coverage: 20th century
|Extent||1 digital audio file(s), 1 digital photograph(s), 1 papers|
|Subject||Childhood, Working life, Farming, Social Systems, Community Life, Education, Shopping, Foodways, Entertainment, Dumfries, Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, Nether Glaisters|
Biographical interview with Sheila Austin (aged 70) who recalls life on a sheep farm. Her father's family had been at Nether Glaisters for 5 generations and this was her first home. The family then moved to different farms in the same area and Sheila recalls that other members of the extended family were in neighbouring farms. Her father was a shepherd and sheep farmer and worked especially with black-faced sheep. Although isolated, Sheila recalls a very social childhood with lots of visiting and gatherings, especially around occasions such as sheep clipping which she describes in detail towards the end of this interview.
Earlier in the interview, Sheila talks about her schooldays and travelling back and forward to school until, at 15, she went to Dumfries and stayed in the hostel while she completed her schooling. Most of the food at home came from the farm and the butcher and grocer vans came round weekly. In addition, the draper from Thornhill would visit twice a year to take orders for bedlinen, towels and working clothes. Sheila describes life at Cairnhead, the farm her parents were in until 1975 when the Forestry Commission took over the land. The farmhouse had no electricity and entertainment was the radio or fishing in the burn. News came by telegram before the telephone was installed in 1955. Lots of visitors came in the summer. When Sheila was 11, a film crew on their way to the highlands stopped at Moniave and subsequently decided to make their film there. Sheila was involved, as were her parents and the result was the film, 'Roy, Sheepdog of the Scottish Highlands'. Towards the end of the interview, Sheila speaks about coronation day celebrations, sheep clipping days and sheep sales at Thornhill. Although she moved away from the region when she became a teacher and married, she has very fond memories of the people and landscape of Dumfries and Galloway.
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