The Old Days at Orchardton by Eva Batchelor
So much talk about Lord Mayors of London. Up here at Orchardton House we had the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Keniston Stedd, come up for the August Grouse Shoot, and the Pheasant Shoot before Christmas. They had a Christmas Party for some of the workers. Mrs Douglas of Orcharton and the Lord Mayor's wife were sisters. After his first wife died he married a Russian Princess and I was told she could not speak a word of English.
In the Summer on Sundays the people in the cottages were invited to Church Service in the Chinese Hall. I liked them, Mrs Douglas had a brother who was a Minister and Mrs Douglas played the piano for the hymns although she was very very deaf.
Then we had a walk around the Gardens and in the walled Garden, where the fruit was sent to the Hospital, and we ended up having tea with the Gardener's family or the Butler's family. When the rones at Orchardton House needed cleaning the men from the woods went on to the roof and lowered my father with a rope over the edge and he cleaned all the leaves out of the rhones. Mother was always glad when that job was done.
Thornglass was a small holding, of course, and very much a jungle with brackens growing all over it and Bogs. Father got a friend to cut the bracken and dig drains through the bog, Some friends thought they would like to plough the flat bit of land near the burn, but when the plough turned up a lot of adders they were glad to get away, The grass had no nourishment in it and needed a lot of farm-yard manure spread on it.
A photo taken from the Galloway News in 1947 showed Mrs Batchelor's parents, Mr and Mrs A. W Rollo, who built 'Thrums', the house Mrs Batchelor still lives in. Unfortunately, the photo is no longer available. At the time, Mr Rollo could not find any property to buy that was affordable and so decided to build their own three-roomed house which was called 'Thrums' as Mr Rollo was an admirer of JMBarrie.
Thanks to Heather Dryfe for organising this article.