27 Apr 2009

Paddock to Port

It had been five or six years since I last visited our local museum. Then, it was dark, dusty and poorly preserved - a real treasure trove of history mouldering and collapsing into a cloud of decay. You can see why I hadn't bothered venturing back, despite the amazing history stored in it's rooms.

Making tracks: wheat is loaded into ships at Gellibrand Pier in Williamstown in the 1920s.

We were in for a delightful surprise when we arrived this morning to view the final day of the exhibition, Paddock to Port - a photographic display celebrating the history of the production and transportation of wheat and wool from our Mallee and Wimmera paddocks to the Port of Williamstown in Melbourne. The exhibition, which was organised by the Williamstown Maritime Association in conjunction with the Point Gellibrand Parks Committee and our local Buloke Shire, has been touring our local region for several months.

Shearing time: Jack Smith's shearing shed at Cooroopajuerrup about 1900.

The photographs showed the whole process from the sheep in their paddocks to their arrival at the docks. They were clear, beautifully framed and well arranged on uncluttered walls.

Wheat lumper: Jim Farresey carries a bag of wheat from Boyd's farm on to the stack at Nyarrin rail siding in the Mallee in 1923.

We were impressed by the exhibition, but I was more impressed by the quality of our museum. There were slide shows and movies... remember this is the country... a museum in a town of 1200 people you may recall. There were exhibits of farm machinery further illustrating the grain process and bringing the photographs to life.

We'll be returning. Soon.

Be sure to visit if the Paddock to Port exhibition is showing anywhere near you. It is well worthwhile. It might also be worth your while to visit your local museum. You never know, you might get as pleasant a surprise as I did!!

P.S. The great photos are from the exhibition, but I didn't take them. They're from Weekly Times Now.

1 comment:

  1. Diamonds from ashes - what a great local resource!

    Wanted to say "hi" as I stopped by. Hoping to use your "2nd Charlotte Mason Moment" as it is a perfect example for my poetry presentation. As a scientist, you may not approve of anecdotal evidence :) but I hope you will allow me to use it.


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