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TITLE
A Traveller's Tale - Earning a Living
EXTERNAL ID
GB1796_TRAVELLER_INTERVIEW_04
PLACENAME
N/A
DATE OF IMAGE
2003
PERIOD
2000s
SOURCE
Inverness Museum and Art Gallery
ASSET ID
11718
KEYWORDS
travelling folk
travellers
A Traveller's Tale - Earning a Living

In 2003 Inverness Museum & Art Gallery held an exhibition on travelling people. To help with the research for the exhibition, Willie, a traveller, took part in an interesting and very informative oral history interview. Here, he talks about how his family earned a living. (The image shows a typical traveller's camp from around 1920-1940)

Can I ask what sort of things your Mother did?

Well she went, just, cleanin - pit us to school, cookin. Most o the travellers spent half their life really cookin, cleanin an jist the same as ye do in a house! Washin! Then she wid go tae the houses herself wae her basket. She selt, eh,.clothespegs. Ma father made them. She'd go to the shops, get cheap laces, toothbrushes, combs, an things for washin pots. An ma father used tae make his own things for washin pots oot o heather, called scrubbers. He used to make brooms an he could make baskets, widden flowers. An he used to busk a lot because he was a piper ye see? All ma family was pipers - except me! [laughs]. He did a lot o buskin - he made a good livin out o that - but eh, it was thirsty work for him, ye see? That's how we kept ourselves goin. Through the winter it was mostly mother that went tae the houses, sell baskets an - used tae call stock.

A lot o the travellers in that time made their own tin. Ye can imagine then there were no plastic. Ah think it was Greenock They used tae send for the sheets like the size o this table. Used tae get quite a few sheets. They paid fur that an took it back. They had their stake. It's like a bit o iron, ye know, like an anvil thing. That's how they made their pails, cups, an dishes - dish basins. An they used tae go round the farms. They soldered them, an a lot o them seamed them.

The people that did tin an that, they were mostly from this, the North travellers, ye know? A lot o the travellers doon the Aberdeen side were scrap merchants, horse dealers. Don't get me wrong, a lot o Skye people dealt wi horses too - in Portrigh there was a horse fair every Saturday, ye know.

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A Traveller's Tale - Earning a Living

2000s

travelling folk; travellers;

Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

A Traveller's Tale

In 2003 Inverness Museum & Art Gallery held an exhibition on travelling people. To help with the research for the exhibition, Willie, a traveller, took part in an interesting and very informative oral history interview. Here, he talks about how his family earned a living. (The image shows a typical traveller's camp from around 1920-1940)<br /> <br /> Can I ask what sort of things your Mother did?<br /> <br /> Well she went, just, cleanin - pit us to school, cookin. Most o the travellers spent half their life really cookin, cleanin an jist the same as ye do in a house! Washin! Then she wid go tae the houses herself wae her basket. She selt, eh,.clothespegs. Ma father made them. She'd go to the shops, get cheap laces, toothbrushes, combs, an things for washin pots. An ma father used tae make his own things for washin pots oot o heather, called scrubbers. He used to make brooms an he could make baskets, widden flowers. An he used to busk a lot because he was a piper ye see? All ma family was pipers - except me! [laughs]. He did a lot o buskin - he made a good livin out o that - but eh, it was thirsty work for him, ye see? That's how we kept ourselves goin. Through the winter it was mostly mother that went tae the houses, sell baskets an - used tae call stock. <br /> <br /> A lot o the travellers in that time made their own tin. Ye can imagine then there were no plastic. Ah think it was Greenock They used tae send for the sheets like the size o this table. Used tae get quite a few sheets. They paid fur that an took it back. They had their stake. It's like a bit o iron, ye know, like an anvil thing. That's how they made their pails, cups, an dishes - dish basins. An they used tae go round the farms. They soldered them, an a lot o them seamed them.<br /> <br /> The people that did tin an that, they were mostly from this, the North travellers, ye know? A lot o the travellers doon the Aberdeen side were scrap merchants, horse dealers. Don't get me wrong, a lot o Skye people dealt wi horses too - in Portrigh there was a horse fair every Saturday, ye know.