Category Archives: Farming

The Mobile Butcher

Sepia Saturday Header

A butcher’s shop from Sepia Saturday to inspire us this week.  Or perhaps, pigs, or shops, or white aprons, or whatever rises to the surface on viewing this image.

So I will return to an image I have used before, that of Robert Butler, farmer and butcher of Moolort then Newstead  in Central Victoria, and his mobile butcher’s cart.    He married my great aunt Eliza Fricke in 1901

PICT0152But I had never stopped to consider what the inside of the cart might have looked like until recently I saw this image of a butcher’s cart which served a similar purpose.

This is a 1920s photo of butcher Bert Fahey, with  the cart belonging  to a Mr Rettke, possibly in the Camperdown, Murchison or Shepparton districts and was posted in Lost Country Victoria by Bert’s son.  The butcher is about to sharpen his knife on a sharpening steel and has some spring scales hanging from the roof of the cart ready to weight the meat.

I have a feeling that I might turn vegetarian if I had to buy my meat in this fashion.

But I am having trouble concentrating on all things related to butchers at the moment as it seems to be that time of year when Ant School from somewhere around my place is in Work Experience week.  In summer you come to expect the occasional trail of well-organized mature little fellows going Hup, two,  three, four, Hup, two, three, four making a beeline for the kitchen.  But in Work Experience Week it is just these little groups of untested baby ants being sent out on reconnaissance missions to see how they go.  They soon come to a very unfortunate end but no-one comes looking for them,  they have failed, they are expendable. And when they don’t return another little group ventures out along a slightly different route, only to meet with the same fate.  Poor little ants.

More butchers, pigs, shops etc, but probably no ants, will be found in this week’s Sepia Saturday post.

 

Blouses with Ties; Black Stockings and Short Pants

This week I have a fairly good match to Sepia Saturday’s  theme photo with a photo of  the prefects at Colac High School in 1920

Colac is 150 km to the south west of Melbourne in Victoria.  There were 61 students when the  school opened in 1911 and it  was known as the Colac Agricultural High School.  As Colac was the centre of a farming area for some years the Pastoral and Agricultural Society had been agitating for such a school.

Colac High School 1920Seated at the left end in this 1920 photo is Charles Fricke, who at fifteen  was still to graduate into long pants. He didn’t live in Colac but came up each term from the coastal town of Apollo Bay and boarded privately. He would ride a horse up at the start of term then the horse would go into agistment until the end of term.   Smaller country towns couldn’t justify the need for a secondary school so the primary schools went to  Eighth Grade, after which students at fourteen were able to leave school and go home to work on the farm or take other employment.  Those who wanted more education went to a larger  town with a secondary school , or to a much larger town which had boarding schools.

Two years after Charles was photographed his younger sister Enid (on the right) was also attending the school.  Both went on to be teachers. They were then followed by another brother and two sisters.

But the original school was closed and since 2008 they do their learning in a  flat-roofed, uninteresting building, a derelict of the future.  1’m sure though that inside this bleak exterior some wonderful education is going on. I just can’t help loving older style  buildings.

The old school became  derelict. The creeper went from the pillars, the weeds grew, the building was vandalized.

colac high School 2014Let’s hope they can find some use for the old lady.

Colac High School 2015

More group photos can be found in the list on this week’s Sepia Saturday.

Tractors and Steamrollers

My late father-in-law  had a small farm just out of Kyneton for his spare time.  Mostly it was for sheep and cattle.  So he didn’t have a tractor but he did have what we called a traction engine but which others might call a steam roller.   It had previously been used in the construction of local roads.

I had my driving lessons in that car,

Not all the time was spent playing with the engine though.  Animals need attention.

Farmer NormBut then it was back to the traction engine.  What could be more useful for supplying the home with the unlimited  pile of wood needed for the wood stove, and the wood fires, and the wood copper, and for the fuel to run the steam engine which worked the steamroller.  No petrol needed.  This can be seen in this 1959 home movie clip for those who like fuzzy images of things moving up and down and round and round.

Other people’s engines can be found on this week’s Sepia Saturday

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A Bush Haircut

Australians were very fond of protecting their outside doors with a verandah, which had many other uses.  Here we have a verandah on a farmhouse in north central Victoria, c1949.  It is being used by some students for a money saving haircut during  their weekend visit.

Bush HaircutA future Member of Parliament is cutting the hair of a future Maths teacher, helped by one of the girlfriends while another girlfriend sits on the cool linoleum of the floor behind the wire screen door.  A good short back and sides with plenty of long stuff left on top.

In the background is one of the brothers nursing his rifle – there had probably been rabbit shooting that morning.  And the tripod is out.  It is flat, irrigation country so possibly some levels were to be taken that day.  You can also get a glimpse of the metal plates on top of the stumps, used to protect the house from termites.

A very important verandah.

Further links to this week’s theme photo can be found at Sepia Saturday

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Horses and Wagons

Sepia Saturday this week includes the word TRANSPORT  for which  The Oxford Dictionary says

Take or carry (people or goods) from one place to another by means of a vehicle, aircraft, or ship:

That’s interesting.   Does that mean if you were to deliver a parcel by horseback you are not transporting that parcel.  It needs to be delivered in conjunction with a vehicle, aircraft or ship.

So I  have looked at how my family have used horses for transport with the help of a WAGON.

The first photo is of my grandmother’s uncle, Bullocky Bob, ie Robert Telford  (1871-1940) and his bullock wagon.  He only had one eye as the result of an accident.  You’ll notice his dog trotting along at the back of the wagon.  There is no train line to Apollo Bay so everything came in by boat or bullock wagon.

Robert telford and his bullock team bIt’s a very large wagon and we can’t see what he is carting as it has a cover over it.  He lived at Apollo Bay and until 1930 the Electoral Rolls described him as a grazier.  After that he and his wife were storekeepers at Duverney.

The next photo is probably early to mid 1920s on the Fricke dairy farm, Glen Avon, at Apollo Bay in south-western Victoria.  The wagon is being used for a family outing, perhaps they are heading into town on market day.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIt is not a very clear photo but you can see the back of the house and the pole for holding up the clothes line.  From here the track to the road winds around the back of the house and down the small hill.  This wagon has the front wheels smaller than the back wheels  and I believe this is because the  steering is controlled by the front wheels and these smaller wheels give a smaller turning circle. I think the wagon is being driven by the eldest daughter of the house, my Aunt Enid.

The wagon is also used for bringing in the hay.  Here it is in the paddock at the front of the house and once again you can get a glimpse of  the clothes line with its load of flapping washing.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAI think it is my father, Charles Fricke Jr. who is helping with the hay when home for the holidays.  This is possibly mid to late 1920s and the smaller head of the other person sitting on the wagon is possibly his younger brother Alan, born 1920.

Later  there was to be a quite nice garden at the front of the house with bushes sculpted into shapes.

Another photo was taken in the front paddock that day but this time it is facing away from the house and across the valley, with Charles standing up and someone possibly tossing the hay up from the ground.

Apollo Bay Charles Jr bringing in the hay c1925  cI have scans of these events thanks  to kind relatives.

Other suggestions from this week’s  Sepia Saturday image  include  coach rides, old transport, roof-racks, luggage, waiting, animated discussion, clowning, and cab drivers, so there will be plenty of variety waiting in the links on —–

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A rather large tent

For this week’s Saturday Sepia theme of tents I will go back to some men at a sheep sale in 1920 at the large Kooba station in New South Wales which I used in a previous post .

Kooba was a 120,000 acre station in south-central New South Wales . The station had been sold and it was time to sell its 40,000 sheep as well as some cattle and horses. But this time the picture  is of a tent.

Sheep Sale Cars and Tent cIt is believed that this photo was taken on that day.  It’s hard to know what the tent was used for – was it a refreshment tent – you can see a wagon pulled up at the back of the tent which could have brought supplies.  Or was it used as a place for business.  A bonus is seeing all the lovely old cars and the beautiful setting for the tent.

Sheep Sale TentLooking closer you can see men who appear to be sitting at a table.

Kooba Sale Newspaper report

Other tents at other places can be seen via Sepia Saturday

2014.08W.86

 

Why we need a Garden

Different people find different  reasons and uses for a garden. There might have been a few green thumbs in our family but not much interesting evidence shows up as an accessory in family photos.  In this photo it would appear there are some roses in the front garden of Park Farm at Carisbrook in Central Victoria, a spiky sort of bush and a gumtree in the background

Park Farm gardenBut of more interest is what went on in that small patch of lawn between the roses and the house.

Park Farm

Park Farm, Carisbrook

Behind the roses was a patch of lawn where croquet could be played.  You can see the hoops and the mallets.   Seated at the centre of the group is Freidrich Eberhard Fricke (1838 – 1899), surrounded by three daughters and three grandchildren,   From the year of his death and the age of the children the photo would seem to have been taken in 1898 or 1899

Freidrich is the grandson of  Johann Fricke who was written about in Blessing the New House in Vallstedt in 1811

  • Freidrich  came to Australia  with an older brother in 1854
  • Oral history says that when the two of them were making their way north from Melbourne with a horse and dray they passed the troopers returning from the Eureka incident at Ballarat,
  • He and his wife had 9 children, only one of whom died young.
  • He was a farmer at Park Farm, Carisbrook.
  • Oral history says he and his brother had a milk run and wore calfskin waistcoats
  • He was the uncle of poor Henry Fricke who was killed in a train accident in a previous post.
  • Had a term as Shire President
  • Grew an apple tree from  seed which produced apples over 11 cm in diameter. A few trees which are descendants of this tree still exist.
  •  He won prizes at agricultural shows for walnuts, a cow and calf, a two year old heifer, a Roller, 20  bushels of seed wheat,  and  cooking apples,  And that was just  at Carisbrook in 1869.

And he took some relaxation sitting on the lawn in the middle of his garden with its roses and spiky tress.

If we move on to the next generation the garden  was also a good place to record the arrival of visitors.  Freidrich’s eldest son Alfred had taken over the farm.  Here he is on the right of the photo.

PICT0071On the left is the third son, Fred, who we met before when he had a dunking in the flooded Yarra River.  Doing well in his Government job, Fred was on a visit to his brother on  the farm where he grew up.  Once again we can see some of the lawn and those spiky palm (?) trees which were plentiful in the garden,  They look as though they would be sharp.  I’m guessing that someone will tell me what they are  !

It looks as though Alfred hadn’t  got dressed up for his visitors.  I wonder if he knew they were coming.  Remember last year we  had the use of braces as one of our themes.  In Defending Australia with Braces I wrote about how the braces were also used to thread through loops on underpants  I think  we can see an example of this with the top of Alfred’s white undergarment  rolled up at the top of his trousers.  He looks so happy.  I only remember him with his failed memory thinking that I was his sister-in-law, my grandmother.

PICT0069And another photo on the same day, with more of the garden showing,. At the moment I am sure enough to name the ladies. I need to do some consulting.

Some beautiful gardens can be seen through the links on Sepia Saturday

2014.04W.02

 

Bushfire Weather 1898 Style – Red Tuesday

As I have no close connections with this week’s Sepia Saturday theme of people involved in the First World War, and know very little about them anyway, I hadn’t intended to do a post this week  But the  maximum temperature in Geelong today was 45 ° C,and the last three days were 41°, 42° and 45° (106, 107, 113F),  so  it seems like a good time to  continue with the story about Charles Fricke Snr. which I started  in Attached to a Moustache. and which  I ended by saying …..

But in 1898 the bushfires came through and destroyed everything.  It was time to start all over again. But that’s another story.

.I have told this story in other places but I doubt that other Sepians have seen it.

Just like this week nearly one hundred and sixteen years ago each issue of  the Geelong Advertiser was reporting on bushfires, whether they were in Tasmania, Gippsland , the Grampians or closer to home.  The dry weather had brought swarms of locusts through the area and by February 1, 1898, Beech Forest was described as being ablaze, just one of the many fires that had been devastating the Otway Ranges.  For two days Colac had been enveloped in smoke, turning day into night.

 The Otway Forest was fast coming into prominence as a tourist resort.  Distinguished visitors to the various small communities were reported, as were the Balls and Sports Days. On Tuesday, February 8, 1898, the Gosney and Cawood houses were full of visitors at Apollo Bay. It wasn’t a particularly hot morning, but the wind was gusty. When the wind swung to the north the burning off which had been  started by the Beech Forrest settlers got out of control and headed towards Apollo Bay.

 About 11.30 in the morning Charles Fricke Snr. was helping his next door neighbour, William Methven. They saw the fire making for their houses at the top of the ridge at Tuxion, in the hills above Apollo Bay so began to hurry back to their homes.  Charles Fricke reached Mr Methven’s house first and stopped briefly for a drink of milk, the older man having lagged behind, then hurried to his own home.

 There was little Charles Fricke could do to save his home.  The fire was so intense he crouched behind a table with a bucket of water for five hours, tearing the back out of his waistcoat to dip in the water and cover his mouth.  The table was too small to cover his feet and the heat drew the nails out of his boots.  His horse was the only one of his animals to survive the fire, even though he had his mane burnt off.

 Alone, blinded by the heat, he decided he would rather die on the road to the township where his body would be found more quickly, and so feeling his way with a stick he set off on the three miles to Apollo Bay.  Mrs Costin took him in and put him to bed and nursed him back to health.

 After a long search Mr Methven’s body was found and the subsequent inquest decided that on seeing his home destroyed Mr Methven had tried to make for a creek to find refuge, but had been overcome and suffocated by the hot fumes.

The Murrays were trapped on the top of a  ridge and spent the night there under a wet blanket, taking it in turns to throw water on one another.  They had lost everything except one cow.

 Indeed the Marriner, Methven, Murray, Fricke, Cross, Armstrong, Bulotte, Perkins, James, Kendall, Inkester and Evans homes, and four untenanted houses, were lost, as well as miles of fencing, pasture, livestock and orchards.

 This day was later called Red Tuesday.  As the telegraph line was burnt down the news of the fire had to be taken out by horseback.  The coaches could not get through as the track became blocked and the corduroy was burning. So it was Friday before the people of Geelong could read about the fire.

N.B. A corduroy road is made from logs placed across the road, particularly in swampy areas.

humpyAfter eight years of clearing scrub, splitting palings, fencing, building, and creating a farm, it was a case of start again.  First priority was shelter. Charles Fricke built a  temporary humpy using the roofing iron from his burnt home.  The property had to be re-fenced and re-sown with grass seed.  The Gippsland settlers had bought all the available Cocksfoot grass-seed so seed had to be imported from a neighbouring colony and unfortunately brought with it the seeds of the Ragwort weed.

 Charles then built a new home, married and had his first two children while on this farm before shifting to another farm closer to Apollo Bay.

This story  was told from  Charles Fricke’s reminiscences and newspaper reports.

Meanwhile there were similar fires in Gippsland in the eastern part of Victoria where 12 people were  killed and 2000 buildings destroyed.

Gippsland,_Sunday_night,_February_20th,_1898Thje famous painter John Longstaff visited Gippsland later in February 1898 to view the fires at first hand and collect material for a major picture. Gippsland, Sunday night, February 20th, 1898 was exhibited in a dramatic installation in his Melbourne studio in August 1898. A row of kerosene-lamp ‘footlights’ provided the illumination, and the effect was said to be ‘lurid and startlingly realistic’. — http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/bushfire/lon.shtml

And this is how the sun looked this afternoon in Geelong thanks to “John” of Belmont on Facebook. . The bushfires are a long, long way away but the wind carries the smoke over long distances.

Sun on bushfire dayThis heat wave is now over – the cool change has arrived.  So next week I’ll be back to the regular theme and a cold weather post,   And that reminds me that  we still measured temperature on the Farenheit scale when I got married and on that  January day it was 108° in the shade. It didn;t seem that hot.

You can see more of this week; posts on World War ! soldiers  on Sepia Saturday

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