Continuing our look at Blantyre market gardener and florist, Archibald Brown’s amazing diary from 1874 and 1875. It’s transcribed exactly as it was written and shared here courtesy of his great granddaughter, Jenny Day.
In this extract, we approach the end of 1874 and its very much Winter again as Archie writes about October and November. This is a working mans diary, so it was nice in this extract to read of him going to Hamilton to hear a singer. This reveals also how much of a churchgoer he was on Sundays and as the weather turned colder, kind hearted, calling in on a woman in her 105th year. Reading through this, its clear how little time there was for any sort of break.
Pictured in 1908, is Archie Brown’s fruit store at Boathouse.
Thur 1. Good day, pulling Hazels then Burnits, good night. Went in to Hamilton and heard the Great Signor Basco. Fine night, wind south.
Fri 2. Dull morning, pulling a few apples and plums in the forenoon, putting up a shed for the sheep in the afternoon. Very disagreeable day, a good deal of rain, W.W.
Sat 3 Good morning, gathering Hazels in the morning, then took off a few apples. Went through to Seggieden at night, had a few Pies in the coatery, ate them, went thense, got to the dun about one in the morning, good night. Wind SW
Sun 4. Good morning, got up and had breakfast, then went up and saw Old Jims and Granny, both very frail getting. Had a walk through the orchard and a sail on the Tay. Fine day, strong wind from the south west.
Mon 5. Good morning but rather frosty, took a long farewell to Seggieden and to the long carse of Gawery, arrived in Glasgow shortly after Ted, got home about one. Did very little in the afternoon, showery day, wind west.
Tues 6. Wet morning, walled a few pears, then started to put up a load, got wet in the forenoon, not much better in the afterpart, strong wind from the west.
Wed 7. Good morning, started the pears in the forenoon, pulling plums in the afternoon, good day, W.S.W.
Thurs 8. Good morning, frosty, rather good day. At the pears, then started the plums, good day, W.W.
Fri 9. Good morning, making a clean up, finished the big Orchard and the wee one. Fine day for screanging. Showery forenoon, good night, wind west.
Sat 10. Good morning, pulling plums up till four in the afternoon, stopped with rain. Good night, wind west.
Sun 11. Good morning, went to church both forenoon and afternoon. Mr McLuckie. Wet night, wind west.
Mon 12. Wet morning, pulled a few plums, then put in the Camellias, very wet day, wind west.
Tues 13. Good morning, started the Keswicks at the House, then finished the plums, had all the fruit off to day, good day. W.W.
Wed 14. Good morning, a good chirt of frost. Howking the American Potatoes today, good day. James White went in for stinkie, good day, wind west.
Thurs 15. Good morning, finished the Americans in the morning, put up the last load in the forenoon. Went up to Nerston Mill in the afternoon, called on an old woman in her hundred and fifth year, pretty active. Good forenoon, very wet afternoon. Wind south.
Fri 16. Good morning, pruning Rasps the whole day, good day, wind west.
Sat 17. Went over to the station in the morning for a bundle of plants, then potted a few Roses. Put up the sheep’s hay in the afternoon, then went to Orchard. Drove up to Lechinbank, then visited H.H., left about eleven, fine night, wind west.
Sun 18. Wet morning, went to Carluke, got a sermon from Mr Weir. Showery night, had a walk round Flinders, saw C.B., very wet night, wind west.
Mon 19. Wet morning, dodging about, potted a few strawberry’s in the afternoon, smoked the greenhouse, good night, wind west.
Tues 20. Wet morning, was doing odds and ends in the forenoon, cutting a hedge in the afternoon, showery day, very stormy night, strong westerly wind.
Wed 21. Very stormy morning, strong high wind. Cutting scobs in the forenoon, cutting the hedge the back of the house in the afternoon, strong wind from the west.
Thurs 22. Fine morning. Started to lift the potatoes at the back of the Fairhaugh Orchard, at them all day, fine day, wind west.
Fri 23. Good morning, had a little frost. At the potatoes in the Fairhaugh all day, finished them at night. W.W.
Sat 24. Dull morning, at the potatoes in the field, finished them at night. Showery night, strong wind south west.
Sun 25. Good morning, went to church forenoon and afternoon, showery day, wind westerly.
Mon 26. Good morning, started the pruning in the Cullough, at the Whitesmiths in the forenoon, assisting to erect a shed for the van in the afternoon, showery, W.N.
Tues 27. Good morning, pruning in the forenoon and afternoon. Close foggy day. Wind west.
Wed 28. Close morning, cutting the hedge at the foot of the Fairhaugh in the forenoon, pruning in the afternoon, frosty night, wind west.
Thurs 29. Very close morning. Cutting the hedge at the foot of the Fairhaugh in the forenoon, pruning in the afternoon, dipped the sheep at night, wind west.
Fri 30. Good morning, was pruning in the forenoon, finished the Whitesmiths in the Cullough. Earthed the celery in the afternoon, mild day, wind east.
Sat 31. Frost this morning, watered the greenhouse in the morning, pruning all day, fine day, frosty night. Wind south east all day.
Sund 1. Good morning, went to church both forenoon and afternoon. Good day but very cold. Wind east.
Mon 2. Wet morning, pruning in the forenoon, went to the village after dinner, cutting cabbage in the afternoon. Wet forenoon, dull night. Started digging in the Cullough today. Wind sou,west.
Tues 3. Dull morning, pruning in the morning, assisting Willie Thomson to put up a shed the rest of the day, showery afternoon, wind sou,west.
Wed 4. Good morning, watering in the morning, pruning in the afternoon. Putting the roof on the shed in the afternoon, better day, Wind sou,west.
Thur 5. Good morning, taking corn from Mr Jackson’s to Boathouse and clearing up the barn the whole day, wet afternoon, wind south.
Fri 6. Good morning. Ground two spades in the morning, potted a few of the roses, and put on the asphalt on the shed and potting shed. Fine day, James White went in for stinkie. Frost tonight, wind west.
Sat 7. Good morning, watering the greenhouse, pruning all day. Went to Orchard at night, fine night, wind west.
Sun 8. Good morning, was at home all day, wind south.
Mon 9. Good morning, came down with the first train. Cut flowers then pruned the rest of the day. Showery night, W.W.
Tues 10. Frosty morning, pruning in the forenoon, tarring the asphalt in the afternoon. W.W.
Wed 11. Hard frost this morning, pruning all day in the Cullough, very cold all day, threatening hail, wind north.
Thur 12. Frosty morning, pruning in the forenoon, putting in a stake in the byre in the afternoon and doing odds and ends. Dull night, wind north.
Fri 13. A little frost this morning, pruning all day at the Warringtons in the Cullough, fine day, wind Nor,west.
Sat 14. Fine morning, pruning in the Cullough all day, a great deal warmer than yesterday. Wind north west.
Sun 15. Good morning, went to church both forenoon and afternoon. Mr McLuckie both times. Very wet afternoon, good night, wind N. West.
Mon 16. Good morning, pruning in the forenoon, doing odds and ends in the greenhouse in the afternoon, smoked the greenhouse, wet afternoon, wind west.
Tues 17. Good morning, pruning all day amongst the Sulphurs in the Cullough. Put the scobs in a peck basket at night. Wet night, wind west.
Wed 18. Very dull forenoon, wet forenoon, doing odds and ends. Pruning in the afternoon in the Cullough. A good deal of thunder and the largest hail that I ever witnessed in the forenoon. W.west.
Fri 20. Good morning, pruning from nine in the morning & cutting flowers in the morning, very fine day wind east.
Sat 21. Frosty morning, pruning all day, finished the Sulphurs in the Cullough. Fine day, clear night. Wind east.
Sun 22. Good morning, went to the church in the forenoon, had a stranger. Mr Doac in the afternoon. Went to the new church at night, fine day, wind west.
Mon 23. Frosty morning, dug the ground and planted the Mint in the forenoon. Potted a few of the Roses in the afternoon, frosty night, wind east.
Tues 24. Good morning, started to prune, then went in to Glasgow for glass in the forenoon. Pruning in the afternoon, dull day, wind east, at the baskets at night.
Wed 25. Wet morning, went in to the Dovehill in the forenoon and got wet. Doing odds and ends in the afternoon. Went in to Brandon Place at night, very wet night. W.East.
Thur 26. Wet morning, pruning all day amongst the Warrington’s in the Cullough, cold day wind east.
Fri 27. Wet morning, turned into sleet, then snow. Snowed all afternoon, was in the greenhouse all day, at the meeting of the farm, cold night, wind from the east.
Sat 28. Good morning, pruning in the forenoon. Went over to Spindle How for the sheep in the afternoon, was at church at night. Cold day, wind east.
Sund 29. Wet morning, was at church all day, communion sabbath. Was over at night and heard Willie Stirling of Coatbridge. Lost one of the oars of the boat, very wet day, wind east.
Mon 30. Wet morning, went to the station with flowers in the morning, then went to Greenfield with Dick, then to Willie Thomson’s and then came home. At the baskets the rest of the day. Wet day, wind N’East.
Coutesy: Jenny Day