they were special forms for it.
(K6TPS000) [378] Ah.
[379] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [380] And you would the name had to be filled in and the time and the details.
(K6TPS000) [381] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [382] And then the wee letter went in a envelope [...]
(K6TPS000) [383] Mhm mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [384] and it would be relatives that would do the bidding in a certain district.
(K6TPS000) [385] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [386] Depending on where the person was known.
[387] I mean if they were known widely through the island they might have bids going further but it might just be your own district.
(K6TPS000) [388] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [389] But sometimes that had to be written out as well at the house.
(K6TPS000) [390] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [391] And sometimes it's just the person or the family would come and they would want I think they used to by these from the shop.
(K6TPS000) [392] I see.
Maimes (PS5M6) [393] The for the bids
(K6TPS000) [394] Mhm so did they they give them up to the folk [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [395] They went around and oh well they they couldn't post them because there was no post at the time.
[396] And [...] post on a Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
(K6TPS000) [397] Mhm mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [398] So they they didn't post them they people did the bidding they just went round like a postman and
(K6TPS000) [399] Mm.
[400] Handed them [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [401] And handed them handed them to the people.
(K6TPS000) [402] Handed them to the [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [403] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [404] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [405] And they would have a [...] [break in recording]
Maimes (PS5M6) [406] They were all dressed in the navy blue suits and their white and their black caps as well.
(K6TPS000) [407] Mhm.
[408] Yeah.
[409] And would women ever be bidders?
Maimes (PS5M6) [410] No women didn't go to funerals.
(K6TPS000) [411] Aha. [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [412] In Sanday.
(K6TPS000) [413] Mhm.
[414] Cos I've asked a few folk
Maimes (PS5M6) [415] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [416] you know, and they've all said women had no part in that s er at all.
[417] Apart from Women apparently attended funerals in [...] .
[418] But I can't find out why? [laugh]
Maimes (PS5M6) [419] Women attended funerals in ... I s did they not do it in Evay?
(K6TPS000) [420] I don't know, I don't know about that either.
Maimes (PS5M6) [421] I don't know either.
(K6TPS000) [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [422] But er [...] I can remember being in Evay and a funeral there and to me it was very strange because they carried the coffin from the kirk right down to the kirkyard at the pier.
(K6TPS000) [423] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [424] Well you see in Sanday, they didn't do that.
[425] They took it first of all it would be in a cart drawn by a horse.
[426] A horse drawn cart.
(K6TPS000) [427] Mhm.
[428] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [429] And then in er in a vehicle.
[430] It could even be a scho very often a school bus.
(K6TPS000) [431] Och really.
[432] You don't think [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [433] [...] long enough.
(K6TPS000) [434] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [435] And the sprinkle what they call the sprinkler was a smaller car
(K6TPS000) [436] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [437] and with the back door off you see, they would get that on that.
(K6TPS000) [438] Mhm Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [439] But they're quite long distances in Sanday you see.
(K6TPS000) [440] Yeah that's right.
Maimes (PS5M6) [441] While on Evay it was shorter distances.
(K6TPS000) [442] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [443] And the funerals were I would say, nearly always from the house.
(K6TPS000) [444] Yes.
[445] Not from a church.
Maimes (PS5M6) [446] Not from the church.
(K6TPS000) [447] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [448] So the women of the house would be involved.
(K6TPS000) [449] Yes.
[450] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [451] But er they just didn't go to funerals.
[452] [...] to me
(K6TPS000) [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [453] it was very strange.
(K6TPS000) [454] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [455] I remember one funeral when I was a little girl at the school, was an old man who died, Benji he was I think he must have been the best the last in Orkney.
[456] And he died at [...] we call it in Sanday and it was snow
(K6TPS000) [457] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [458] so they couldn't get along the roads and I think the cof the probably the funeral was put off as long as they could put it off.
[459] And then they carried the remains across the fields to the Lady Kirkyard and that was past the school and I can remember us watching this procession going across the fields.
(K6TPS000) [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [460] But that was the only s And then of course in Sanday in the what we call the North End,
(K6TPS000) [461] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [462] of the island,
(K6TPS000) [463] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [464] they had the hearse.
[465] The ho the old hearse that er
(K6TPS000) [466] Yes [...] there was a picture [...] and that .
Maimes (PS5M6) [467] Mhm.
[468] Mhm.
(K6TPS000) [469] Mhm.
[470] So you wouldn't you would just er mind er the kind of less fancy it wouldn't be particularly made like the one in the North End it was [...] cart and a horse .
Maimes (PS5M6) [471] No it was just a it was just a cart and a horse.
(K6TPS000) [472] Yeah.
[473] Mhm.
[474] And who would drive it you know, was it a special person that drove it?
Maimes (PS5M6) [475] No it would just be the person that owned the
(K6TPS000) [476] Whoever owned it.
Maimes (PS5M6) [477] who owned it.
(K6TPS000) [478] Mhm. [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [479] Would lead the horse I would imagine.
(K6TPS000) [480] Mhm.
[481] Erm [...] I meant to ask you about the inside of the the coffin was that plain white material or was it did it have this u pattern on it as well.
[482] Or did just the pillows have the [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [483] I would think it would just be trimmings.
[484] But I I'm not right sure about that I don't remember .
(K6TPS000) [485] [...] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [486] But the coffi er the inside was w they had wax as well, the put on it.
(K6TPS000) [487] Oh really.
[488] On the wood.
Maimes (PS5M6) [489] At one stage Aha.
(K6TPS000) [490] Mhm.
[491] What kind of wood would they be made from do you know?
Maimes (PS5M6) [492] Well I would imagine it would be a very rough sort of wood, I don't know .
(K6TPS000) [493] Aha cos it would be covered.
[494] They were never left uncovered [...] I see .
Maimes (PS5M6) [495] Oh no no.
[496] They were always covered.
(K6TPS000) [497] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [498] And a children's co a child's coffin would be white.
(K6TPS000) [499] Ah yes mhm .
Maimes (PS5M6) [500] And I don't
(K6TPS000) [501] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [502] s remember seeing one of these.
[503] just
(K6TPS000) [504] Mhm.
[505] Was there
Maimes (PS5M6) [506] [...] white coffin.
(K6TPS000) [507] any status attached to the kind of wood you had [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [508] Oh no no status at all.
[509] Oh yes well you see, very occasionally, I'd heard of somebody having an oak cokin coffin.
(K6TPS000) [510] Mhm.
[511] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [512] But there was no oak coffins in Sanday.
(K6TPS000) [513] I see.
Maimes (PS5M6) [514] Except I mean, if anybody thought they were [...] [laugh] [...] oak cokin th coffin that would have to come from somewhere else.
(K6TPS000) [515] Oh I see.
[516] That wouldn't be made then .
Maimes (PS5M6) [517] [...] enough to have a oak coffin that would have come from somewhere else [...] everybody got the same. [laugh] [...]
(K6TPS000) [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [518] In Sanday.
(K6TPS000) [519] Yes.
Maimes (PS5M6) [520] Occasionally someone who'd died Another type of undertaking was where somebody had died out of the island.
(K6TPS000) [521] Yeah mm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [522] And that again all the arrangements would be made
(K6TPS000) [523] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [524] but you didn't have the coffin making.
[525] The arrangements would be made and er oh well I never saw an oak coffin but we you'd hear
(K6TPS000) [526] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [527] that and it probably wasn't oak at all it was probably just
(K6TPS000) [528] Yes.
Maimes (PS5M6) [529] stained wood but er
(K6TPS000) [530] Yeah.
[531] It would look
Maimes (PS5M6) [532] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [533] They wouldn't be covered then
Maimes (PS5M6) [534] No.
(K6TPS000) [535] If they were [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [536] I think that would have c been very [...] of course but nowadays the
(K6TPS000) [537] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [538] the black one would be more.
(K6TPS000) [539] Yeah.
[540] So what happened if somebody die off the island, did they have to send them
Maimes (PS5M6) [541] An undertaker on the mainland and then the remains would come on this boat.
(K6TPS000) [542] In a coffin already ?
Maimes (PS5M6) [543] In a coffin already.
[544] And the
(K6TPS000) [545] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [546] funeral company would meet the boat.
(K6TPS000) [547] Really?
Maimes (PS5M6) [548] And er they would proceed from there to the
(K6TPS000) [549] I see.
Maimes (PS5M6) [550] to the kirkyard.
(K6TPS000) [551] So would it be what was the boat serving Sanday then.
[552] Wouldn't be [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [553] It would have been the old [...] .
(K6TPS000) [554] Right.
Maimes (PS5M6) [555] [...] when I remember.
(K6TPS000) [556] Mhm.
[557] I see.
[558] So would there be any special arrangement then?
[559] Somebody to get the coffin off the boat or would it just be [...] .
Maimes (PS5M6) [560] I don't Well I imagine it would just come off with any other cargo.
(K6TPS000) [561] Yeah.
[562] Mhm.
[563] And then be straight onto the [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [564] Probably
(K6TPS000) [565] probably.
Maimes (PS5M6) [566] It would probably come off first I would imagine, I don't know .
(K6TPS000) [567] Mhm
Maimes (PS5M6) [568] I don't really know because I was never at the pier when when a
(K6TPS000) [569] Mhm [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [570] I'd gone out on the boat
(K6TPS000) [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [571] But er
(K6TPS000) [572] Mm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [573] But all the bidding and the would be arranged
(K6TPS000) [574] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [575] before they came up.
(K6TPS000) [576] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [577] And there would be a funeral when the boat came and I mean when the boat came is just when the boat came.
[578] I mean it might come
(K6TPS000) [579] Yes [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [580] The boat didn't come at any scheduled time.
[581] You knew when it was supposed to leave Kirkwall and it went past this island or that one but
(K6TPS000) [582] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [583] and it came roughly at time. [...]
(K6TPS000) [584] Mhm.
[585] And what about moving the if it was a a sort of burial on the island, how was the coffin moved to the deceased's house?
[586] Was that moved in the cart as well or was it just carried across to the deceased's house ?
Maimes (PS5M6) [587] Oh well it couldn't have been carried because it was long di I don't know how cos I can't remember.
[588] But I guess they just got some way [...] .
(K6TPS000) [589] Just [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [590] Father would have arranged that likely.
(K6TPS000) [591] Aha.
[592] Would was it er
Maimes (PS5M6) [593] I imagine that he would take it when he had a vehicle later on he would
(K6TPS000) [594] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [595] probably take it in the back of that.
(K6TPS000) [596] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [597] But early on you see he when I before the war he'd nothing [...] was first of all a push bike
(K6TPS000) [598] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [599] and he went to his work on and then a motorbike.
(K6TPS000) [600] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [601] And sidecar but
(K6TPS000) [602] Mm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [603] maybe the folk There'd be some arrangement made to get there but what it was I can't remember.
(K6TPS000) [604] [...] Do you know if there was a special time that they did this at?
[605] Or did they choose a kind of evening do you know? [...] or did it not matter? [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [606] It would be arran a pre-arranged time.
[607] [...] so that the folk were
(K6TPS000) [608] [...] Aha.
[609] There was no sort of accepted time [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [610] I don't think No accepted time I don't think so.
[611] No.
(K6TPS000) [612] No.
[613] No it wasn't a particular occasion or anything ?
Maimes (PS5M6) [614] No no.
[615] Oh no I don't think so
(K6TPS000) [616] Mhm mhm.
[617] And
Maimes (PS5M6) [618] I think if they [...] .
(K6TPS000) [619] Yeah I've heard of that Mm mm .
Maimes (PS5M6) [620] But that would be when the Aha.
[621] So it probably would be arranged.
(K6TPS000) [622] Aha.
[623] So do you think that the [...] would happen as soon as the coffin got to the house ?
Maimes (PS5M6) [624] I would imagine I would imag I would imagine so.
(K6TPS000) [625] Oh I see.
[626] That's another [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [627] [...] I didn't think [...] But I would imagine so.
[628] And then you see the family would be there.
(K6TPS000) [629] Mhm.
[630] So the coffin would really arrive and then you
Maimes (PS5M6) [631] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [632] would have the dressing.
Maimes (PS5M6) [633] I would think so.
(K6TPS000) [634] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [635] But that I think they were [...]
(K6TPS000) [636] No no women would really see that of course.
Maimes (PS5M6) [637] Aha aha.
[638] Oh well the women of the family would.
(K6TPS000) [639] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [640] Everyone in the house.
(K6TPS000) [641] So the women would be at the [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [642] Yes aha.
[643] Yes
(K6TPS000) [644] they just wouldn't be at the sort of burial side [...] graveyard [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [645] Aha.
[646] And er of course the coffin's left open and folk would go and
(K6TPS000) [647] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [648] Well [...] people would to the house to offer their
(K6TPS000) [649] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [650] condolences and they would people were always asked if they wanted to see the remains.
(K6TPS000) [651] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [652] Or do you just want to remember him as they used to [...]
(K6TPS000) [653] Yeah yeah.
[654] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [655] But [...] .
(K6TPS000) [656] Mhm yeah.
[657] That's true.
Maimes (PS5M6) [658] Mhm mm.
(K6TPS000) [659] And would the undertaker also be responsible for the [...] to lift the body into the coffin [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [660] No that that would be they'd be expected Every person would have I imagine they would al well everybody had a white sheet just for this .
(K6TPS000) [661] Mhm.
[662] Yeah.
[663] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [664] In case somebody dies.
[665] It was part of the equipment of the household.
(K6TPS000) [666] Yeah.
[667] [...] the the some of them made their own shrouds.
Maimes (PS5M6) [668] I would imagine so.
(K6TPS000) [669] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [670] The shrouds [...] to be the suppliers you know
(K6TPS000) [671] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [672] but I imagine some person would want to use their own
(K6TPS000) [673] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [674] shrouds.
(K6TPS000) [675] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [676] But mostly I would think it would be
(K6TPS000) [677] Mhm.
[678] And would the would your father be at the funeral as well or would he
Maimes (PS5M6) [679] Oh yes.
(K6TPS000) [680] Yeah.
[681] he would [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [682] He would he would be organizing the taking of the salt and the he would stay until the
(K6TPS000) [683] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [684] until the grave was filled in.
(K6TPS000) [685] Mhm.
[686] So did he take part in that as well?
[687] He'd fill the grave in [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [688] Yes.
[689] I I remember once a cousin came it was a trip day
(K6TPS000) [690] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [691] and this a c a cousin came out for to Sanday
(K6TPS000) [692] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [693] and he asked at the pier for my father
(K6TPS000) [694] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [695] because he was he we didn't know he was coming.
[696] So they says, Oh that's this was pointed out to him.
[697] So he said, Oh ... I w yes but he says, just come along with him, so he went to the funeral and then he [laughing] [...] []
(K6TPS000) [698] [laughing] Yes. []
Maimes (PS5M6) [699] First things first.
(K6TPS000) [laugh]
Maimes (PS5M6) [700] So he always remembers the time he went to this He's no idea who's funeral he was at but he just went along and then he was taken to see the family.
(K6TPS000) [701] That's quite good. [laugh]
Maimes (PS5M6) [702] And another occasion father said, erm ... he said the kirkyards weren't very well laid out.
(K6TPS000) [703] Mhm?
Maimes (PS5M6) [704] I mean [...] they'd gravestones here, gravestones there and
(K6TPS000) [705] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [706] Sometimes when the grave digger dug the grave, they would find er that it was somebody else's grave and they had o start again.
(K6TPS000) [707] I've heard of that [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [708] Aha.
[709] And er on this particular funeral er the grave, the whole company was there
(K6TPS000) [710] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [711] and this man came up to me father and he says, that is not the right grave, you've been told.
[712] The family had you see the family had to come and tell him where the grave was.
(K6TPS000) [713] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [714] And then he would arrange for the grave digger to dig the grave.
(K6TPS000) [715] I see.
[716] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [717] Only they'd been told the wrong grave.
(K6TPS000) [718] On no.
Maimes (PS5M6) [719] So father says, Well just keep quiet about it until the funeral's over.
(K6TPS000) [720] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [721] And then when they're all away, we'll get ... the [...] moved.
[722] So the funeral went on and the person was lowered into the grave that had been dug and the grave digger was asked to stay behind and they quickly got it put where it should be.
(K6TPS000) [723] For heaven's sakes.
Maimes (PS5M6) [724] Aha.
[725] The person who told him was actually I suppose the person who's [...] family owned the grave that
(K6TPS000) [726] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [727] it was.
(K6TPS000) [728] So er that that's quite amazing there wasn't even more mistakes like that made.
Maimes (PS5M6) [729] Well there might have been that nobody knew about, I don't know.
(K6TPS000) [730] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [731] But that was one case that he said and then he said it was getting quite dark by that time when the boat came in it was quite dark.
[732] So they were it was quite dark before they got the
(K6TPS000) [733] Mhm.
[734] Oh I see so this was a burial off off the [...] the boat .
Maimes (PS5M6) [735] The boat the the body off the boat.
[736] Aha.
[737] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [738] Good grief.
[739] So there wasn't any overall plan of a graveyard [...] arranged [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [740] Well very poor plans.
[741] Aha.
[742] I think for [...] but then families moved and
(K6TPS000) [743] Yeah.
Maimes (PS5M6) [744] Mhm.
[745] I think [...] better now but I think there's probably it's still quite still difficult quite difficult in the old er
(K6TPS000) [746] Mhm. [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [747] kirkyards where they're not really marked out.
(K6TPS000) [748] Mm and I don't think there was any real proper records kept of who was where.
Maimes (PS5M6) [749] No I don't think so.
(K6TPS000) [750] Cos nobody was responsible for that really. [...] .
Maimes (PS5M6) [751] No no.
[752] But I I think it would be I don't think that could happen in the newer kirkyards.
(K6TPS000) [753] No.
Maimes (PS5M6) [754] But it was just the fact I suppose that maybe some of the the family had died out and the person that was wasn't just quite clear where it was.
(K6TPS000) [755] Aha.
[756] So would coffin making stop on the island when your father stopped?
Maimes (PS5M6) [757] No.
(K6TPS000) [758] [...] No?
Maimes (PS5M6) [759] There was a man a Mr down in the North End [...] Leslie who used to be the apprentice he took
(K6TPS000) [760] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [761] he started up on his own when father stopped.
(K6TPS000) [762] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [763] When he retired and this er Mr did the undertaking.
(K6TPS000) [764] Mhm mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [765] I don't know if he was a joiner [...] He was a joiner certainly
(K6TPS000) [766] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [767] but I don't know if he was a time served joiner or if he was just a he was really a very good handyman.
(K6TPS000) [768] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [769] And was a joiner.
(K6TPS000) [770] Mhm mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [771] But whether he really was a s time served one or not I don't know but he did it then.
(K6TPS000) [772] Mhm.
[773] S
Maimes (PS5M6) [774] And now you see undertaking's still done on the island.
(K6TPS000) [775] Oh really?
Maimes (PS5M6) [776] But the coffins are they come from the mainland.
(K6TPS000) [777] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [778] They probably have a supply of them.
(K6TPS000) [779] Mhm.
[780] You don't know when coffin making stopped on Sanday then?
[781] Roughly what date [...] that would be.
Maimes (PS5M6) [782] I don't know.
(K6TPS000) [783] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [784] I know that father he used to ... you see if he was going away from the island
(K6TPS000) [785] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [786] and he was away April [...] he would always have a half-made coffin a sort of standard sized one
(K6TPS000) [787] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [788] in a [...] underneath his workshop.
[789] So that the apprentice
(K6TPS000) [790] Oh right.
Maimes (PS5M6) [791] they could he could carry on and do it, just as a sort of emergency thing.
(K6TPS000) [792] I see was this
Maimes (PS5M6) [793] That was in the very end.
(K6TPS000) [794] Mhm. [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [795] But before that time I guess father didn't leave the island.
(K6TPS000) [796] That's right yes.
Maimes (PS5M6) [797] So there was no problem.
(K6TPS000) [798] Mhm. [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [799] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [800] emergency. [laugh]
Maimes (PS5M6) [801] Yeah. [...]
(K6TPS000) [802] I see so there would be if he was this would be at the end when you know [...] this wasn't he didn't ever do anything like that before he went off to the w w during the war?
[803] He didn't [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [804] No I think it was just straightforward [...]
(K6TPS000) [805] Yeah.
[806] But then towards the end of this w would this be to help Leslie ?
[807] Just in case anything happened ?
Maimes (PS5M6) [808] I don't know.
[809] Because I was away from home by this time.
[810] But I I do know that er
(K6TPS000) [811] Mhm mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [812] he would have
(K6TPS000) [813] So it was probably about the nineteen what early seventies coffin making would stop on Sanday .
Maimes (PS5M6) [814] I don't really know but Leslie could well be able to tell you.
(K6TPS000) [815] Yeah mhm.
[816] Did you did you know what your father ever thought of the modern coffins? [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [817] Oh I suppose he yes he was a very modern minded person.
(K6TPS000) [818] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [819] I guess he thought it was fine.
(K6TPS000) [820] Aha aha. [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [821] I don't think it'd been very lucrative work with the amount of time he took to it.
(K6TPS000) [822] No.
[823] No not if they would what spend about a whole day making it would they? [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [824] Oh well there was a lot of more time than that taken up you see.
(K6TPS000) [825] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [826] Because there's all the other running as well.
(K6TPS000) [827] Yes it was a whole
Maimes (PS5M6) [828] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [829] it wasn't just coffin making [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [830] He probably would get a sort of wages out of it but er [...] running I would imagine would be for nothing.
(K6TPS000) [831] Yeah.
[832] Mhm.
[833] You'd probably would it sort of maybe be a set amount for making a coffin. [...]
Maimes (PS5M6) [834] I would think so as I would have think so.
[835] Aha.
(K6TPS000) [836] Aha.
Maimes (PS5M6) [837] And I don't think it would be very lucrative.
(K6TPS000) [838] Mhm.
Maimes (PS5M6) [839] But [...] [recording ends]