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The Hired Lad
Available as an eBook only

Autobiography & Biography, Biography
Publication Date
01 April 2010
Paperback (also available as an eBook)
Out of Print
Birlinn Limited

The Hired Lad

by Ian Campbell Thomson - Find out more about the author


eBook also available from the iBookstore

Ian Campbell Thomson relives his time as a young farmworker on a Stirlingshire farm after the Second World War. It is a touching coming-of-age tale: we see the author make new friends and romances while finding his own way in a changing world. He describes the passing of age-old country ways, as technology begins to replace traditional farming methods.

The book is dedicated to Donald and Blossom, the magnificent pair of Clydesdale horses with which he ploughed, until the sad day when they were replaced by a smart Fordson tractor. Of those early times he writes: 'I often wondered how far I walked in a day behind the plough. My guess was somewhere between 12 and 15 miles...the words the ploughman homeward wends his weary way just about sums up the end of the day trudge back to the farm, with darkness closing in and the stable work to be done'.

Peopled with memorable characters including the hard-working 'boss', and the wise Aunt Kit, this is a unique tribute, full of humour and nostalgia to a disappearing culture.

Ian Campbell Thomson was brought up in Scotland. He was a bothy-dwelling farmworker for nine years, followed by college on a scholarship and work as a farm manager in Surrey. This led to farming a small holding in Devon and, finally, to Zambia, building a sow unit and growing maize and sunflowers. Now retired, he lives in Oxfordshire.