Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sepia Saturday: Farm labourers

Farms are very attractive, in theory. My mum and dad, Mavis and Angus, uncle and aunt to the kids in this story, had a dairy farm in Western Victoria and my mum's nieces and nephews lived in the city. We farm kids thought a rare visit to the city was very exciting and our cousins thought a visit to the farm was exciting.

Mum and dad loved to entertain the visitors. Dad especially would create fun activities for all to enjoy and mum would create big meals for everyone. My cousins have happy memories of those days long ago, in the last century, in the 60s and 70s. The Smith family drove from Adelaide, about eight hours, so it was quite an adventure. Our other cousin, Rex, only had to come from the nearby town of Portland but then moved to Melbourne about five hours away so he too had a bit of a trip.

In the 1970s my husband and I bought a small farm nearby and ran a few sheep. On this particular day in about 1976 the lambs needed to be drenched for worms. As our sheep yards at that time were still in a state of disrepair and lacked a narrow race it was a bit of a task to catch the lambs in the rather large enclosures, so my dad thought it would be helpful if he brought his visitors over to help out. Dad, Uncle Arthur, the three young Smith cousins (Julie, Robert and James) and their friends (Michael and his two girls) arrived and were put to work.

It was pretty funny. The kids, especially the girls, were reluctant to get dirty. Very reluctant. And the lambs were lively and hard to catch and hard to hold if they were caught. There was a lot of squealing and the kids got very dirty. But we got the job done.

My cousins still talk about that day.




This blog is in response to Sepia Saturday's theme photo that shows a lady being carried across a stream. I didn't have any photos of a gentleman helping a lady but I did have these photos, scanned off slides, showing people helping out on a farm. They aren't sepia but they are nearly 40 years old. Yet it seems like just yesterday! This is for you, Julie.


14 comments:

  1. I'm a city girl but I LOVE farms. I would have loved visiting your family farm and trying to catch a lamb.
    (PS -- your link at Sepia Saturday doesn't work.)

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  2. Lorraine - your link on the Sepia Saturday page does not take us to this post but back the Sepia Saturday 254 post.
    The thing I like about your people helping out on a farm is the number of youngsters involved, especially manhandling the animals.

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  3. That's quite a scramble but I'm most impressed that someone brought a camera.

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  4. I really enjoyed your photos and the memories that came with them. My dad was a farm worker (in the UK) and I lived on the farm until Terry and I got married in 1970. We had cattle rather than sheep and lots of mud! I wasn’t too impressed with it as a teenager, but I realise now that they were probably some of the best years of my life.

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  5. Mum made me cotton bib and brace overalls to wear on the farm holidays. But apart from picking vegies on Market Day I don't remember doing any helping. Just left to myself to amuse myself.

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  6. You feel good helping out even if you're not very skilled at whatever it might be, and I'm sure the kids loved that 'hands on' experience!

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  7. Wow, thank you, Lorraine! Wonderful to see photos of the day.

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  8. The only direct contact I've had with animals other than cats, dogs, bunnies, hamsters, white rats, parakeets, & goldfish, is with goats & llamas who came up behind me & tried to eat my basket purse when I was visiting a petting zoo one time. Oh, & I urged a huge toad off the street away from cars once.

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  9. They don’t have to be sepia to evoke wonderful memories and these certainly hit the spot.

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  10. It reminds me of the time I had to catch a kid goat that a local family had just bought. The mother kept telling the son to get out there and help us city people catch the goat. but I caught it :)

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  11. I'm guessing this is similar or the same as sheep dipping? I've heard my dad talk about doing that on the ranch.

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    Replies
    1. No, dipping involves immersing the sheep in a chemical bath, until the wool is drenched, to remove lice. Drenching is a dose of medicine squirted into the mouth to control worms. Dagging, crutching, shearing, tailing, raddling, mulesing, and marking are some other terms used in the sheep industry.

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    2. Ohhhhhh, well that sounds like a lot of work with a lot of hooves saying, "NO!" A challenge I would be advised to avoid. Now, picking apples I can handle.

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  12. Wonderful photos of rural life...and the day obviously has given everyone lots of memories, and laughs I'd imagine.

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I love to read your comments. Thankyou for your interest.

Lorraine