Women were often employed in spreading the news of items which had been lost, the arrival of fresh food at the market or some piece of local intelligence. One such person was Beetty Dick of Dalkeith in Midlothian (1693-1773).
Beetty used a large wooden trencher which she hit with a spoon. The din was just about enough to stir the graveyard. The sound would rattle out at different places in the town, causing crowds to assemble to hear the latest announcement, for which Beetty charged the sum of one penny.
Every night she was employed to bawl out “tripe, piping hot, ready for supper the nicht at 8 o’clock at Jeanie Mcmillan’s, head of North Wynd. Gang hame, bairns, and tell your folks about it.”