Hard Times

When dinner time came, we boiled the billy and produced our sandwiches. We were shocked to see all the other family had to eat, when they sat around a bowl of boiled carrots.  

We shared our lunch and ate a few carrots so they would not feel bad.  That was many years ago and I was only twelve years old, but I never got over it.  

People would drop in on the family after that and leave a skinned rabbit or two, or some veal if you had killed a calf.  We helped them over the rough spot until the next crop and they were able to establish some credit.

Sad boy


More Hard Times!

Sad girl

One day, when I came home from school, I found my mother in tears and quite hysterical.  Dad had sold the cow to the butcher for £3/10/-.  

Poor Dad had exhausted his credit at the local store and could not afford to feed both a horse and a cow.  We all had a good howl then.  We loved the cow called ‘Mons’.  It was like losing an old friend. 

Looking back now, it was one of those tough decisions Dad had to make.  

Without the horse to prepare the land for spring crops and transport them and us, there would be no way of earning a living… such as it was!

Dad sold the cow!
She was my friend

(from Jack McBeth)


Very Hard Times!

In very hard times all the neighbours were close-knit and did everything to help each other.

Perhaps one of these orchardists would get behind with harvesting of his crops because of an illness, so his neighbours would come in and give a half day or even a full days help until the neighbour had caught up with his work.

They often helped each other with the exchange of different foods. If someone had an over-supply of some food it would be shared out among the neighbours who needed it most.


(from Cecil Robertson story)

Very Hard Times