Now, in this place, well the rams went out then in November. They would at that time send them out round about the 23rd, 24th, 25th November and the sheep were gathered then, every day making sure that the rams, well going about amongst them, to see that the rams were staying in the place where they should be and where they were put, so that they would not wander off. Then, when that was over, there were gates behind the boundary wall which were opened, and that gave the sheep a chance then to come in to the crofts and the sheep came in each morning and they would take off themselves in the evening out to the moor and out to behind the wall. Then, some people brought the hogs in, the lambs, they were just at that time growing into hogs and they would winter them inside at their own place. They had sheds and they would feed them inside, and och that was going on back and fore, and then when springtime came, springtime in the month of March, at the end of the month of March the sheep would be getting heavily pregnant with lamb, and they would gather them afresh and they would be dosed against sheep rot and they were dipped, and every creature had that done to them and looked after and then, what happened then was the lambing started. And the sheep were in the township out on the common grazing and sometimes they would have someone appointed specially to look after the sheep when they were lambing. But after, at the beginning of the war, that work stopped and the people of the township themselves were going out and making sure that the sheep were alright, that there was nothing happening with regard to lambs getting stuck. There was then, the only thing that went on them then was tar. It was put on them as a mark so that you would know whose they were. If you were marking a lamb, it is its mother’s mark you would use. Thus, and you would mark ... it didn’t matter whether or not it was your own or your neighbour’s or belonged to the township, it didn’t matter which, if you came across a newly born lamb you put its mother’s mark on it. And then a month later, three weeks or a month later the sheep were gathered and these lambs were marked in the ear. That is just how the work involving sheep took place in the area.

  • Lachlan Gillies (Lachie)
Saturday 13th September 2008