Over 90 years of combined service exist between husband and wife team Lamond and Elizabeth Milne at SRUC Aberdeen. Their story begins in the 1960s. Lamond and Elizabeth reflect on their time in the swinging sixties and life on campus, which is where they met and romance blossomed.
Role: Office Administrator
Campus: SRUC Aberdeen (formerly North of Scotland College of Agriculture)
Years: 1964 - 2014
When Elizabeth joined SRUC’s Aberdeen campus, what was then the North of Scotland College of Agriculture (NOSCA), on 6 April 1964, Professor John Raeburn was Principal and the Main Office was at 41½ Union Street, Aberdeen.
Elizabeth started work as the Secretary for Animal Husbandry, Crop Husbandry, Beekeeping, Engineering, Estate Maintenance and the male and female Agricultural Colleges. Her office was situated in the Farm Square at Craibstone, and she remembers the students being very respectful and well behaved. They were encouraged to attend church on Sundays wearing their College tie, blazer and scarf:
“As you can imagine, they all looked very smart."
The College was a very well respected institution and attracted many students. The students were housed in Hunter and Mackie Halls of Residence. There was a residential Senior Tutor and two lecturers who also acted as wardens.
There was also an active farm on the estate employing staff. The farm also provided facilities to carry out crop and livestock trials and practical and theory training for students. The farm staff and teaching staff mixed very well enjoying an “Annual Farm Supper” at Christmas which always included a ceilidh. Following ceilidhs, Elizabeth recalls some of the prankster students would let the animals out on campus or play practical jokes with farm equipment.
Elizabeth then met her husband-to-be.
“While I was working in the Farm Office, I met Lamond who secured a job with the Animal Husbandry Department and his office was next door to mine. Previously he had been an agricultural student with the College at Mackie Hall. Romance blossomed and we eventually married on 23 June 1973.”
In 1968, NOSCA built a new engineering building, known as the Cruickshank Building, with a workshop for student use. Elizabeth worked in this new building. After a few years she was then transferred to Hunter Hall where an Education Unit was set up, to work alongside a senior tutor, two Animal Husbandry lecturers and two Crop Husbandry lecturers.
“I adopted the nickname ‘Agony Aunt’ while working at Hunter Hall, offering advice and support to young students. The staff had a very good rapport with the students who felt more like friends.”
Elizabeth’s next move was to the newly built Ferguson Building in December 1995 to work with Don Stevenson who was responsible for setting up the Advisory Activity Programme. From then until she retired, Elizabeth also worked for many other departments.
Finally, the last part of her jigsaw was working with Dr Kyrsten Black in her many roles within SRUC. Dr Black was the Assistant Principal for Higher Education and Dean of Aberdeen Centre when Elizabeth retired in November 2014.
Course: Certificate in Agriculture
Campus: SRUC Aberdeen – formerly North of Scotland College of Agriculture (NOSCA)
Lamond’s career in Agriculture started at James Stephen’s Farm, Conglass, Inverurie, where he spent two years gaining invaluable practical experience.
He studied for his Certificate in Agriculture at Craibstone College (NOSCA) from 1964 - 1965. He enjoyed his Agricutural Course and made many friends at College. The Certificate Course in Agriculture attracted people from as far afield as the Shetland Islands to the Scottish Borders and he also remembers the friendly and supportive atmosphere. He particularly enjoyed Wednesday afternoons which was always sports day for the students on the football field and games were often organised against the students from the East (Edinburgh) and the West (AuchincruIve) Colleges.
After completing his studies in June 1965, he joined the Animal Husbandry Department, NOSCA, at Craibstone Farm, as an Experimental Technician working with beef cattle, sheep and pigs which were on trial at the Farm.
In 1968 he joined the NOSCA Aberdeen Advisory Service as an Agricultural Technician working initially at the NOSCA School of Agriculture Building, 581 King Street, Aberdeen. In 1973 the Department moved to office accommodation at Craibstone Farm before finally transferring to Thainstone Advisory Office, Inverurie, in 1990. At that time he was promoted to Senior Technician.
His career within the Advisory Service included working with livestock which were on trial on various farms, recording National List Trials, undertaking survey work and taking soil and feed samples. Latterly, he spent time crop walking which involved checking for weeds and disease for cereals and oilseed rape throughout the growing season and making recommendations to keep the crops weed and disease free. For many years he was responsible for organising the Exhibit for the Silage and Hay Competition for the yearly Aberdeen Spring Show held at Thainstone Mart. After he retired, he was invited to Judge the Silage and Hay Competition.
In November 2011 he received the “David Argo Award” from The Royal Northern Agricultural Society (RNAS) for services to the Agricultural Sector.
Lamond has observed how things have changed over the years, especially with the introduction of charges for College Services, the revolution in farm machinery, the introduction of winter crops, form filling for arable aid payment and information technology.
After an enjoyable career with colleagues of NOSCA and SAC and a good relationship with farmers, Lamond retired in March 2011 after almost 46 years service
Updated: April 2017