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Old Cambuslang

Old Cambuslang Snippits and Personal Contact messages

Old Cambuslang
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"Tattie Howkin"

The late 1940's and early 1950's gave early teenage school children an
opportunity to enter the paid working environment and a break from school.
It was much to the displeasure of most teachers and parents, but for
many young people, October was a great opportunity to escape school for 3
weeks and earn some money,
Farms in various areas would recuit school children,some around Westburn,
Hallside ,and Newton were the prefered choice of my classmates who lived
in the area, the farms i remember, Argo, Speirs, and Don.
My peference was with a local potato merchant,Thomas "Tottie" Anderson
{who lived in a large house in Douglas Drive},his business policy was,that,
he would buy and harvest a field of potatoes,in various locations within
travelling distance of Cambuslang, and transport the "workers"to the area,
Chapelton,Strathaven,and Lesmahagow,were some of the exotic places i
remember travelling to.
We would be picked up early in the morning on Greenlees Road, by the
cross, boarded onto the back of an open top lorry{no health and safety} then
off on our working holidays with peice's bulging oot our pockets,and my
faithers army haversac.
The work was hard and backbreaking {which did not bother most of us too
much},what we did not like was, being rained off,{and October has its fair share of rain}and hanging around and not getting paid,better to hear the cry of the Ganger {Charlie Jones}when the tractor started down the potato drill"right youlot,heid's doon arses up".Charlie was a very understanding and pleasant fellow with a compassion and respect for his charges.
As an example of child labour and exploitation ,it was an adventure and
great fun to myself and others,it helped pay for football boots and a second
hand bike,"a real luxury in those days".

Your location East Kilbride

Re: "Tattie Howkin"

That was my great grandfathers business, I've heard lots of stories of the boys in the lorries going to farms for the weekends etc. The house on Douglas drive has just actually been sold to the first non anderson in about 100 years, my uncle still lives in another house in Douglas drive so the anderson name is still there.

Your location Burnside

Re: "Tattie Howkin"


Great memories. This could make a smashing story on my website. Do either of you have any photos etc of that time which I could use for this?

Your location Kilmarnock

Re: "Tattie Howkin"

well I went to the tatties it was a great time ,I wentto a farm in westburn
the farmer would stake your section when the digger went past you picked like hell to fill your baskets so you could get a we rest it was sore in your back the first few days then you got used to it you got to take some spuds home my mother says bring big ones for chips .
you gave your mother the wages you got at the end of the week .

can you see the kids doing that in this day and age .

cheers tom mc sorley

Your location nsw australia

Re: "Tattie Howkin"

Hi! Ed,
Sorry to report, that i do not have any pictures, or other
records of the 3 october breaks, howkin spuds for a hungry nation,
knighthoods were not awarded for honest endevour.
phil collins

Your location East Kilbride