In them days we’d pick blackberries. Free food growing in the hedges, to make free jam. Except you’d have to buy the sugar, of course. There was places too, where you could sell the blackberries for money!
Gathering blackberries was easy – but to find something to gather the blackberries in was a real problem! There was no such a thing as plastic then. There was just those old galvanised buckets, like the one I had just lost in the river.
When it finally sprung a leak, every farmer would insert a wooden bottom in the bucket to extend its life. When they were completely done they were thrown in the hedge. Many’s the one you’d come across, near rotted away, years later.
So you could have gathered blackberries if you had something to gather them in – and that’s no joke! But a new bucket in them days was priceless, and here was me just after losing John McComb’s new bucket in the river.
Now, the day before I was up at McComb’s hay shed and I saw a nice new bucket outside Peter Gribben’s house that Peter had bought in Harry Waddell’s at the same time that John bought his.
So I crossed the river, walked right up through the bridge underneath the road and so up to Peter’s. Poor Mary was running around so I hid and waited for her to go in. I confess then I took the bucket.
I was back in the hay shed a couple of hours later and poor Peter comes up to me:
”Have you seen anybody about?’ he asks me.
I couldn’t own up so I denies it.
‘No’, says I. ‘Why? Is anything wrong?’
‘Ah, you’ll not believe it.
Aren’t they after taking me poor wee bucket?’
Talk about making ye feel bad!
………. More Morrow to follow …….