Tam lived for many years at the Brig of Urr, and caught rabbits with snares and his ferret. He worked for many years at farms all over the Stewartry. In his later years he went to live with his sister in the Parish of Closeburn in Nithsdale and worked on farms in the surrounding countryside. He was featured in a BBC Landward film in the early 1990’s and also starred in a documentary film made by the School of Scottish Studies. An Ethnological document on Tam and the Rabbit Trade is available on request from the Vanishing Scotland Archive.
Tam remembers the days when he’d set 300 snares in a morning often putting five at one gate before ‘the mixy’as he called myxomatosis. Then he’d go ferreting in the afternoon.
Tam was born the day War was declared in 1918. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century Tam travelled all over the South West and Arran working for farmers and landowners catching rabbits, a profession he did all his life, apart from a brief spell in the Army.