INTERVIEW WITH JIM TWEEDIE 22/7/83
We had up to 60 cows in the herd .. (when you were doing delivery you didn’t do any milking) Oh no, you’d get up in the morning and caught your horse, fed him, and cooked your breakfast, there was no electricity, an old lantern hanging in the cowshed .. did you cook your own breakfast?) .. there were three of us living together .. my eldest brother Hughie and Bob, he was the youngest ..we were strong in the back and weak in the head ..
(you made your own breakfasts?) .. Oh yes, none of your fancy foods .. bacon and egg .. we had plenty of fowls and plenty of bacon .. my brothers did the milking, we used to keep a boy when we were busy too .. we had to be up pretty early, started before 5 o’clock .. we had to be on the road early ..
(do you remember the names of the cows?) .. i named them all, but I wouldn’t remember .. Sally and Mary and Biddy an all sorts .. I entered them up in the book .. dates you mated them with the bull, calving dates .. and if we sold a cow we could guarantee the dates she’s coming in and everything .. but it was a hard job ..
(did you have your own bull?) .. oh yes, we kept two as a rule .. we called them all sorts of names .. not very nice names ..
(What breed would those cattle be?) all sorts – Friesians, Shorthorns, a few Ayrshires, Jerseys, anything at all .. don’t know why we didn’t keep to one breed for it was the proper way to do it .. get a good breed and keep it, but when we were short of cows we had to buy cows, no matter what the breed was as long as she wasn’t a Hereford or anything like that .. (what would the bull be?) .. oh, we had a Jersey bull, and a Friesian one part of it.
(What did you take the milk to town in?) Twenty gallon churns .. (how much did you take with you?) .. two twenty gallon ones and then there’d be the smaller ones for delivery and all that sort of thing .. Bob and I used to take turn about .. month about.
(You just had the one pony?) .. What sort of vehicle did you cart the milk in? .. A proper milk cart .. you don’t see them nowadays .. you stood at the back .. the cans were sat up in front of you .. and they had a tap on them .. we used to have a lot of trouble with horses and one thing and another .. the horses used to wear out you know, and it was a hard job to get one to suit you.
(What time did you set out on your milk run?) .. we left at quarter past five .. we took so much milk from the night before .. then we didn’t have to wait for all the cows to be milked in the morning (silly question – did you separate the milk before you sold it?) .. No, if you separated it you’d find yourself in the cooler .. full milk straight from the cow .. anything over we separated and that went to Heretaunga .. Heretaunga used to send the cart round every so often
(the previous night’s milk) .. we cooled it and set it in troughs .. to keep it cold during the night .. forget how many gallons we used to keep night’s milk .. we put them in concrete troughs .. we had plenty of artesian water.