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TITLE
Crathie: Life in a Crofting Township (24 of 25)
EXTERNAL ID
KIGHF_ROSIE_CAMPBELL_24
PLACENAME
Crathie
DISTRICT
Badenoch
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Laggan
DATE OF RECORDING
7 December 1983
PERIOD
1980s
CREATOR
Rosie Campbell
SOURCE
Highland Folk Museum
ASSET ID
41274
KEYWORDS
deserted townships
crofts
crofting
buildings
croft houses
crofters
audios

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Crathie was one of the last Badenoch townships to be abandoned in the 20th century. Situated north of the River Spey, at the entrance to Glen Markie, Crathie once supported thirty families.

Rosie Campbell, a native of Laggan, used to spend her childhood summers in Crathie, staying with her friend Maggie MacPherson. In this audio extract Rosie talks about peat cutting.

(Image - Ruins at Crathie)

'Interviewer: And how would the peat have come down from the cutting?

Oh, in their carts. Just in the ordinary carts that they had for everything else. The ordinary carts, just that they went down in because they could join the road that came down from the fank, you see? The same road would take them and that was the road that went through the, through the village, sort of, Crathie. The old road.

Interviewer: And these would have been individually carted?

Yes, their own carts, going for their own peats. The like of Charlie - somebody's cart would go for their peats, you see. Some of the neighbours would do that because there was a great neighbourliness among them all; they all helped each other. If you were behind with your crop, the others helped. They were very good neighbours. Helped each other that way. If they were doing things they were always very neighbourly at doing anything . You never heard of them falling out about them, you know, like that. They were always very neighbourly, as far as I can always remember in Crathie, very neighbourly.

Interviewer: How would the cuttings have been organised?

Oh well, a time of year when it was suitable for cutting peats they would go and do the cutting, you see. It might be at night they were doing it, depends on the weather.

Interviewer: You mentioned they had peat barrows?

Yes, they had peat barrows. That was for taking them out from the bog to the dry ground, to dry them, you see. They would lay down pieces of wood and hurl the barrow across the pieces of wood because it was so marshy where they were taking them out of.

Interviewer: Could you describe one of these barrows?

Yes, it's - wait till I think now - the long shaft just off an ordinary barrow, like a box barrow, what they called a box barrow in my day, and instead of having the sides on it, it had a slotted bottom, you see? And they were about that apart and the water - the wood would be about that width that was in each. Maybe there was about four or five of these, the two shafts, and maybe four boards on, and maybe it would be about an inch apart, or two inches apart. And then the back was the same; it went up the back and then there was a bar across the top, here, that held it, and there was slats there too. And then they piled the peats to the back of the barrow. When they held it up, you see, the water ran, ran through as they were carting them away to put them out, to spread them on the bank, to dry them. And there would be boards on the ground if it was very wet to hurl the barrow on, or the barrow would have sunk.

Interviewer: It was a solid wheel - ?

Solid wheel barrows, yes.

Interviewer: And how would the peat have been stacked?

Well, they stacked them, at home, once they were dried, but first of all they were lain on the ground flat to dry, and then you had to go back another day and turn them on their side. And then you went back the next day and you put them up in threes, and that let the wind in through them, on each side, you see. And then after they were in threes, they would maybe put into a cuach, about this height, and then from that they would be taken home where they would be all dry. Maybe they had to go back and know that cruach down if you had wet weather and do it all over again, depending on the weather. If they had dry weather they would be dry, and they would just then take them home, throw them into the carts and take them home, because they would be hard - bone dry - then stack them at home, whichever, or into a shed, whatever they were doing.

Interviewer: They would be covered?

Oh yes, they would be covered or if not, they would be put into a stack which would have, on the top of it, clods cut out of heather, on the top, to throw the drip off them, and the outsides didn't make any difference as long as the water didn't get down the centre of the stack.'

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Crathie: Life in a Crofting Township (24 of 25)

INVERNESS: Laggan

1980s

deserted townships; crofts; crofting; buildings; croft houses; crofters; audios

Highland Folk Museum

Highland Folk Museum: Crathie Township

Crathie was one of the last Badenoch townships to be abandoned in the 20th century. Situated north of the River Spey, at the entrance to Glen Markie, Crathie once supported thirty families. <br /> <br /> Rosie Campbell, a native of Laggan, used to spend her childhood summers in Crathie, staying with her friend Maggie MacPherson. In this audio extract Rosie talks about peat cutting.<br /> <br /> (Image - Ruins at Crathie)<br /> <br /> 'Interviewer: And how would the peat have come down from the cutting?<br /> <br /> Oh, in their carts. Just in the ordinary carts that they had for everything else. The ordinary carts, just that they went down in because they could join the road that came down from the fank, you see? The same road would take them and that was the road that went through the, through the village, sort of, Crathie. The old road.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And these would have been individually carted?<br /> <br /> Yes, their own carts, going for their own peats. The like of Charlie - somebody's cart would go for their peats, you see. Some of the neighbours would do that because there was a great neighbourliness among them all; they all helped each other. If you were behind with your crop, the others helped. They were very good neighbours. Helped each other that way. If they were doing things they were always very neighbourly at doing anything . You never heard of them falling out about them, you know, like that. They were always very neighbourly, as far as I can always remember in Crathie, very neighbourly.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: How would the cuttings have been organised?<br /> <br /> Oh well, a time of year when it was suitable for cutting peats they would go and do the cutting, you see. It might be at night they were doing it, depends on the weather.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: You mentioned they had peat barrows?<br /> <br /> Yes, they had peat barrows. That was for taking them out from the bog to the dry ground, to dry them, you see. They would lay down pieces of wood and hurl the barrow across the pieces of wood because it was so marshy where they were taking them out of.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Could you describe one of these barrows?<br /> <br /> Yes, it's - wait till I think now - the long shaft just off an ordinary barrow, like a box barrow, what they called a box barrow in my day, and instead of having the sides on it, it had a slotted bottom, you see? And they were about that apart and the water - the wood would be about that width that was in each. Maybe there was about four or five of these, the two shafts, and maybe four boards on, and maybe it would be about an inch apart, or two inches apart. And then the back was the same; it went up the back and then there was a bar across the top, here, that held it, and there was slats there too. And then they piled the peats to the back of the barrow. When they held it up, you see, the water ran, ran through as they were carting them away to put them out, to spread them on the bank, to dry them. And there would be boards on the ground if it was very wet to hurl the barrow on, or the barrow would have sunk.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: It was a solid wheel - ?<br /> <br /> Solid wheel barrows, yes.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: And how would the peat have been stacked?<br /> <br /> Well, they stacked them, at home, once they were dried, but first of all they were lain on the ground flat to dry, and then you had to go back another day and turn them on their side. And then you went back the next day and you put them up in threes, and that let the wind in through them, on each side, you see. And then after they were in threes, they would maybe put into a cuach, about this height, and then from that they would be taken home where they would be all dry. Maybe they had to go back and know that cruach down if you had wet weather and do it all over again, depending on the weather. If they had dry weather they would be dry, and they would just then take them home, throw them into the carts and take them home, because they would be hard - bone dry - then stack them at home, whichever, or into a shed, whatever they were doing.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: They would be covered?<br /> <br /> Oh yes, they would be covered or if not, they would be put into a stack which would have, on the top of it, clods cut out of heather, on the top, to throw the drip off them, and the outsides didn't make any difference as long as the water didn't get down the centre of the stack.'