Wednesday, 20 May 2009

AWA' AT THE BERRIES

Have to hang my head in shame at this point and admit I never went to the berries. Looking back, I can't think why I didn't go because all my mates went, all my neighbours and all my cousins too, but for some reason it just didn't make my agenda. Perhaps it seemed too much like hard work! I can remember my mates coming back with their arms & hands all scratched, their clothes stained and then rattling all the dosh they made. Sometimes during the 7 weekies I'd go to a mates house and the mother would reply saying "He's awa at the berries" and so off I went to try somebody else.
In the 70's, the "Berry Bus" was used a lot as a derisive term for an old bus in general. For example, if you went on a bus to Blackpool or travelled to an away match and the bus you were on was shooglin' along at a crawl or if it broke down during the journey, you'd describe it as "like being on a berry bus!". So at least I can claim to having been on a few of those anyway..!!
Below is some footage of local pickers getting stuck in.
Photo by The Scotsman.Tints by GG

video

17 comments:

  1. I used to go to the berries from 1972 to 76 in the Blairgowrie and Coupar Angus areas.You had to keep an eye on the tinks,as they would try and nick your bucket if you let it out of your sight.
    We used to make our buckets weigh more by various methods.Needless to say,I havent eaten berries since.

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  2. I went to the berries a few times, but always ended up eating more than picking and felt ...er..sick. My mum was a great picker though, really fast. The methods that Willy mentioned were well known of course....

    There was always a wee bit of a disappointment when you handed over the products of your labour to see how little you actually earned....

    Craig

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  3. i used to go "nabblin'" at Whitewalls i think it was called. as for the (pee in the bucket) trick, i think those berries were just used for dye, if the berries were to be for consumption they had to be picked in "punnits" and in good condition, even a bite fae a field moose was not accepted :) PS - i spent more at the ice cream van than i made !!!

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  4. Me and a mate went berry picking down at Easthaven one summer - we cycled along from Carnoustie expecting to do a hard day's work, but ended up leaving after picking our first punnets! I think we were given about £2.50 for our efforts, which was spent on sweeties.

    These days, Polish, Lithuanian and Czech students on their summer holidays appear to be those who would prefer to take the opportunity rather than today's kids. Good luck to them, as it's a back-breaking endeavor.

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  5. I also went to arbuckles and the farm at the back of trottick picking berries during the summer, it was a laugh. Never stayed the full day though, always ended up walking back to St Marys. Tried the tatties once, jeez, that wasnt for me. Lasted 10 minutes. Scared o hard work i suppose!

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  6. Obviously when this was filmed there wasn't the fear of the video popping up on Youtube or similar, and any particular "nabbler" then being spotted by the broo! :D

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  7. I, too, used to go the berries around Blair (Easter Essendy), Scone, and other places (I'm a Perth chap). Spent all my meagre earnings on doing up my push bike only for some beezer to pinch it from outside a chippy.

    This was late 70s/early 80s. Good days, but hard work. I was never that good a picker of berries. You got your "grubbers" of course who'd pick all day non-stop without stopping for their pieces. Our berry bus was always overloaded, all us bairns had to duck down out of sight as it drove past the polis station. The "berries" way of life for everybody to earn extra cash for fitba, clothes, records, etc, seems to have gone now.

    The "Tatties" in autumn were worse, the cold numbed you to the bone.

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  8. The Berries!!!
    I was a 'lochee man' (Still am) and loved going to the berries. My mum used to make my sannys and give me a bottle of Wilsons Blackcurrent lemonade.I used to go with a couple of mates to Mains of Grey for Rasps and Aribuckles for Strawbs. occassionaly someones mum would come with us.
    Yeah, remember all the old tricks and the ice cream van.
    Soon learned never to leave your buckets to far from you. Numerous occassions I had to kick a hand that was seen streching through the dreal trying to nick me berries.
    Also hated it at the 'Wieghs'as when you handed the guy on the bogey your bucket to get wieghed the scales turned arround so you couldna see the correct wieght and even when you got your mates to stand at the other side o' the bogey the guy was to quck for them.
    Excellent fun.
    I feel sorry that kids nowadays won't get the experience of the berries.
    As for the Tatties. Laste 10 minutes. Never, ever,ever, again.

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  9. im from kirkton and the berries were a great theyr wud b all difrent berry buses goin all over from kirkton to fintry picking tons of folk up u had to b up early coz the buses came 6 somtimes 7 if u missed the berry bus we use to walk up to bentleys those were the days the berrys we all use to look forward to berrys in the summer holidays

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  10. i used to go to billy wales he was the man that took us there from kirkton on the bus wed pick berrys weigh oor berrys in and sit doon to have a piece (sanwich) then move on to the nx dreelz i was a teenager at the time and there was this bogey that use to com along and selt fags we spent most of our money on fags n all ud hear is people shouting BERRY UP coz thats wat the man use to shout wen the berrys wer finishd tryd the tatties too oh dear never went bk

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  11. I grew up at Balmuir (Bentley's berries) and it was hard work. Bucket berries are used to make jam and yes the most common methods of making them weigh more was to use stones or pee or poo into the bucket.

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  12. i remember going to the berries and nabbling for money over the summer holidays we went to arbuckles whitewalls (at the back of bentleys on the top road) and bentleys. whitewalls and bentleys were with in walking distance but the bus for arbuckles picked us up at the top of ardler. does anyone remember the family that used to stay on arbuckles farm in the caravan

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  13. My family used to go to the berries in Blairgowrie in the early 70's . Its a distant memory I was only about 4 or 5 remember those disgusting tin sheds we used to sleep in and long drops toilet! YUK .

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  14. I went nabblin' from the early 70's - early 80's and as my mum used ti say "the blair berries were the best as they where aye hingin'"although we did on occasion go to newtyle which were no' bad,excellent memories and always guaranteed a brilliant " berry tan",us bairns used ti go ti whitewalls night picking too for some extra pennies, ahhhh the memories braaaaaaaaaa

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  15. Any one remember the gang fight on a longfogan berry field. Whitfield + the kirkton,Whitfield cleared them oot

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  16. Aye the berries ... let me see you tried everything to get juice off before you signed on and used everything to get rid off scratches me my mithers puma stone or yer fathers sand paper better than losing yer giro

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  17. Abbey whites run the bus fae linlathen loads oh great memory's some oh the men spent made time in the hotel bar up at Bentley's blairgowrie

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