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TITLE
Farm Life on the Lovat Estate (2 of 20)
EXTERNAL ID
KIGHF_COLIN_MACRAE_02
PLACENAME
Hughton
DISTRICT
Aird
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Kiltarlity and Convinth
DATE OF RECORDING
9 March 1982
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Colin Macrae
SOURCE
Highland Folk Museum
ASSET ID
41208
KEYWORDS
audios
estates
farms

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Colin Macrae was born and brought up on the Lovat Estate, at Hughton, Eilean Aigas, near Beauly. His family were farmers for the Lovat Estate.

In this audio extract Colin recalls when the herring fleet used to come into the Beauly Firth.

Colin: We used to, just behind the house there was a wood and a sort of very high hill and there was one tree which stood by itself and it was very easy to climb, and we as boys, we'd just go up here and we could see as far as Clachnaharry, you know, and you would see the fishing boats coming in. And then we used go round and tell all our neighbours and they would go down with their horses and carts they had and by the time they would get to Beauly, probably the fleet would be in and they used to buy the herring there, you know? I think it was by that, by a 'school' they used to call it, by a, that was a kind of a school of herring, like, they used to call it a for a measurement, measure, you see, and then they would take that home at night. And there was a lot of, what we call, I don't know if it was the proper name or not, 'garvies'. It was small herring, I don't know whether they were the young, I don't think they were the young of, of the herring, they were sort of a species of their own, but they were small. But all the children we always sort of got these, you know, we kept them aside and had your own special fry, you know, and things like this. Mmm-hmm. And that was quite a big evening cos a few would gather round and had a, two or three barrels and things and we'd, all the herring were gutted, the heads and things cut off them and laid in a layer of salt over them and some more herring and that kept us going for a long time, you see?

There was a story we heard of a neighbour who lived near us - and at that time they used to walk, walk from this area right over the hills into Dornie Ferry to buy herring, you know, and they would probably clean them there, and maybe be two days on that journey back they would clean there and gut them and salt them - but this lady, old lady, she commented to the skipper of the boat, 'They're very small and expensive the herring.' She said, 'I could eat a hundred of those in one diet.' So, 'Oh well', the man said, 'you eat a hundred of those in one diet, you'll get as much herring here as you can carry back.' Well, she, she went down to it at night and she got a hundred herring and got a big audience you know, and she gutted them, and cut the heads and tails off them, and boiled them. Then she had a, she had her apron - it was the old, she had a white apron - she put them in this and wrung it out, wrung it out, you see the, after they were well boiled, wrung it out, so it didn't, the heap wasn't very big, it wasn't, the amount wasn't big but she ate the lot and she got, she got as much herring as she could carry.

(Image - A Stretch of the River Beauly with Eilean Aigas on the Left © Copyright Stanley Howe, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence 2.0)

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Farm Life on the Lovat Estate (2 of 20)

INVERNESS: Kiltarlity and Convinth

1980s

audios; estates; farms;

Highland Folk Museum

Highland Folk Museum: Farming at Eilean Aigas

Colin Macrae was born and brought up on the Lovat Estate, at Hughton, Eilean Aigas, near Beauly. His family were farmers for the Lovat Estate. <br /> <br /> In this audio extract Colin recalls when the herring fleet used to come into the Beauly Firth.<br /> <br /> Colin: We used to, just behind the house there was a wood and a sort of very high hill and there was one tree which stood by itself and it was very easy to climb, and we as boys, we'd just go up here and we could see as far as Clachnaharry, you know, and you would see the fishing boats coming in. And then we used go round and tell all our neighbours and they would go down with their horses and carts they had and by the time they would get to Beauly, probably the fleet would be in and they used to buy the herring there, you know? I think it was by that, by a 'school' they used to call it, by a, that was a kind of a school of herring, like, they used to call it a for a measurement, measure, you see, and then they would take that home at night. And there was a lot of, what we call, I don't know if it was the proper name or not, 'garvies'. It was small herring, I don't know whether they were the young, I don't think they were the young of, of the herring, they were sort of a species of their own, but they were small. But all the children we always sort of got these, you know, we kept them aside and had your own special fry, you know, and things like this. Mmm-hmm. And that was quite a big evening cos a few would gather round and had a, two or three barrels and things and we'd, all the herring were gutted, the heads and things cut off them and laid in a layer of salt over them and some more herring and that kept us going for a long time, you see?<br /> <br /> There was a story we heard of a neighbour who lived near us - and at that time they used to walk, walk from this area right over the hills into Dornie Ferry to buy herring, you know, and they would probably clean them there, and maybe be two days on that journey back they would clean there and gut them and salt them - but this lady, old lady, she commented to the skipper of the boat, 'They're very small and expensive the herring.' She said, 'I could eat a hundred of those in one diet.' So, 'Oh well', the man said, 'you eat a hundred of those in one diet, you'll get as much herring here as you can carry back.' Well, she, she went down to it at night and she got a hundred herring and got a big audience you know, and she gutted them, and cut the heads and tails off them, and boiled them. Then she had a, she had her apron - it was the old, she had a white apron - she put them in this and wrung it out, wrung it out, you see the, after they were well boiled, wrung it out, so it didn't, the heap wasn't very big, it wasn't, the amount wasn't big but she ate the lot and she got, she got as much herring as she could carry.<br /> <br /> (Image - A Stretch of the River Beauly with Eilean Aigas on the Left © Copyright Stanley Howe, licensed for reuse under Creative Commons Licence 2.0)