Back-breaking tattie picking recalled

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On SATURDAY McCains celebrated 25 years at Pugeston in an unusual way - by re-enacting tattie-picking, old-style.

‘A Day at the Tatties’ was for staff, friends and family to bring back memories of picking tatties by hand into baskets – those old enough vividly remembering pick-ing in the tattie holidays.

At Mains of Woodstone Farm, by kind permission of Noel Grier, a hardy group gathered to experience the back-breaking, freezing, exhausting way that was taken for granted 30 years ago and beyond.

The McCain seed potato business in Montrose began in 1986, with the purchase of an existing business from Ian Glen. It included a site at Pugeston with storage and grading facilities, as well as a growing operation with field machinery. Dave Herald, site foreman, John Hall, assistant store supervisor and store operative Bill Davidson joined McCain then and are still with the firm.

The company has grown from the 5,000 tonnes of Pentland Dell seed variety in year one, to supply more than 25,000 tonnes of seed from more than 12 different varieties. This seed comes from 50 contract suppliers.

Most of the seed is delivered to McCain processing growers in nearly every county in England including the Isle of Wight. The company exports a small amount of seed.