Thursday 20 January 2011

Peat cutting

We are not sure of the provenance of this photo.  It is held by the Museum of Islay Life, but it may not have been taken on Islay as we have been unable to identify the location.  We would be very happy for any information...  It does show a very beautifully crafted "four peats" bank (four peats signifies the depth).  The photo is very 'posed', the men appear rather smartly dressed!  Most are holding forks for lifting.  The two gents at the left rear are holding 'flaughter spades' which are used for cutting.  You can see the little pyramids which are made to dry the cut peats.  Once dried, they have to be moved to the road (usually in creels slung on the back or via a barrow).  Then they have to taken home (by horse and cart if you were rich and famous, on your back if not...).  Then they had to be stacked.

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