ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: February 27, 2020
Going to the Berries: Voices of Perthshire and Angus Seasonal Workers
By (author) Roger Leitch; Edited by Caroline Milligan
Pickers come from near and far, year after year, for the berry-picking season, and from a variety of backgrounds.In the 20th century, for local people, both adults and children, it was an opportunity to supplement the family income; Glasgow folk combined it with a holiday. For the Scottish Traveller community it was an annual opportunity to meet up with friends and family, and forge new relationships.Roger Leitch encouraged many of those berry pickers to share their (mostly happy) recollections for this book – which is published at a time of political change with challenges for the soft fruit cultivation business.He also interviewed workers in other seasonal employments: potato picking; working with sheep: lambing/clipping/dipping; with crops: hay/bracken/reed/flax cutting and sugar-beet lifting; fencing; repairing drystone dykes; being a deer ghillie or a river ghillie or water bailiff; salmon fishing.
Ethnologist Roger Leitch started making fieldwork recordings as an undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh in the early 1980s. He is best known for his The Book of Sandy Stewart which tells, through oral history and photographs, of the lives of Scottish Traveller Sandy Stewart and his family. Published in 1988, it is now a key text for thnology students for both its content and its methodology.Caroline Milligan is Research Assistant, European Ethnological Research Centre, University of Edinburgh.