Stenton | Farming and Life in the Lammermuir Hills in the 1950s

Jean McKinnon

In 1943 May married George Tait of Choicelee and moved to a farm at Millknowe in Stenton parish. They lived there until 1953 when they moved back to Berwickshire.

Two letters were sent to George Tait from Louisa Turner at Beltondod in Spott parish dated 1950 concerned with the giving up of the tenancy of the farm – involving the valuation, the taking of furniture to the Halls Farm by tractor, the concern of the cow, being ‘ill-pleased’ at letting George Tait pay too much for a calf, no new tenant, corn chests etc. It must have struck George as special to keep these letters.

Notes on individuals mentioned:

  • George Tait (1903-96) Farmer at Millknowe (then at Choicelee, Duns, Berwickshire)
  • Mr Jeffrey Farmer of either Halls farm or Deuchrie?
  • Paterson ?
  • Willie Anderson Shepherd at Millknowe
  • George Dickson ?
  • Murray Deuchrie?

Louisa Turner was to move to Longformacus

Mrs Tait is May Tait (1914- ). She was interviewed by Mary Drysdale (her niece) for the Scottish Borders Memory Bank and information on her life at Millknowe is available on the web.

When she went to live at Millknowe there was no electricity or telephone. The farmhouse was separate from the steading. It was a one storey house consisting of two public rooms, three bedrooms, a bathroom and kitchen with double doors to a larder and a washhouse with space for milk ‘affairs’.

Copies of the letters and additional information were provided by Jean McKinnon (daughter of George and May Tait).