Stonehaven

Topic:
Stephen recalls his schooldays and describes his working life thus far.
Speaker:
Stephen Duguid (b.1967/08/05; male; farmer)
Date:
1999
Duration:
5'46"
Shelfmark:
C900/21177B © BBC

Transcript for Stonehaven

Interviewer: But did you, like, read magazines, read comics, can you remember anything like that?

Stephen: I was pretty much a, an outdoor person, I never s, I was a bit like Jimmy’s school, you was glad to see, hear a bell at the end of the day so you could get back hame to get, ken, I stayed on a farm, as well, so farming’s been my life since I was born and you just got hame and you, you throwed the schoolbooks in the door, went and got changed and went outside and if I wasnae helping my dad on the farm I was playing with a football in the garden, so that was pretty much my younger day.

Interviewer: And did you enjoy your primary school?

Stephen: No, I hated school [laughter].

Interviewer: Why?

Stephen: I just didnae like sitting at a table and being telt what to dae. I preferred once I got out of there; break times and pl, dinnertime was the best things about school and playing for the football team. I just hated the school; I feel now I wish I’d stuck in, but that’s a different thing. No, I couldnae wait to hear a bell at the end of the day to get hame again.

Interviewer: What were the teachers like? Were they

Stephen: Oh, they were mostly pretty good; I’ve got no complaints about the teachers; I’ve got, mebbe, the one or two of the older teachers were slightly more strict, but in our day the belt was hardly a thing you ever saw. I think it got a rattle on the table now and again just to keep youse all in check, but I think things, ken, started to change mebbe and, eh, a warning usually was enough to, to get you in check and, eh, that was school days, it was

Interviewer: And what happened after you left primary school? Did you go onto

Stephen: I went to a secondary school, which was the Mackie Academy up and, eh, it was pretty much like primary school: you was glad to hear the, the bell at the end of the day as well: education wasnae a thing at I thought very much of.

Interviewer: What, what about the secondary school – were they, the teachers quite strict there?

Stephen: Uh, I thought you got mebbe treated slightly more like a, aye, a, an adult at the, at the secondary school; belt again was there, but it was hardly ever used, it, it had to be a really bad case before anybody ever got belted.

Interviewer: What about school dinners, do you remember them? Did you have them?

Stephen: Eh, yeah, well, we st, did for the first couple of years, but then we started taking sandwiches and that to school and a flask of coffee. So mostly and then, uh, once mebbe in the last year we took money instead of dinner money and used to come down the town and go to the chip shop and hae a kind of bag of chips or whatever and that would used to be dinner.

Interviewer: And so when did you leave school, did you, was it

Stephen: Eh, oh well, what year would that hae been?

Interviewer: How old were you? Did you

Stephen: I was just before my sixteenth birthday.

Interviewer: Right, so did you do

Stephen: So I was nearly sixteen.

Interviewer: Right, so did you do ‘O-Grades’1 at school?

Stephen: Eh, yeah, they were ‘O-Grades’, yeah.

Interviewer: And, uh, I mean how many did you get, just out of curi

Stephen: I just got one.

Interviewer: Right. And did you decide at that point that you wanted to go back work on the farm, or?

Stephen: Well, I actually didnae do that, no. I went and worked for a local baker, my father and that said to get a trade before I thought about going on a farm. So I went down to Robertson the Baker in Stonehaven and started to serve my time there, but unfortunately, uh, my mother and father were both killed in a road accident and, eh, I’d only two years done in the bakery and I packed it in and went home and I did the job my dad did.

Interviewer: Ahem. What about, I mean, at the time, can you remember, uhm, like, you know, getting an apprenticeship or something like that?

Stephen: Well, I w, with me stopping early, ken, I never got nothing. The only thing, uh, that George Robertson at owned the bakery said, if things didnae work out at home and, down the line, I’d, ken, I didnae like it, ken, he would hae tooken me back again and just carried on.

Interviewer: Ahem.

Stephen: But I’m still at the same job as the day I left.

Interviewer: And do you enjoy working on the farm?

Stephen: Aye, it’s fine, although things are nae very good just now in the farming front, but yeah, it’s just a way of life.

Interviewer: Hmm and is it hard work?

Stephen: I wouldnae say it’s, it’s hard, as hard work as it mebbe was in Jimmy’s day, ken, there’s as much machinery and everything nowadays is done with a tractor and there’s no manual, well, apart fae the livestock side of things is still pretty manual, but most other machinery jobs it’s, ken, it’s, it’s machinery-orientated farming now. So it’s long hours, but I wouldnae say it, it’s, it’s so hard, hard work as it was away back.

Interviewer: What kind of farm is it you work on? Is it

Stephen: We’re, uh, quite a mixed farm: we’ve got a bit everything, it’s, dairy’s our moan [sic], eh, main enterprise.

Interviewer: Ahem.

Stephen: And that’s what I do: I deal with the livestock; I’m nae so much on the tractor and that, that’s just at the busy times I’ve to muck in, ken, but maest of my time’s involved through livestock.

Interviewer: Do you think, I mean, it’s obviously a more dangerous place then, do you think

Stephen: Yeah.

Interviewer: s, than in your day with, like, the machinery and

Stephen: It’s just like everything else, you’ve, ken, there’s, there’s code of conduct with any machine you’re working and you’ve just got to treat it and anything you’re working at at revolves, you’ve to shut it off if it breaks down and, I know the easy thing is to say, “Och, I’ve done it before,” and you gae away and do something, but it, the m, the thing is, you’ve to shut it off and just be careful.

Interviewer: Ahem. Do you think that you could’ve worked a farm or enjoyed working a farm like

Stephen: I’m sure I would’ve done. I think if you’re brought up on a farm, I think you, it’s just like anything else you get accustomed to the way the things are done. I know in my early days most, we changed, eh, we had a byre system and that was a lot harder, cause you’d every cow to feed individually and everything and me and my brother — I’d a brother and a sister — and me and my brother used to get woken up at a weekend at four o’clock in the morning. You went aw, out in the snow and, ken, into the byre and you was freezing first thing in the morning, but once you was out and got started it was just, you got on with it and got, eh, f, the job finished and then back in and got your breakfast and then the rest of the day was yoursel until about two o’clock in the afternoon and then you’d to gae away back and do the same again, so in that, uh, aspect of it you had a bit of manual work to do, but as I say, we changed systems in nineteen-eighty and everything now’s f, and our cows are, all go together and they’re fed in a big troch with a tractor and a cart at fills the troch, so things are made a lot easier now.

Interviewer: Hmm.

Notes

  1. O-Grades (roughly equivalent to the former ‘O-Level’ in England and Wales) were examinations taken in Scotland at the age of sixteen. They were the precursor to the modern ‘Standard Grade’ (roughly equivalent to the GCSE in England and Wales).

Scots Transcript for Stonehaven

Interviewer: But did you, like, read magazines, read comics, can you remember anything like that?

Stephen: Ah wis pretty much a, an outdoor person, Ah never s, Ah wis a bit like Jimmy’s scuil, you wis glad tae see, hear a bell at the end o the day so you cud get back hame to get, ken, Ah steyed on a fairm, as well, so fairmin’s been my life since Ah wis born an you juist got hame an you, you thrawed the scuilbuiks in the door, went an got changed and went ootside an if Ah wisnae helpin ma dad on the fairm Ah wis playin wi a football in the gairden, so that wis pretty much my younger day.

Interviewer: And did you enjoy your primary school?

Stephen: No, Ah hated scuil [laughter].

Interviewer: Why?

Stephen: Ah juist didnae like sittin at a table an bein telt fit to dae. Ah preferred once Ah got out o there; break times an pl, dennertime wis the best things aboot scuil an playin for the futball team. Ah juist hated the scuil; Ah feel now Ah wish Ah’d stuck in, but that’s a different thing. No, Ah cudnae wait to hear a bell at the end of the day tae get hame again.

Interviewer: What were the teachers like? Were they

Stephen: O, they wur mostly pretty guid; Ah’ve got no complaints aboot the teachers; Ah’ve got, mebbe, the one or two o the aulder teachers wur slichtly more strict, but in oor day the belt wis hardly a thing you ever saw. Ah think it got a rattle on the table now an again juist to keep youse aw in check, but Ah think things, ken, started tae change mebbe an, eh, a warnin usualle wis enough tae, tae get you in check an, eh, that wis scuil days, it wis

Interviewer: And what happened after you left primary school? Did you go onto

Stephen: Ah went tae a secondary scuil, which wis the Mackie Academy up an, eh, it wis pretty much like primary scuil: you wis glad tae hear the, the bell at the end o the day as well: education wisnae a thing at Ah thocht very much of.

Interviewer: What, what about the secondary school – were they, the teachers quite strict there?

Stephen: Eh, Ah thocht you got mebbe treated slichtly more like a, aye, a, an adult at the, at the secondary scuil; belt again wis there, but it wis hardly ever used, it, it haid to be a really bad case before anybody ever got belted.

Interviewer: What about school dinners, do you remember them? Did you have them?

Stephen: Eh, yeah, well, we st, did for the first couple o years, but then we started takin sandwiches an that tae scuil an a flask o coffee. So mostly an then, uh, once mebbe in the last year we took money insteid o denner money an used to come doun the toun and go tae the chip shop and hae a kind o bag o chips or fitever an that wud used to be denner.

Interviewer: And so when did you leave school, did you, was it

Stephen: Eh, o well, fit year wud that hae been?

Interviewer: How old were you? Did you

Stephen: Ah wis juist before my sixteenth birthday.

Interviewer: Right, so did you do

Stephen: So Ah wis nearly sixteen.

Interviewer: Right, so did you do ‘O-Grades’1 at school?

Stephen: Eh, yeah, they wur ‘O-Grades’, yeah.

Interviewer: And, uh, I mean how many did you get, just out of curi

Stephen: Ah juist got one.

Interviewer: Right. And did you decide at that point that you wanted to go back work on the farm, or?

Stephen: Well, Ah actually didnae do that, no. Ah went an workt for a local baker, my father an that said tae get a trade before Ah thocht aboot goin on a fairm. So Ah went doun tae Robertson the Baker in Stonehaven an started tae serve ma time there, but unfortunately, uh, ma mother an father wur both killed in a road accident an, eh, Ah’d only two years done in the bakery an Ah packt it in an went home and Ah did the job ma dad did.

Interviewer: Ahem. What about, I mean, at the time, can you remember, uhm, like, you know, getting an apprenticeship or something like that?

Stephen: Well, Ah w, wi me stoppin early, ken, Ah never got nothing. The only thing, uh, that George Robertson at owned the bakery said, if things didnae work out at home an, doun the line, Ah’d, ken, Ah didnae like it, ken, he wud hae tooken me back again an just carried on.

Interviewer: Ahem.

Stephen: But Ah’m still at the same job as the day Ah left.

Interviewer: And do you enjoy working on the farm?

Stephen: Aye, it’s fine, although things are nae very guid juist now in the fairmin front, but yeah, it’s juist a way o life.

Interviewer: Hmm and is it hard work?

Stephen: Ah wudnae sey it’s, it’s hard, as hard work as it mebbe wis in Jimmy’s day, ken, there’s as much machinery an everything nowadays is done wi a tractor an there’s no manual, well, apart fae the livestock side o things is still pretty manual, but most other machinery jobs it’s, ken, it’s, it’s machinery-orientated fairmin now. So it’s long hours, but Ah wudnae sey it, it’s, it’s so hard, hard work as it wis away back.

Interviewer: What kind of farm is it you work on? Is it

Stephen: We’re, uh, quite a mixed fairm: we’ve got a bit everything, it’s, dairy’s wir moan [sic], eh, main enterprise.

Interviewer: Ahem.

Stephen: An that’s whit Ah do: Ah deal wi the livestock; Ah’m nae so much on the tractor an that, that’s juist at the busy times Ah’ve tae muck in, ken, but maest o ma time’s involved throwe livestock.

Interviewer: Do you think, I mean, it’s obviously a more dangerous place then, do you think

Stephen: Yeah.

Interviewer: s, than in your day with, like, the machinery and

Stephen: It’s juist like everything else, you’ve, ken, there’s, there’s code o conduct wi any machine you’re workin an you’ve juist got tae treat it an anything you’re workin at at revolves, you’ve tae shut it off if it breaks doun an, Ah know the easy thing is tae sey, “Och, Ah’ve done it before,” an you gae away an do something, but it, the m, the thing is, you’ve tae shut it off an juist be careful.

Interviewer: Ahem. Do you think that you could’ve worked a farm or enjoyed working a farm like

Stephen: Ah’m sure Ah wud’ve duin. Ah think if you’re brocht up on a fairm, Ah think you, it’s juist like anything else you get accustomed tae the way the things are done. Ah know in my early days most, we changed, eh, we had a byre system an that wis a lot harder, cause you’d every cow tae feed individually an everything an me and ma brother — Ah’d a brother an a sister — an me an ma brother used tae get woken up at a weekend at fower o’clock in the mornin. You went aw, out in the snow an, ken, intae the byre an you wis freezin first thing in the mornin, but once you wis out an got started it wis juist, you got on with it an got, eh, f, the job finisht an then back in an got yer breakfast an then the rest o the day wis yersel until aboot two o’clock in the afternoon and then you’d tae gae away back an do the same again, so in that, uh, aspect of it you haed a bit o manual work tae do, but as Ah say, we changed systems in nineteen-eighty an everything now’s f, an our cows are, all go together an they’re fed in a big troch wi a tractor an a cart at fills the troch, so things are made a lot easier now.

Interviewer: Hmm.

Notes

  1. O-Grades (roughly equivalent to the former ‘O-Level’ in England and Wales) were examinations taken in Scotland at the age of sixteen. They were the precursor to the modern ‘Standard Grade’ (roughly equivalent to the GCSE in England and Wales).

Commentary for Stonehaven

There are a number of aspects of Stephen’s speech that immediately identify him as a speaker of Scots dialect. Listen, for instance, to the number of localised words he uses, such as hame for ‘home’, stay for ‘live’, dae for ‘do’, maest for ‘most’, gae for ‘go’, byre for ‘cowshed’ and troch for ‘trough’. Notice how he also frequently uses the filler, ken, which mirrors the way speakers of many other English dialects pepper their speech with ‘you know’.

The Doric dialect

Stephen also makes use of a striking feature that is heard among speakers in this part of Scotland. Listen carefully to the way he pronounces the initial consonant in the words what and whatever in the statements I just didnae like sitting at a table and being telled what to do and go to the chip shop and hae a kind of bag of chips or whatever. In both case he uses a <f> sound that gives speech here such an extremely distinctive feel. This and other features are typical of what is often referred to as Doric — a Scots dialect of northeast Scotland.

Scottish loch

Finally listen to the ‘guttural’ sound Stephen uses for the final consonant in the word trough – a sound produced in the velar region at the back of the mouth and used, for instance, in the traditional Scottish pronunciation of the word loch and a sound we might perhaps associate with spoken German. English is of course a Germanic language and at one time this sound was a feature of spoken English throughout the UK — this explains some of our seemingly anomalous spellings, such as night, through and enough, where the <gh> would originally have been pronounced using a similar sound. In most cases, such as night and through (modern German ‘Nacht’ and ‘durch’) the sound is now completely omitted. In other cases, such as enough (modern German ‘genug’) and cough, it has transmuted to an <f> sound.

The velar articulation used by Stephen is, however, part of the sound system of Scottish Gaelic, and so it is not surprising that it has been retained in a number of words, like trough here, in the dialects spoken in some parts of Scotland. It is for instance widely used even by speakers of more mainstream English dialects in Scotland on the exclamation ‘och!’ as demonstrated here by Stephen in the statement och, I’ve done it before.