Continuing our look at Archibald Brown’s amazing diary from 1874. Archie was a market gardener and florist at Boathouse (Boat Jocks) although was travelling between several farms at the time with his services. It is transcribed exactly as it was written with added comments from myself in brackets. Pictured is a nice painting of the Uddingston side of the ferry crossing at that location on the River Clyde.
In January 1874, Archie wrote,
Fri 16. Went to Glasgow to farm in Mile End for dung in the forenoon. Dug in the afternoon. Forenoon very wet, dry afterpart of the day, frost at night.
Sat 17. Went to Glasgow but turned in the London Road for the side roads, bought a cart of dung from Duffy’s in the forenoon, took horse to get him shod and could not get it done. Dug a little, also smoked the greenhouse. Beautiful day, wet night. (In a time before telephone, walking your horse to get shod, and the frustration it must have been to not get it done and have to walk back again).
Sab 18. Was at church forenoon and afternoon, McLuckie preaching. Wet day, dreadful stormy, could scarcely cross the railway bridge coming home from church. Very stormy night, wind nearly west.
Mon 19. Spreading dung in Cullough, to Willie White in forenoon, went to Glasgow, Mile End in the afternoon, fair today with keen wind from NW frost at night.
Tues 20. Wheeled out dung in the forenoon, dug in the afternoon. Went to Lesmahagow to A. McLean’s wedding. Spent a jolly night, the ground was white with snow in the morning. Showery day.
Wed 21. Walked to Braidwood in the morning from Nethhead, round by Orchard. Went for dross in the forenoon, jobbing in the afternoon, good day.
Thur 22. Digging and spreading dung all day. Very warm just like Spring. Davidson doctoring the cow.
Fri 23. Repairing the road in the forenoon, spreading dung and digging in the afternoon. John Coats was driving ashes today. Very fine day close and warm.
Sat 24. Went to the Dovehill in the morning, Duffey’s in the afternoon. Uddingston at night and bought a shovel. Cold hail showers through the day, frost at night.
Sab 25. At church, heard two sermons from texts that was not in the least connected with them. Cold showery day. Strong west winds at night blowing very fierce.
Mon 26. Went in to Mile End in the forenoon, taking up dung to the gooseberries in the Cullough in the afternoon. Fine day rather cold. Strong wind out of the west.
Tues 27. Went to Glasgow forenoon and afternoon to Jardin’s. Very fine day, wind nor west.
Wed 28. Went to Jardin’s, one rake, doing odd jobs after. Peeling willows at night. Fine day. Met a man from Ayrshire acted as I thought right to him. (Received £1) A crossed rose.
Thur 29. Went twice to Glasgow for dung. Very fine day but very cold, wind nor west.
Frid 30. Went to Glasgow in the forenoon, spread dung in the Cullough in the afternoon. Rather like rain, wind west.
Sat 31. Went for stinky (ragwort) in the forenoon. Greenfield in the afternoon for coals. Fine mild day; wind NW Went to Orchard.
Sab 1. Went up to Carluke to church heard a sermon from Mr Houston, text remember Lots wife. Fine mild day.
Mon 2. Came down this morning from Orchard. Pruning and spreading dung in the Cullough brae. Showery day.
Tues 3. Spreading dung in the forenoon digging in the afternoon. Very fine day including wind round to the east.
Wed 4. Digging all day. Went in to 21 Brandon Place to a party, stayed in town all night, very fine day mild and warm.
Thur 5. Digging in the forenoon, sorting the road and spreading dung in the Cullough. Extra fine day wind SW
Frid 6. Pruning in the forenoon, spreading dung in the afternoon. Very fine day, wind west.
Sat 7. Cleaning the open drain at the head of the Cullough brae in the forenoon. Laying of the road at the foot in the afternoon. Extra fine day, a little frost this morning. The vines in the vinery sprung about an inch.
Sab 8. Frost this morning, was at church, Mr McLuckie in the forenoon, a stranger in the afternoon. A remarkable fine day wind north.
Mon 9. Frosty morning, was pruning all day in the Cullough Brae. Frosty night, wind north.
Tues 10. Frosty, very hard. Was transplanting trees in the Fairhaugh Orchard in the forenoon, thrashing beans in the afternoon, frost tonight, wind north.
Wed 11. Was pruning trees in the Fairhaugh Orchard today, very cold wind southeast.
Thur 12. Was gathering the thorns up the boat road and burning them. Thaw today, had the pipes in the greenhouse boiling tonight.
Frid 13. Gathering and burning thorns and doing odds and ends, rain today wind west.
Sat 14. Digging down the old strawberry’s north from the house, buried the cow at night, fine day, wind west.
Sun 15. Went to church Mr McLuckie was preaching, very fine day wind west, clear tonight.
With thanks to Jenny Day