New threshing mills in the mid 1930s

The move away from the use of the travelling threshing mill to mills erected at farms continued in the 1930s. Newspapers in some districts of Scotland, especially in the north-east, reported the erection of new mills on farms. These were important occasions on the farms, and were seen as ceremonies at which the farming family and neighbours were invited. While they provide accounts of these ceremonies, they sometimes also recorded information on the mills and how they were powered.

While some farmers preferred a mill from some of the big makers such as Garvie & Sons, Aberdeen, or Wright Brothers, Boyne Mills, others favoured local mill makers, some of whom were well-known.

They included J. & D. Craig, Waterside of Phesdo, who is recorded in a number of adverts. Some mills were being powered by tractor, though the use of oil engines was common.

Some accounts of new threshing mills have been included below:

New threshing mill (Dundee courier, 26 October 1933)

Mr A. Cockie, Framedrum Farm, near Turin, by Forfar, has installed a threshing mill, which was set in motion the other day, and gave very satisfactory results.

The mill, which is of semi-portable type, was installed by Messrs J. & D. Craig, millwrights, Waterside of Phesdo, Laurencekirk.

A new Shanks crude oil engine drives the threshing plant.

Knock installation (Aberdeen press and journal, 8 November 1935)

Messrs Wright Bros, millwrights, Boyne Mills, Portsoy, have installed at the farm of Mains of Raemore, Knock, Rothiemay, occupied by Mr William Adam, farmer, a new threshing mill, with semi high speed drum, driven by a six-horse power Lister diesel engine. This mill was on view and seen working at the Highland and Agricultural Show at Aberdeen in June.

Monquhitter installation (Aberdeen press and journal, 2 June 1936)

Mr Alexander Walker, farmer, Wellside, Balthangie, Monquhitter, has just installed a new threshing mill, twenty-seven inch drum, and fitted with the latest improvements in grain-dressing machinery and driven by a Petter Junior oil engine of 5hp. The mill is designed to deliver the grain in the loft at right angles to the mill. The mill is the work of Mr W. Wilson, millwright, Maud.

New threshing mill (Dundee courier, 9 April 1937)

Mr John Watson, Freelands, Friockheim, whose threshing mill was recently destroyed by fire, has installed a new mill with up-to-date appliances, and an opening ceremony is to take place to-morrow.