Story: Stranger at the farm


Stranger at the farm

A story by Willie Sinclair about the night a stranger turned up at the farm.

“It was about 9 o’clock at night and Peter had took the tilly lamp (there was no electric at that time) Peter

took the tilly lamp out of the house and was away down to the byre – and Pat and me – we slept together –

we went away to our bed – and Pat’s mother, she said ‘There’s somebody shouting’, she said.

And they said “Show that light – I’m lost” at 9 o’clock at night and it was pitch dark – no lights round about us

at that time and we were in our beds just down the stair and she came through a wee while later and she

said “There’s a man at the door” and he got ………..

And just a wee while after that Peter came in with the light and then a man was found up at Deskie the next

day this side of the village – over there.

“So what was he doing?”

Nae idea and I never, ever found out but we didn’t think anything about it. Didn’t ken if he was a tramp man

or what he was but he was found up at Deskie the next day. He must have walked over through the village

and right up to Deskie.

“Through the night?”


“So was this after the war?”

Just after the war, about 1947. Just almost the end of 1947, about October or November maybe.

“And this was your family home? Where you stayed?”

I worked there, that was Peter Dunn’s, aye. I just worked there. Pat was just starting school – five and a

half younger than me.

“So he was working out of school hours?”

I was left the school but I worked for Peter Dunn. It was a bigger farm at the start and then I went on to the

big farm at Auchinleith. I just worked there for a while.

“So you got this strange visitor one night?”

Mrs Dunn she was terrified of him. And everything was dark, you see. Peter, he was away down to cattle

with the big tilly lamp.

She came through and said a manny’s at the door and just after Peter came through with the lamp. But she

was feared like. Aye, there was a lot of folk on the road at this time – tramps and that.