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Elphinstone Kist   Folk-History, Work, Place

The Milkmaid     by: Broomhill Reminiscence Group (Mrs Robbie)

I wis born on 26th December, 1911, at Crimmond. Fin I wis aboot thirteen year auld, I used tae help ma mither milk the twa coos in the byre. The coos war inside aa winter, an winters cud be affa bad at Crimmond then, ye micht be aff schule fur a month, wi the sna level wi the tap o the dykes. And it wid lie, ye see, it didna thaw quick.

I used an enamel pail fur the milkin, an sat doon on a steel aside the coo, fur we did aa the milkin then bi haun. It micht hae teen twenty meenits tae milk a coo, an that hid tae be deen twice a day, frae 7-8 in the mornin, an again frae 8-9 at nicht. The byre wis lichtit wi a paraffin lamp,tae let us see tae milk the beasts, an tae let ma faither see tae feed the beasts wi strae an hashed neeps.Ma mither didna jist use the milk for drinkin or cookin, she made hangmans' cheese...she hung the cheese up in a cloot tae dry. It tasted real fine.

Fin ye war wirkin in the byre ye'd hear the mice an rats squeakin amangst the strae. We keepit cats tae kill the rats an mice, a black an fite cat an a broon an fite een. They widna kill the mice richt aff, they'd play wi them first. They'd throw them up in the air an cowp them ower wi their paws afore they'd kill them.An the queer thing wis the cats wid kill a field moose bit niver eat it. They ett aathin else, tho.

We'd a dry lavvie then, roon the back o the byre, jist a timmer sheddie it wis. There wis a widden seat wi a hole cuttit oot o't, an a lid ower the hole. Fin ye liftit the lid, there wis a pail, an that wis the dry laavie. Ma mither hid the job o teemin the pail. We'd nae saft paper like nooadays. Faither cuttit the Press an Journal inno squares an hung the squares frae a towe aside the pail. Ye'd tae clean yersel wi that.

Even the watter hid tae be cairriet, fin I wis wee. We'd a wallie in the middle o a park. Ye cairriet twa pails ower the park, an steppit doon three steen steps, an filled the pails wi watter. Then ye cairriet it back tae the kitchie. There wis nae turnin on a tap in thon days, naething sae easy..



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