Well, the visitors that came to Braeside, they’d be neighbours just, people – maybe, my cousins and
nephews and that from other places. And usually at Hogmanay, Christmas, we had a farmer ball in the barn
and somebody – my father – would clean out the barn and we’d have to help him. There was a man called
Mr Porter from Queensbriggs used to come and play the melodium and my mother would make tea and
we’d have tea and dancing on the Hogmanay.
Sometimes we maybe had a shepherd who came with his sheep to eat turnips – if we had turnips left. That
was Donald Shop [Shaw?] and he used to bring me and my three sisters a matchbox filled with pennies or
halfpennies and we used to think we was in heaven getting this little wee matchbox full of pennies. Used to
have one for the four of us.
And then the family came with the bakery stuff and came up to where shepherd Ferguson died. They were
Big Braeside and my father was Little Braeside – there were two Braesides beside each other. This old
shepherd Ferguson used to be there.
I went up to help with him with his hay one day, to gather up his hay and take it in and so he would come
down and pay me, he said.
One day he arrived down at the house and he came into the house and he was sitting for a while and then
Isabel, my sister, was always called Jock and I was called Donal. And so he comes into the house and he
was sitting and he put his hand in his pocket and took it out and he said “Here, Donal, that’s your money for
the hay and he gave it to Isabel and she took it and she never gave me it back!
“So he thought that she was you?”
Aye – he got mixed up”.
“And she was happy to go along with it, was she?”
Aye, she just took the money and that was it. I’ve not got it back yet. Four sisters; Mary, Edith, Isabel and
Kathleen. And we had a wee brother about – well, young Kath would have been about eight or nine when
Bertie, my brother was born. So we were just four girls and I was Donal, Isabel was Jock. Kathleen and
Mary well, just were there.
My father said I was always small and when I started school I took pneumonia after I started so Dr
MacKenzie said “You’ll need to keep that lass – six. ??? And my father said to me I was always peare,
always standing in the fireplace with my shoes on the wrong feet and greeting [crying]. Maybe I was a
“Well, you’ve lived to a good age!”
“What does ‘peare’ mean?”
“Poor. It’s Doric we should have been learning!”
A story told by Willie Sinclair about evacuees in Lumsden during wartime
Oh – there was a great lot of evacuees come here – moved from Glasgow and the bombing and that. Not
just here, they moved them all over the country and they came and lived here.
Some of the persons, their mothers came as well, but they didn’t all last long. There were no chip shops
here and they went away back to Glasgow. There was very, very few stayed until the end of the war.
“Just found it too remote?”
There was a big teacher – a man teacher – we called him Big Barney. I think they called him that before he
came here. He was a devil just.
“Was he? How so?”
Ohh, he was murder. After a while when the master went back we had to go with him – the folk that
belonged here. He was rough – nobody liked him. A hard man he was. But the headmaster, he was there
for donkeys years, he was a hard man but he was a fair man – a better man.
“Hard but fair?”
“So these evacuees came over during the war time?”
They came from Glasgow, and the big towns.
“Adults too? I thought it was just kids that were sent to the country?”
But the mothers came at the very start but they didn’t last long and went away back to Glasgow and just
chanced the bombing. I think it was just there … there were some over there – Nobles or something I think
it was but there were a lot in the village.
“Did any of them stay?”
I think Edith had some – a boy and a girl but they weren’t long before they went away.
“So they always did go back to their families? Were they going into the school in that time?”
Oh aye, they came to school. But I think we went in the forenoon and then they went in the afternoon. We
just did half a day and then they did half a day, for a while. When there was lot of them. But then after a lot
went away we were mixed in with them.
“Did you make friends with some of them?”
One Eddie Dunn. He was away across there. He bided with Pat Dunn’s folk. They weren’t related. But he
was Dunn and they were Dunn but they were not related. I don’t think he was long there but he came back
thirty years after and he’d been in the birch road [prison??] in between – hiding from the police when he
came back. Never said what he’d done
We didn’t take any because we were a big family – there were seven of us so we didn’t have to take any.
There was a lot her, in the village and roundabout as well.
“So was it just that you had to? Some said ‘you’re getting two kids – come and get them’?”
Someone came round and told you like. Went all round about. I think there were a lot of them sent abroad
too . I think a lot of bairns went to Canada and all. Some of them came back but lot of them were ill-treated
– virtual slaves.
All Glasgow bairns that came here. But their mothers went away – no chip shops, you see.
Transcript: Working at the bakery
A story by Edith Petrie and Pat Dunn about working at the Lumsden bakery
Well, when we left the school I started working at the bakers and enjoyed it very well. And as I said, we
had one van when I went and then before long there were about four other vans – five vans went out. We
went to Strathdon, the Cabrach, Rhynie, Lumsden, Kildrummy – just all round about.
And that’s when I had to do the accounts – the farmers just paid once a month. And I had to write the
accounts at the end of the month and send them out. After that, well, I worked there until I got married, you
see. And then I left and got married so that was me with the end of the bakers.
But – did the sculpture shop take it on after Cameron Gordon? He retired. Well – he didn’t retire – he bought
a shop in Huntly, a bakery in Huntly. And he went down there so he stopped, so they put it up for sale. Well,
for rent. The sculpture shop has it now – for a hundred years I think.
“Aye – a hundred year lease.” So Cameron Gordon died a few years ago and it now belongs to the older
son who was in Houston and he owns it and another brother in Huntly, he stays there, and they’ve still got a
lot of shops and houses that their father had bought and this younger boy looks after that. So then, that’s it
“So, it was a bakery before it was the workshop? And what kind of things – was it much like the bakeries
you get now or did they make different kinds of things?”
Well, they don’t make their bread, a lot of the bakers now. It’s just – I don’t know – maybe done in factories.
And there’s all these different name – Warburtons and lots of names of bread. The only one that I know that
does, which my daughter goes to, is one in Ballater. She goes there and gets homemade bread and brings
it back and puts it in the freezer.
“But these bakers made their own bread?”
Er, no. Well, when Cameron stopped. But he did it a long time – he had some vans went out.
“So the bread came in from a bigger baker somewhere else?”
Well, I don’t know. He doesn’t bake his own bread in Huntly now, Cameron. It’s Sinclair now. Sinclairs of
Rhynie, they took over. They have it rented from Kenneth Gordon, you see. The place would belong to the
But when I was there, you baked everything that there was. Pan loaf, plain loaf, high pans, you had. And
then they baked softies and butteries.
Lots of butteries. “Aye, we used to to in past there in the morning when we were going to school, got
“A treat for breakfast! Lovely, aren’t they?”
And some of them went to Huntly School. Once they’ve moved over they had to go to Huntly, if they passed
their 11-plus. And I used to get the lot of them come in, Gordon and Toshy and them, because you got
through the tray bakes in a tray and my job was to take a knife and edge all the sides off and put them to
the side and they used to come in at night and get bags of these cuttings off the side.
“All the cuttings? Lovely.”
So they did that with fruit squares and sponge things – you’d cut them into pieces – not so big as you get
nowadays. And then they did zoolas and coarse [culse?] [curse?] cakes.
“What’s a zoola?”
They were like round kind of thing with pastry on the top and ginger all through it. I think you still get them,
in some places. You still get the coarse [culse?] cakes.
“They’re the ones with the raisins in?”
Yes, And the sugary top. You get them at Rhynie down there and they’re just beautiful.
“Have they got a baker in Rhynie, have they? So I bet the smell coming out of the bakers in the morning …”
Oh, it was a right smell in the morning. I got it every morning. They just had a hatch, you see. Where the
office is just now – that was where I sat, where I worked. And just in the side of the wall there they had a
hatch, and they just opened the hatch in the morning, put through the stuff to me and I’d to take the bread
off and put it on the shelves and then take the cakes and cut them.
“So were you working as a baker? Or more in the front of the shop?”
Just an assistant. I did the selling.
“Did you pick up any baking tips when you were there?”
Oh aye. I’ve done the baking and the butteries once or twice but I stopped … because you roll them out
with butter and then you roll them out again, put butter. But the bread and – there’s different biscuits now, all
“I would have liked to see a bakery back then. That’s a good story, thank you.”
They do everything by hand, you see, for a long time up there, back when I started. But then, as they got
more … they put in machines, put in more ovens. I think there was just one wee oven when I was there.
But before I left there were three, four ovens. And there were about five, six bakers. There were a lot of
Oh there were. I remember a lot of them. Percy Moorhouse, Bob Barclay and Neil, his brother, worked
there. Bob Ramsay, he was another. Oh aye, there were a lot – that chap from Whitehills. A lot of bakers.
The Thomsons from outside Alford. And Ron McAllan, Ron was there a long time. He was a nephew of Mrs
“Of course he was, aye”.
Mrs Cameron – her sister. He was a relation, he was a nephew of the baker’s. It was a busy place that,
used to be. The vans, you used to see them all through the north-east here. You got a lot in Ballater, and
Clatt. Kennethmont, down that way.
“Quite a big reach?”
They went as far as they could … Tarland. They did.
“So they ended up starting off with just one and growing into having … like a fleet of vans?”
They had one van to start with and before I went to the bakery – this bakery, when Cameron Gordon started
– before that there was no vans or anything, it was just a horse and a cart.
“Ah, you’re showing your age now Edith. I dinnae mind that.”
Andy McIntosh, he used to come to us. He sat in just a big box, you see, and he sat with the horse and
then he’d come round and open doors and everything was just in boxes in the van. That’s what’d come to
Braeside – I was born in Braeside, in the farm up there. And there wasn’t a right road, just a cart road,
because there was only horses and the carts.
“A cart track?”
But then when – there was a bigger farm and this banker Petrie bought it. And he made a road for his cattle
and to feed his cattle along the hill. So the vans started to get in to my mother and father … so we used to
go out to the van – on a Saturday night, it came – and we got a halfpenny to spend.
And you wondered what you would buy, because you got a lot for a halfpenny. I always used to buy
chewing gum and would chew it and then have to spit it out, you see. So I said to myself, “What a waste of
money”. When I could have had a big sweetie and eat it all!