Saturday, June 1, 2013

Wagons

This weeks Sepia Saturday prompt, immediately made me think of the photo, which makes up the background for my blog. It is a picture that has always appealed to me.  
Take a closer look - what do you see?  How does it make you feel?
This photo came from my Great Aunty Mavis' photo album.  She wasn't sure about the photo but thought that it was a "traveller".  She wrote:  "Dad used to bring in the travellers for a meal,  and we had lots of swaggies call in for a place to sleep (Dad would put them in a shed)  and Mum would always give them a meal and sandwiches to take on their way as well as a big billy of tea.   We never had them inside tho".


Going through my grandmother's photos revealed that I have many photos of wagons.

January 1933 - A family outing/holiday
 Bubbling Springs Port MacDonnell, South Australia

Wagons were commonly used on the farm and there are many photos in my grandmothers albums.  It was hard to choose just a few.

She wrote: " Dad would drive Kit and Tammy in the buggy and the fruit van (before he got a motor vehicle) and they were a flighty pair.   In the van, we all sat on a board across the width of it and no back.  It used to take us over an hour to trot into Nhill – 10 miles – with a load and under the hour to go home.  The horses were always in a hurry to get home.  I love horses and working dogs, but not lap dogs. 
 
1930 - Kinimakatka
Ray Muller Driving and Jim Muller on load
(My grandmother's cousins)

1928 - Winiam - Load of Chaff
Great Grand Uncle Bert Pilgrim

Great Grand Uncle Perce Pilgrim on a load of hay
Winiam

1930 - Almond Dale
Grand Uncle Lloyd Pilgrim




1928 - Almond Dale, Winiam, Victoria
Lloyd & James Pilgrim spraying fruit trees

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40 comments:

  1. Now your wonderful images set me thinking about the place name Winiam and the Winnowing that had surely been an important part of life there. http://goo.gl/cAsnf
    I am sure the loaded cart pulled by 6 massive (Suffolks?) must have been grain itself, not chaff.

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    1. I wondered the same thing Nigel but it was written on the back of the photo that it was a "load of chaff"

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  2. A fine collection of wagons! Especially so as they are from your own family collection!

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    1. Thank you. I am very lucky that my grandmother was always taking photos.

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  3. Love the wagon pictures, but love the picture of you with the phone even more. My favorite picture of myself is from when I was a little girl of about two.

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    1. That is nice of you to say Denise. Mum tells the story that she bought the phone for me as I was always playing with the home phone and calling the operator or leaving it off the hook so no one could contact them. She then goes on to say, that I still always have a phone to my ear!

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  4. I like what road you took- all of these carts- wagons and such are just delightful to see!

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    1. The first one is my favourite. The dog looks to be wanting to share whatever the man has.

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  5. What a great bunch of wagons! In the first photo I see a man holding something. A cup? Maybe there's someone laying down behind him, or is that just pile of stuff? There's a fire towards the front. A lantern by the wheel. I hope they weren't living out of the wagon as it looks like a pretty poor shelter. Who were they? Where were they going? Were they working from place to place? And don't forget the dog.

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    1. Like me Kristin, you see so much and wonder even more! I had wondered if that is someone lying down or just a swag? There is only one plate so maybe it is a lone traveller? There is a towel on the wagon and it looks like a suitcase under the wagon? So much in one photo and so many questions?

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  6. What A Fine Selection of Photographs!They Also Hint At A Steadier Pace & Rythme To Life Back Then.

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    1. So true Tony. However we have so many conveniences to make things so much easier today but yet we are even busier! How does that work?

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  7. Wonderful pictures of working horses. The first picture of the traveller could illustrate that well known song so well!

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    1. Very true.....
      Once a Jolly Swagman camped by the billabong
      Under the shade of a Coolabah tree
      And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled. "Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me"

      The Unofficial Australian Anthem - Waltzing Matilda.

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  8. Nice collection of wagons. I thought of "Waltzing Matilda" too.

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    1. Yes it certainly does. The towel makes you think that there must have been a dam or billabong somewhere close by.

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  9. Sharon, I am so impressed with your photos. It's just wonderful this recollection of transport, the beautiful horses. I also like the wagon full of happy people, they mus have had so much fun. Your parents have been kind to the swaggies, that's what one would do. Share some food and place to rest.

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    1. My grandmother also wrote about a swagman who had been lost in the bush and was about to give up when he found my GG Grandfathers dam. He was found drinking thirstily from the dam and my GG Grandfather said to him "Good Dam Water?" and the swaggie replied "Damn good water!"

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  10. Your first photograph reminds me very much of the stories in Jock of the Bushveld, a copy of which I was given as a boy, and which still sits on my bookshelf. It's also not very different from the camps which I used to have in my days as a field geologist, although the wagon was replaced with a Land Rover. Journeys in those pneumatic tyre-less wagons must have been very uncomfortable.

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    1. I have a few photos of waggons from my dads old collection, I even used to drive one when I went to Ireland as a youngster. Also remember the brewery drays taking beer kegs round Reading.

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    2. Brett, I hadn't heard of "Jock of the Bushveld" previously but after reading the link, I can understand why.

      My parents still go camping every year (into their 70s). They are still very comfortable in a swag and tent with a campfire. My mother always says that a caravan means housework and can't go where they like to camp.

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    3. Bill that would have been an experience. Seeing the brewery drays would be a wonderful site. It is a pity you didn't like photography as much back then!

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  11. I nominated you for a Liebster Award http://msdeniseh553.blogspot.com/2013/06/another-liebster.html

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  12. Superb photos. I've always admired you blog background.

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    1. Thank you Bob. It is good to see that other people like it too.

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  13. Great wagon pictures. I rather favored the hay wagon -- pile that hay high. Also, would echo Bob, your blog background is so interesting. I find myself making stories and movies to go along with it --- probably not as interesting as the real stories behind the blog.

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    1. Did you notice that there is also someone sitting behind the horses, near the wagon wheel? I think it is son, Fred, but it wasn't written on the back of the photo.

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  14. The first photo is indeed a beautiful evocative image. The wagon photos make me wonder how they compare to American wagon design which had a few hundred years more of Spanish and French influence as well as British, not to mention German, Russian, etc.

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    1. Hard to imagine that the wagon was being used in other countries before Australia was even discovered! So we would have received the benefit of "advanced technology" before wagons were used in Australia. lol.

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  15. Wponderful old photos, so evocative of life in the bush. But, I love the horses. The old draught horses were magnificent animals. I lived in the suburbs as a kid and I remember the ice man and the Bottle-o both had old draught horses. The baker and the milko had much smaller ones.
    Thank you for those memories.

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    1. Glad that it brought back memories Liz. I am just wondering, was there someone employed to clean up after the horses as they went down the street?

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  16. A great series!!
    It's always a wonder to me how hard the work seems on a farm.
    Even with all of the modern machinery, I bet there are still
    things that requires some efforts. I'm grateful to all of those
    who made it their commitment to feed us all!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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    1. I come from farming families on both sides but I couldn't do it!

      Once I apologised to my grandmother for being late writing a letter because I was busy. Her reply scoffed at how easy it was with modern day conveniences and lising all the things she did when she was my age:- Feeding animals, milking cows, collecting eggs, weeding vegetable patch, collecting vegetables & fruit, making jam/preserves, butter, bread, cakes, biscuits,(in addition to all meals), sewing and mending clothes for a family of 5, cutting wood, lighting fires for hot water, washing by hand, emptying jerries (bed pans) etc etc.

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  17. Oh such wonderful photos....the horses really did earn their oats and or hay!

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  18. My grandmother fed the "hobos" that traveled along the railroad. Today it is almost too risky to be kind, compassionate, and charitable except under the umbrella of an organization or church. Such a pity.

    I love how well-documented your family's farm life was recorded in photos.

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    1. Unfortunately that is true Wendy.

      I look forward to showing more farming photos in future Sepia Saturdays posts.

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  19. So interesting. I wonder what happened to my family's old photos. :-/

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    1. I hope someone still has them Misha.

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