Grouse beating and tattie picking
A story by Edith Petrie and Pat Dunn about the grouse beating and tattie picking.
“I used to go to the beating when I was about 12, 13, 14. With a stick and a flag, all over those hills, got
about 50p or a £1 when I started. But I think it went up to about £5.”
“When I started at Littlewood it was about 12 shillings or 60p a day – to do the beating. Then up to 15
shillings – 75p. Then it would get up to 22/6. Now it’s about £40 – not bad for a days work.
There used to be a sweepy there used to be sweepies you know, sometimes you’d win it, usually for a £1.
When we were at school we used to gather potatoes an all. There used to be 13 days off from school in
October – the tattie picking holidays – but they don’t do it now. We just have the time off.
But there’s no tatties to pick now, or if there is they get picked by combine harvesters …
I saw a photograph last night, when I was looking out photographs of things for our Edie and Willie had took
a photograph and its tatties and there’s three rows of tatties like this. And they’re just thick. What tatties.
When we came in here first. 24 years since I came in here.
And we had kale and cabbage then the rest was tatties and carrots the other side – and onions. Used to set
it out with strings.
Inginngs and tatties and neeps. Now it’s onions, potatoes and turnips.
I like tatties though.