Location: Arran

The Ratcatcher Lodger

"My Granny moved to Brodick after becoming a widower, where she was the cook at the castle. She supplemented her income by taking in lodgers, and one such individual was a ratcatcher sent over from the mainland to rid the castle of its rodent population. He had his own unique method, and he would smear his hands with some mixture of his own, making them crawl under the floorboards. Rats would come up to sniff his fingers. He would quickly grab one, then snap its neck and chuck in an old oily sack. My Grandmother found him rather creepy and politely asked him to find alternative accommodation!

"My grandparents worked at Dougarie on Arran for the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton in the 1920s. My Grandfather, Robert Hume, was employed as a boatman and my Grandmother, Catherine, as a cook at the Lodge. The estate gave them a cottage to live in with their nine children, seven sons and two daughters, and my father was the oldest."

As told by Wyllie Hume

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