Author Topic: Agricultural practice of "Term Day"  (Read 1774 times)

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Agricultural practice of "Term Day"
« Reply #9 on: Friday 31 May 19 10:19 BST (UK) »
Chris Guthrie scotmum, what a wummin!

Skoosh.

Offline GordonFindlay

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Re: Agricultural practice of "Term Day"
« Reply #10 on: Friday 31 May 19 21:44 BST (UK) »
Thanks everyone! What a mine of information  you have created.

And this might explain why my grandparents had 11 children (1901 - 1919) in 8 locations.

Slainte
Gordon
Findlay - Aberdeen, Angus
Shepherd - Angus
Cargill  - Angus
Melvin - Aberdeen
Coull - Angus, Aberdeen
Strachan - Kincardine, Aberdeen
Steven, Steen. Stein, Dunsmore, Burt, Prentice, Maxwell, Montgomery  - Lanark

Offline GR2

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Re: Agricultural practice of "Term Day"
« Reply #11 on: Friday 31 May 19 22:31 BST (UK) »
The system of feeing markets and term-time flittings was still flourishing in the north east well into the 20th century, although as time went on you started seeing jobs advertised in the newspapers as well.

Single men tended to be engaged for six months at a time, either staying in a bothy and doing their own cooking, or more usually in the north east, living in the chalmer and getting their meals in the farmhouse kitchen. On engagement the farmer gave the worker 2/6d in arles. He got his wages at the end of the six months.

Most married men engaged in May for a year at a time and lived in a cottar house. If they engaged for a year, their arles were 5/-. There were some, however, who flitted every term. My grandmother's parents were at a total of seventeen different farms before leasing a croft.

When the term time approached, the farmer would ask the workers he wanted to keep if they wished to stay for another term. If so, they would agree on wages. If you weren't asked, you knew you had to go to the feeing market and bargain for a new place.

In rural school log books, there is often an entry at term time noting the effect on the school roll as workers with large families moved in and out of the area.


Offline Countryquine

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Re: Agricultural practice of "Term Day"
« Reply #12 on: Wednesday 05 June 19 18:07 BST (UK) »
Term day was an expression still used in my childhood in the 60s, though the average farmworker stayed put as long as all was well then.   Rents were still due to be paid on Term Day, i.e Whitsun and Martinmas.   My gr grandmother's birthday is easily remember as my mother always referred to her granny's birthday as being Term Day (28th May).

I remember the local papers having long lists of job adverts for agricultural workers in the 60s.  Now there is rarely one a week.   At my small rural school in Aberdeenshire in the 60s, the father of most children was either a farmer or agricultural worker, or working in an industry related to agriculture.   In the 90s, my sons attended a large town primary, though the town is in the heartland of NE agriculture and only a handful of children came from families working in agriculture.  Changed days!

Offline GordonFindlay

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Re: Agricultural practice of "Term Day"
« Reply #13 on: Wednesday 05 June 19 22:54 BST (UK) »
Thanks for all the replies. 

On the subject of the farm-touns, I stumbled across two extracts from David Kerr Cameron's book "
Ballad and the Plough: A Portrait of the Life of the Old Scottish Farmtouns" (pub 1978) in the Aberdeen Express of Aug 1978.

The extracts - one about bothy life, one about the life of domestic servants - inspired me to hunt the book down. It is still available at Amazon in Kindle format, or second-hand on paper, at very reasonable prices. (No doubt it's in libraries too, but not here.) Well written, enjoyable, not scholarly in tone.

It's a very interesting and important slice of social history, which on every page makes me respect my ancestors more, and makes me really glad that my parents emigrated to NZ!
Findlay - Aberdeen, Angus
Shepherd - Angus
Cargill  - Angus
Melvin - Aberdeen
Coull - Angus, Aberdeen
Strachan - Kincardine, Aberdeen
Steven, Steen. Stein, Dunsmore, Burt, Prentice, Maxwell, Montgomery  - Lanark

Offline goldie61

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Re: Agricultural practice of "Term Day"
« Reply #14 on: Thursday 06 June 19 05:18 BST (UK) »
Thanks for all the replies. 

On the subject of the farm-touns, I stumbled across two extracts from David Kerr Cameron's book "
Ballad and the Plough: A Portrait of the Life of the Old Scottish Farmtouns" (pub 1978) in the Aberdeen Express of Aug 1978.

The extracts - one about bothy life, one about the life of domestic servants - inspired me to hunt the book down. It is still available at Amazon in Kindle format, or second-hand on paper, at very reasonable prices. (No doubt it's in libraries too, but not here.) Well written, enjoyable, not scholarly in tone.

It's a very interesting and important slice of social history, which on every page makes me respect my ancestors more, and makes me really glad that my parents emigrated to NZ!

I always look twice when somebody says 'the good old days........" ;)
Not true for many of our ancestors.
Lane, Burgess: Cheshire. Finney, Rogers, Gilman:Derbys
Cochran, Nicol, Paton, Bruce:Scotland. Bertolle:London
Bainbridge, Christman, Jeffs: Staffs

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Agricultural practice of "Term Day"
« Reply #15 on: Thursday 06 June 19 07:44 BST (UK) »
The ordinary folk paid the price for the social aspirations of the landed class. Anent NZ, how were things there with the Maori folk?  ;D

Skoosh.

Offline RWTaylor

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Re: Agricultural practice of "Term Day"
« Reply #16 on: Monday 17 February 20 13:43 GMT (UK) »
A really useful source of information is 'Farm Life in NorthEast Scotland' by Ian Carter - who was at Aberdeen University and subsequently a Professor at the University of Auckland. May be hard to come by, but is the definitive work. I can also recommend 'Jock's Jocks' an oral history of survivors of WW1 from the North East - though much of it is the Doric so may not be as accessible ...