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TITLE
Farm Life on the Lovat Estate (6 of 20)
EXTERNAL ID
KIGHF_COLIN_MACRAE_06
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
41212
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 talks about the rooms, furnishings and decoration in the family farmhouse, as well as clothing, travelling salesmen, shopping in Inverness and the local shoemaker.

Interviewer: Can you tell me about the furnishings of the different rooms in your house?

Colin: Oh well, yes, apart from the beds and things and eh, in the, in the, in our kitchen, which was our main room in the house, for you lived in it and that thing, that was just, it had a great big table and a wooden bench, or a settee as you might call it, and a sofa we called it, and a, then there's a dresser, which you kept your pots and pans and all the dishes on top of it and that was that. Well, in the, in the sitting room, that was quite well furnished and, quite simply, but you know, but looking back on it now, it was, I always think it was very well, very nice, you know? Of course, that's, we never got into these rooms, that was only on occasions when visitors came and things like that. Very, very seldom we'd use it, you know? Then we had a, the very best room in the house, oh that was the holy of holies altogether! [Laughs] You'd hardly get to look inside that far, less go in to see it, you know? Mmm-hmm. That was a special room, you know? That was the room - that was the new part of the house which was built towards the end of the century, after my mother got married. After my mother got married she got them to put a bit onto it, you see?

Interviewer: How was the, the house decorated? Were the walls just all painted?

Colin: No, no, no, no. Our house was, it was really a good house; it was all plastered and eh, lath and plaster on the old house, and they were all, mostly all papered. The ceiling would be white washed, you know, distempered and everything like that, but the, most of the, the better room, like the best sitting room and that, they were all papered. Perhaps some of the bedrooms would just be - got a wash with eh, distemper, colours of distemper, you see? Mmm-hmm.

Interviewer: Can you tell me where your family would have got their clothes? Would they have been homemade or would they have been bought?

Colin: Well, we didn't make them at home like, to spin, but there was, there was local - a tailor in Kiltarlity, he made a lot of our clothes, you know? And, eh, och, there was travelling salesmen coming round selling cloth, you know, and things like that, and you would buy it. My mother was very good; she made of lot of our clothes ourselves, for the school, the bairns. Och, she would make them you know, but, cut down clothing, you know? I was the, I was the youngest in the family so it was cut down about four times before it came to me, you know? And eh, but, and you would get perhaps clothes from Beauly, perhaps, or Inverness. Once every, perhaps every two or three month, we used go to Inverness with the horse and trap, you know? It was a long journey to go to Inverness, about seventeen miles, and do the shopping and come back home again at night again, with the horse.

Interviewer: And was there a local shoemaker?

Colin: Oh yes, there was a shoemaker, there was a local shoemaker and eh, but it was aw, I remember it was an awful job to, to get anything done by him, you know? He would make the shoes. He was a great man; he was a very good authority on bees. He spent more of his time doing that and he was also a bit of a politician in his own way. You would come to the, you would come to the, to his shop and you would go in and you would hear the rustle of a paper, and you'd be in and he would pick up a hammer and any old bit of leather and start hammering on it, you see? And then asking for your shoes, och there was, there'd be heaps of shoes and boots. When I think of them today, my goodness, you would just fling them in the river, you know, burn them, they were no good but things were different then, you had to use them so, he did that and then there was a, there was a local, there was a joiner about, and also a blacksmith's shop and a meal miller that did the meal for you.

(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 (6 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 talks about the rooms, furnishings and decoration in the family farmhouse, as well as clothing, travelling salesmen, shopping in Inverness and the local shoemaker.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Can you tell me about the furnishings of the different rooms in your house?<br /> <br /> Colin: Oh well, yes, apart from the beds and things and eh, in the, in the, in our kitchen, which was our main room in the house, for you lived in it and that thing, that was just, it had a great big table and a wooden bench, or a settee as you might call it, and a sofa we called it, and a, then there's a dresser, which you kept your pots and pans and all the dishes on top of it and that was that. Well, in the, in the sitting room, that was quite well furnished and, quite simply, but you know, but looking back on it now, it was, I always think it was very well, very nice, you know? Of course, that's, we never got into these rooms, that was only on occasions when visitors came and things like that. Very, very seldom we'd use it, you know? Then we had a, the very best room in the house, oh that was the holy of holies altogether! [Laughs] You'd hardly get to look inside that far, less go in to see it, you know? Mmm-hmm. That was a special room, you know? That was the room - that was the new part of the house which was built towards the end of the century, after my mother got married. After my mother got married she got them to put a bit onto it, you see?<br /> <br /> Interviewer: How was the, the house decorated? Were the walls just all painted?<br /> <br /> Colin: No, no, no, no. Our house was, it was really a good house; it was all plastered and eh, lath and plaster on the old house, and they were all, mostly all papered. The ceiling would be white washed, you know, distempered and everything like that, but the, most of the, the better room, like the best sitting room and that, they were all papered. Perhaps some of the bedrooms would just be - got a wash with eh, distemper, colours of distemper, you see? Mmm-hmm.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Can you tell me where your family would have got their clothes? Would they have been homemade or would they have been bought?<br /> <br /> Colin: Well, we didn't make them at home like, to spin, but there was, there was local - a tailor in Kiltarlity, he made a lot of our clothes, you know? And, eh, och, there was travelling salesmen coming round selling cloth, you know, and things like that, and you would buy it. My mother was very good; she made of lot of our clothes ourselves, for the school, the bairns. Och, she would make them you know, but, cut down clothing, you know? I was the, I was the youngest in the family so it was cut down about four times before it came to me, you know? And eh, but, and you would get perhaps clothes from Beauly, perhaps, or Inverness. Once every, perhaps every two or three month, we used go to Inverness with the horse and trap, you know? It was a long journey to go to Inverness, about seventeen miles, and do the shopping and come back home again at night again, with the horse.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And was there a local shoemaker?<br /> <br /> Colin: Oh yes, there was a shoemaker, there was a local shoemaker and eh, but it was aw, I remember it was an awful job to, to get anything done by him, you know? He would make the shoes. He was a great man; he was a very good authority on bees. He spent more of his time doing that and he was also a bit of a politician in his own way. You would come to the, you would come to the, to his shop and you would go in and you would hear the rustle of a paper, and you'd be in and he would pick up a hammer and any old bit of leather and start hammering on it, you see? And then asking for your shoes, och there was, there'd be heaps of shoes and boots. When I think of them today, my goodness, you would just fling them in the river, you know, burn them, they were no good but things were different then, you had to use them so, he did that and then there was a, there was a local, there was a joiner about, and also a blacksmith's shop and a meal miller that did the meal for you.<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)