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Crofter Boy (clip 3)

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

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The clip opens with a shot of seagulls calling as they fly over the harbour. Kenny is on the harbour watching the men work on the fishing boat as a catch of herring is landed. There are details of the fish being caught and unloaded from the boat before Kenny travels out with the men on a salmon boat on its daily tour of the nets. There are close ups of Kenny and the men, and then the net as it is brought in and checked for fish. Kenny then helps on a trip to collect lobster pots.

Once ashore, Kenny learns how the pots work and there are close ups of the lobsters being handled. We return to the land, and Kenny has a go on a small tractor. Kenny and his mother and collies then walk along the road with some cattle.

Back home Kenny throws a ball for the dogs, while his grandmother makes a pot of tea inside. The new electric kettle is of particular note here. Kenny sits at table for his supper, along with his collie. There are shots of the food, then of his mother washing dishes at the sink. Kenny then practices blowing his chanter while his mother uses the new electric iron to press the laundry. After practice, Kenny goes to bed while his grandfather settles down to listen to the wireless set.

Questions & Activities


  • Why is it important for Kenny to learn the fishing trade?
  • Why do lobsters need to be kept alive when sold?
  • What else does Kenny learn?
  • What modern appliances are shown in this film?
  • Why does the film have an English narrator?
  • How would this film be different if it had been made today?
  • What do you think life would have been like without TV and digital media?


Give examples of crofting life. List examples of modernization. Who are the current employers in the Highlands and Islands?

Find out how rural life is different from city life and how it has changed over the last fifty years.

The film is largely told from the perspective of a "voice of God" narrator. Replace this voice over with a narration from the Crofter Boy's perspective.

Research the changing importance of tourism to the Highland economy over the past 150 years.

Clip Details

Record Id 007-000-002-025-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, History, Social Studies
Subject Matter Rivers and Coasts
Who SEFA (sponsor), SFC (sponsor), Stanley L. Russell (director), Thames and Clyde (production company)
Where Invergair
Event Schooldays, Crofting
Attributes Black and White, Sound
Clip Length 6:01
Film Length 19:00