The Tattie Holidays on the Easter Ross Peninsula

Traditionally the lifting of potatoes (tatties) took place on the Easter Ross Peninsula and across Scotland during the month of October and until relatively recently the work of lifting the tatties was done by hand.

The holiday was created in the early 1930s when children would be taken out of school to help with their local potato harvest. It was pretty common on the Peninsula for children just not to turn up for class!

Around our communities, the tattie lifting would mean a supplement to many incomes and in fact, this is the reason that in some parts of Scotland that the October holiday increased from one week to two.This tradition continued into the 1980s when modern machinery, such as potato harvesters, made the need for handpicking potatoes obsolete.

I'm sure many of today's young people are glad not to have to take part in this back-breaking work, however, we are pleased the name for our October holiday stuck as did our love of the tattie.

Black and white photograph of the 'Tattie Squad' at Cullisse Farm standing on a wagon attached to small tractor vehicle

Image provided by Tain and District Museum and Clan Ross Centre

This photograph of the 'Tattie Squad' at Cullisse Farm was possibly taken 1956/7 - Tain & District Museum and Clan Ross Centre

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