During the War agricultural production had to be increased so ploughing up grassland was made compulsory, and livestock feed was rationed. We never sold grain off the place, it was used for pig and poultry feeding, but we grew 3 to 4 acres of tatties that were sold, mainly for seed. Varieties were, Sharp’s Express, Majestic, King Edward, Arran Peak and Arran Pilot.
Because of the importance of the harvest to the country we had a lot of people helping us in the evenings and at the weekends. One Sunday we had a staff of 16 assembled and it came on rain! As it was difficult to pay everyone, some wouldn’t accept anyway, it was decided that we would have a Kirn, a Harvest Home party.
This was held at Springfield, in the parlour and kitchen. There would be about 20 folk present, workers, friends and neighbours. A good meal was served, I don’t remember whether it was Sit Doon or Haund Roun’ but it did produce exclamations of “Ye wudnae ken there was a war on”. The entertainment started with the singing of “All is safely gathered in” and grace was said before the meal. No alcohol was served, but some people may have had a bottle outside. We had dances and parlour games and the band consisted of Bill McRoberts and Jake McNaught on fiddles. For the eightsome reel we had one set in the parlour and one in the kitchen with the band in the lobby. One game was “The Belle of the Ball” which required the young men to kiss the ladies until they got to the correct one, each mistake required them to them to forfeit an article of clothing.