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Crappit Heids for Tea
eBook only

eBook Only, History, Local History
Publication Date
03 May 2012
Available as an eBook only
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
8pp b/w plates

Crappit Heids for Tea

Recollections of a Highland Childhood
by Chris Fletcher and Anne-Marie Tindley - Find out more about the author


Also available to dowmload in the iBookstore

Sutherland is one of the most ruggedly beautiful and sparsely populated parts of Scotland. In the nineteenth century, the Duke of Sutherland set about improving his landholdings to make them more productive by building lodges for sporting tenants who came to enjoy the summer fishing and shooting grouse and deer.

In the 1870s some 3,000 acres of land were reclaimed at Shinness. A lodge was built there in 1882 and allocated some 2,500 acres of moorland for grouse and grazing, together with the fishings on Loch Shin and its rivers. One of the first keepers at the estate was John Fraser. His daughter, Iby, became a teacher at Lairg School. In the 1970s, long after the Fletcher family had taken on Shinness Estate, Iby wrote down some recollections of her early life for Mrs Fletcher’s interest.

In this book Iby provides a fascinating picture into life in and around the lodge during the early part of the twentieth century. In addition to her charming and insightful descriptions of everyday life – from, cooking framing and gamekeeping to medicine, schooling and childhood games – she also talks of events which had a profound effect on communities everywhere, including the coming of the motor car and the First World War.

Several other local contemporaries also wrote down their recollections, and the book includes reminiscences of Ann Gray, the daughter of the farmer who took on the reclaimed land in the 1880s, and Jimmy Bain, a crofter born after the Great War.

Annie Tindley teaches history at Glasgow Caledonian University and has worked extensively on the history of Highland Sutherland estates.

Chris Fletcher’s family acquired Shinness Estate in 1941, and he himself lived there from the age of seven. His family still manages the estate and the lodge is now available for holiday lets.