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Crofter Boy (clip 2)

Second clip from a dramatised documentary on life in the crofting community of Invergair, 1955

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Kenny's mother collects peat for the fire, and cooks girdle scones in the grate. We see Etta, Kenny's sister, at work in a hotel, serving an elderly gentleman. Back at the croft, Kenny's father helps a neighbouring crofter cut his rushes with a hand scythe. There is then footage of sheep dipping, including detail of a crofter donning waterproof trousers for the work and a crofter pouring the dip into the race. This dipping is attended by the local police who oversee that the operation is carried out properly. We then see Barrmor Tool Works, and the men at work inside the factory, using some of the machinery. Officials watch a demonstration of a tractor. We then see men working at reafforestation, with close ups of planting young trees. There is a close up of a sign warning against the danger of fire in the forest, and shots of men walking with fire-beating brooms before footage of a tractor-driven mobile sawmill producing fence posts on site from felled timber. There is detail of the Kerry Falls hydro-electric station, with a man watching some of the instruments. We then see the beach front at Invergair, with local residents visiting the Hydro-Electric Board's mobile showroom, where a young woman demonstrates some appliances.

Questions & Activities


  • What is a girdle scone and how is it made?
  • Why is sheep dipping so important?
  • How has technology changed crofters' lives?
  • What is the peat used for and why is coal only used sparingly?
  • What types of jobs are available for seasonal work?


Health and Wellbeing / PSE / Geography: Research how we source food today and discuss the issues of sustainability.

English: Spot the different stereotypes in this film and discuss why it was made and for who. Discuss the filmmakers decisions about the style and content of this documentary, whose voices are conspicuous by their absence and what this says about the Anglicisation of language in Scotland.

Business / Enterprise: Seasonal work was important when this film was made. Find out whether seasonal work is still an important source of income for local people and what types of work this entails.

Geography / Business: The cofters also work on small factories to provide an income. Research crofting today and find out how the crofters make a living. What other types of employment were available in the film are available today?

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-023-C
Resource Rights Holder National Library of Scotland
Project Ref 0112
Date 1955
Genre Documentary, Drama Documentary, Educational
School Subject Geography, Gaelic, English, Health and Wellbeing, Social History
Subject Matter Rivers and Coasts
Who SEFA (sponsor), SFC (sponsor), Stanley L. Russell (director), Thames and Clyde (production company)
Where Invergair, Highlands
Event Schooldays, Crofting
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 5:39
Film Length 19:00
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