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 August and September 1874, Archie wrote about the harvest. He was lifting potatoes and picking gooseberries, strawberries, pears, apples, plums, nectarines amongst others. Can you imagine how abundant that orchard would have been at Boathouse and how much of a target it may have been in these summer months for trespassers intent on collecting some for themselves!
Pictured in 1908, is the aftermath of a Boathouse fruit pick! Boxes lay about everywhere amongst the greenhouses within the orchard. As you can see there are some healthy sized fruits, carefully grown still hanging from low heights from the trees. By 1908, Boathouse was running at a good capacity with the market garden business in full swing, something that would abruptly end a few years later upon the death of Archie in 1912.
Sat 1. Started at four and got a goodly quantity, pulled in all one hundred and seventy two and a good few gooses.
Sund 2. Did not go to church in the forenoon, went over in the afternoon. Had a stranger from Bellshill, good night but showery day.
Mon 3. Good morning, started at the usual time, pulled in all two hundred and forty two, good day, wind west.
Tues 4. Wet morning, started at the usual time but stopped before eight, got wet but did not get many pulled, got in all one hundred and forty five. Pulled in the afternoon twenty seven pecks of gooses. Good night, wind west.
Wed 5. Good morning, started at the old time, pulled in all one hundred and seventy nine. Wet forenoon, pulled gooses in the afternoon. Cleaned the fruithouse, strong wind from the west.
Thur 6. Good morning, started at the old time, pulled in all one hundred and twenty six, finished the gooseberry’s, good day, wind west.
Fri 7. Wet morning, started at six, pulled eighty-six and a half. Then moved the Black Prince north from the house. Bob went for dross. Showery day, good night, wind…
Sat 8. Good morning, started at six, pulled in all ninety-six. Thinned the Viscomptess north of the house, Bob started the cutting of the grape up at the orchard, good day, wind west.
Sun 9. Was not at church in the forenoon, went in the afternoon, Mr McLuckie was setting for the why will you die. Fine day, W. W.
Mon 10. Started at five and got wet before six, very wet morning, pulled in all forty-four pints, carted away the strawberry runners in the forenoon, dodging about in the afternoon. Potted a few chrysanthemums, fine night, wet forenoon wet latterly, W. west.
Tues 11. Fine morning, started at five, got a good few, pulled in all sixty pints, very wet day. Potted a few of the chrysanthemums in the afternoon, wet night, wind west.
Wed 12. Good morning, started at five got seventy-nine. Rather showery in the forenoon, got in our hay in the afternoon. Took the big cow up to the bachelor at night, good night, wind NW
Thur 13. Good morning, started at six and got fifty-nine and a half. Got the hay thatched and started the Crawfords. Wet afternoon, very wet night, strong wind from the east.
Fri 14. Wet morning, started to pull but stopped after we got four pints, very wet day. Pulled a few Crawfords at night, wind west. Clyde was very big.
Sat 15. Good morning but came on wet before we got finished, pulled in all twenty seven and a half. Wet day, pulled the Crawfords, finished them and went to Orchard. Took a walk the length of H.H. fine night.
Sun 16. Good morning. Did not go to church, was at home all day, fine night wind west.
Mon 17. Good morning, went up for the first train. Was amongst the young Eltons all day. Rather showery day, fine night, Wind…
Tues 18. Wet morning, pulled the Gargonels, was laying runners all day amongst the young Viscomptesses, dull day. Bob was in for stinkie, good night, wind west.
Wed 19. Good morning, pulled all day, finished the strawberry’s for Filshel, pulled seventy five pints, fine day, very warm, shocking warm night, wind west.
Thurs 20. Good morning, was laying in runners amongst the Viscomptess all day. Very warm, fine growing day, wind none.
Fri 21. Good morning laying in runners in the forenoon. Put up a ruck of hay in the afternoon, very fine warm day, good night.
Sat 22. Good morning, laying in runners in amongst the Wellingtons. Finished the weeding of the young plot, very fine warm day, good night, wind west.
Sun 23. Good morning, was at home in the forenoon, went to church in the afternoon, very fine day, awful warm.
Mon 24. Good morning. Started to lift the potatoes, howked 13 barrels in the forenoon, put up a rick of hay and fenced it in the afternoon. Very warm day but dull, good night. Took up Cherry to the bull at night, wind west.
Tues 25. Good morning, potted the chrysanthemums today, pulled a few Victoria Plums at night, fine day, Bob went in for stinkie, good night, wind west.
Wed 26. Good morning, howking potatoes in the forenoon and carting of the shaws amongst the pears in the afternoon, put up seven barrels, good night, wind west.
Thurs 27. Dull morning, started to cut the corn, was at it all forenoon, wet afternoon, just dodging about. Put a bit of a bottom in a pulling basket at night. Calm dull night, wind west.
Fri 28. Good morning, started the corn about nine and went at it till about four when we had to stop for rain. Thunder at a distance, dull night, wind west. Did a little to a pulling basket.
Sat 29. Wet morning did nothing till midday. Pulled a few Maggies in the afternoon. Went up to see the Bothwell Flower Show at night, good night.
Sun 30. Good morning, was at home in the forenoon, went to church in the afternoon, very fine day, choice night.
Mon 31. Good morning. Put up a load of Pears in the forenoon, driving out dung for the Browns Wonder in the afternoon, fine day, good night, wind west.
Tues 1. Good morning, dug three barrels of potatoes, preparing for ploughing the potato ground for Browns Wonder, very heavy rain about ten o’clock, driving out the rest of the dung. Bob went in for stinkie, good night, wind southwest.
Wed 2. Went in to the bazaar in the forenoon, pulling pears in the afternoon, thunder and a good deal of lightning at night, wind west.
Thurs 3. Good morning, John Coats ploughed the ground for the Browns Wonder, pulled a barrel of apples for Newton in the forenoon, at the pears in the afternoon, good night, wind west.
Fri 4. Dull morning, went to the corn and finished it about three, showery day. Pulled a few Victorias at night, loaded the van, good night, wind west.
Sat 5. Good sharp morning, went in to Simmons’s in the forenoon, planting strawberry’s in the afternoon, fine night, wind north west.
Sun 6. Good morning, was not at church in the forenoon, went in the afternoon, it was communion sabbath, heard an excellent sermon at night, fine day, good night, W.W.
Mon 7. Dull morning, put up a few baskets of Victoria Plums in the forenoon, rest of a load, planting strawberry’s in the afternoon. Dull day, warm night, W.W.
Tues 8. Good morning was pulling Maggies in the forenoon, Whitecorns in the afternoon, fine day, wind west. Bob went in for stinkie.
Wed 9. Good morning, pulling pears in the morning, started to the Whitecorns and had to stop them for rain, went into the City Hall at night, choice fruit, wet night, W.S.W.
Thurs 10. Good morning, started the plums, but had to stop for rain, was at the pears after, very wet day. Wind west.
Fri 11. Wet morning, started to the pears, at them almost all day, pulled a few plums, got about fourteen baskets in all. Showery day, wind west.
Sat 12. Potted a few Cinerarias in the morning, started to pull plums, nearly finished the Whitecorns. Went to Orchard at night, rather showery, wind north.
Sun 13. Good morning, went to church, heard Mr Huston. Went out for a walk at night.
Mon 14. Good morning, got down with the first train. Started the Maggies, pulled a few nectarines in the afternoon, wet night, wind south.
Tues 15. Good morning but came on rain and was a completely wet forenoon. Pulling pears all forenoon and pulled a few of the Maggies at home in the afternoon. Good night, wind west.
Wed 16. Good morning. Pulled the Maggies at home today, also a few of the Victorias in the Cullough, finished them. Bob went in for stinkie. James White started, good night, wind west.
Thur 17. Good morning, pulling Maggies all day. Got the corn put into the stack, fine day, wind west.
Fri 18. Good morning. Pulling Maggies all day, fine day, got the corn thatched. Stout breeze from the west.
Sat 19. Good morning at the Maggies all day. Showery afternoon, wind sou’west.
Sun 20. Good morning, was at home in the forenoon, went to church in the afternoon, got a fine sermon. Fine day, took one of the sheep out of Clyde at night. Wind west.
Mon 21. Good morning, but dull. Pulled two barrels of Maggies and put up a load of hear reds. Very wet afternoon, heavy rain at night from the east. Cut a spruce tree before the fruit house.
Tues 22. Dull morning, pulled a few Julian Plums, then started the pears, put up a load and got wet, very wet afternoon, showery night, wind east.
Wed 23. Started in the pears, pulling pears all day, James White went in for stinkie, good day, wind west.
Thurs 24. Good morning, started in the Burnits, pulled a few Huk, put up a load at night, rather showery, wind west.
Fri 25. Wet morning, cutting grapes, sent off twenty-one pounds. Cut the first White Camellia, potted a few Calceolarias and Cinerarias in the morning, showery day, pulling Jags, very wet at times, wind south.
Sat 26. Very fine morning, pulling Jags all day. Choice day, wind west.
Sun 27. Wet morning, pretty good day, was at home in the forenoon, at church in the afternoon, had Bar from Airdrie, fine night, wind west.
Mon 28. Good morning, pulling Burnits all day (got nearly two Huk) fine day, wind sou’west. James White in for stinkie but could not get in.
Tues 29. Good morning, was pulling plums all day, fine day, good night, wind west.
Wed 30. Wet morning, pulling Burnits in the afternoon, choice day. James White went in for stinkie, fine night. Went in to Brandon Place at night, W.W.
Courtesy: Jenny Day