Life on the farm

Donald was the last of the Craigs to run Carrick Farm. His memoirs, 'Craigbook' recall his life at Carrick as a child.

In 1930, after James Craig died, his son, Alexander, made an agreement with the laird, Sir James Campbell, to continue the lease but only if improvements were made to the farm.

Alexander’s son, Donald, remembers that in the kitchen they fitted an up-to-date range providing hot water for the first time, both to the kitchen and to the newly installed indoor bathroom. At the time, there was a financial slump and money was tight so this was a great luxury.

On the farm, they grew crops including potatoes, hay (for animals), oats and blackcurrants. They also kept sheep, cattle and chickens. Life was not easy and the whole family worked on the farm to keep it running.

Donald and Hamish had their own sheep enterprise. Their dad allowed them to select one ewe and they could keep the money from the wool and the lambs it produced. If a lamb was a ewe, they kept her for breeding, while males went to market.

Hamish picked a sheep that produced twins annually and often had ewes so that his flock grew in size. Donald was not so lucky:

"I picked one that had only one eye. She had been couped (cast) at one time and the hoody crows had pecked one eye out. That was typical of her life, she was a poor doer and when she produced a lamb it was invariably a male – my flock never seemed to grow." Donald Craig, from 'Craigbook' (publication year unknown).