Glasgow, Scotland

Arriving at Glasgow, Queens Cross I looked out for somebody to meet me but not not finding anyone I decided to make my way to Broompark Farm by tram to Pollockshaws and bus to Barhead road and the bus driver knew Broompark Farm. So here I was – I walked into the farm and knocked on the door. An elderly busty lady opened the door, Mrs. Smith, she was the mother of the two boys who I was to be very close to (Andrew and George). Mrs. Smith spoke with a strong Scottish accent, very fast and I had some problems in following her having hardly ever heard the Scottish tongue before – never mind a slight Glaswegian one. The fact that I understood very little did not deter Mrs. Smith. She spoke incessantly but she certainly expected me and said that her boys were collecting me at the station. I remember she did ask me “do you have brothers and sisters.? I said “yes I have eleven brothers and sisters.” and she immediately exclaimed “oh you must be Catholic then.” I assured her we were not! After a while the boys came back surprised to find me there – I do not understand how we missed each other.

Andrew was the tenant at Broompark Farm and George the tenant at Corkerhill Farm on the opposite side of Pollock Estate. The first  morning I was up early and worked with them. They worked hard but cheerfully all the time. Mrs. Smith did the cooking and the talking! Her husband had been a bit older than her and died some years before. There was also old Tom, an Irish tramp who had to be paid everyday. (If he were paid weekly he would be stone-drunk for a couple of days.) He was not very clean and never came inside. I had never met such a man before. There was also a miserable tractor driver and a dairy trainee, Jean of whom more will appear later. There was also an Italian immigrant who sang operas and lived in a cottage close by.

It was a totally different situation from the farm in Lincoln. Hard work but all with good humour and no formalities. We sometimes went to the Young Farmers dances but I did not dare to join in the dancing. I had after all only danced once in my life and was far too shy.

I was intending to stay only for one month and then return to start the Agricultural University in Copenhagen. I think that the excitement of working in a friendly environment in the country in contrast to the hard academic work at Ladelund made me wonder whether I was cut out for University life. Andrew and George invited me to stay if I wanted to. I made the decision to stay knowing that I could defer my University entrance to the following year. I moved to Corkeshill Farm to work permanently with George, who needed a good worker. He had also a permanent tramp, Jimmy, like Tom at Broompark Who lived in a bothy.

Corkerhill was surrounded on the one side by a golf course and on the other by a council house estate newly built at that time. I understood many from the city slums, in the Gorbals had been moved to these and turned the estate into a slum again with gardens becoming rubbish dumps. Coming from Denmark this was a dreadful situation. I came to realise that there was a class structure. Until then I never knew which class I belonged to but this was a lower class. The youth did not work but collected their weekly benefits in the bureau. When on occasions Andrew drove into the estate to collect potato pickers they would have to get time off to go to the bureau. Their accent was broad Glasgwegian. One field was adjacent to a small wood that was close to the road. The boys used the wood to hide and would steal the potatoes from our fields.

I went to Young Farmers Clubs with Andrew and joined the City of Glasgow Young Farmers Club.However after a while I began to see that I could not really expect to become a farmer in Scotland. Andrew thought the obvious solution was to find a farmer’s daughter to marry and he even tried to get me to take an interest in his cousin! He meant well!

I did arrange an interview at the Scottish Agricultural College Office in Glasgow. The advisor said that in my situation it was best to go to Copenhagen and perhaps return as a postgraduate. I think this was good advice. My qualifications did not give me entrance to the college so I would have to study for that before I could enter.

It was a difficult decision, difficult since there was really no one I could speak to about it. My parents had no experience and of course they only knew that I was staying in Scotland.

I was quite friendly with Jean from Broompark . I went to church sometimes with Mrs. Smith. and could not understand why communion was only once every three months and then had to be recorded in writing. Did God need to see it? The few communions Mrs. Smith explained to me was due to the price of wine! It would be far too expensive to have it more often than that. In the months of September I took the courage to tell George that I had decided to go back even though I had said I would stay for longer. He and his lovely friendly wife Grace understood and did nothing but support me. I collected by stuff and bought an air ticket on Iceland Air, flying directly from Glasgow to Copenhagen.