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Them That Live the Longest

Publication Date
01 September 2010
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
16pp b/w plates

Them That Live the Longest

More from a North-East Farm
by Charlie Allan - Find out more about the author

'With Charlie Allan the problem isn't a lack of fascinating stories, it must surely be choosing which to include and which to leave out,' - Scots Magazine

In this, the sequel to the successful The Truth Tells Twice, Charlie Allan continues the wonderful story of his family farm and surrounding community in the North-east of Scotland, as the running of the farm comes under his guidance. Filled with the same warmth and humour as its prequel, Them that Live the Longest explores the changing face of farming in the latter half of the 20th century, as well as examining the varied life of Charlie Allan himself – from teaching economics in Glasgow, Strathclyde and St Andrews Universities to competing around the world as a Highland Games athlete, song-writing, publishing several books, and a five year stint as a producer-presenter with the BBC, turning his hand to the running of the farm and his eventual hand-over to the next generation. It is a lively, fresh and vivid account, joyous and absorbing and is sure to become a household favourite.

Charlie Allan was born in Stirling and was brought up on the farms of Aberdeenshire before going to Aberdeen University, where he graduated with a first in economics. He taught economics in Glasgow, Strathclyde and St Andrews Universities until 1974 when he gave up academic life to return to his family to farm at Little Ardo, Methlick in Aberdeenshire. This return coincided with the beginnings of a broadcasting career which included five years as a producer for BBC radio's farming output in Scotland and stint for the BBC World Service. He went on to write a column for the Press and Journal every week for ten years and is now in the 19th year of his column Farmer's Diary.


1 Most useful customer reviews (see all reviews):
alexander j
May 4, 2015
I had never read any of what is obviously a voluminous output by Charlie Allan, but would have been interested in the life of someone who had studied at Aberdeen University in the 60s, especially if they managed a trial with Aberdeen FC. I would have picked up something on the academic career - its attractions and the frustrations. I would have been interested in the local social history of Buchan and in agricultural entrepreneurship in competition with an acknowledged 'chancer' tendency. But this volume had all this – and Kenyan adventures – and, for more extreme travel – an account of time in the uncharted foothills of the BBC and other media. Above all this is simply funny.

Writing this just before the 2015 election the chapter on Wembolie, Wembolie, Wembolie is hilarious and illuminating as it describes the Scottish reaction to being 'telt' what to do. It should be sent to whatever Prime Minister emerges.

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