Gentle Zephyrs over Lomas

Chapter 40

Published Feb, 2014

Harvesting at 'Hazel Glen'. Photo credit Reid family

…Mr. S. McKay’s farm of about 300 acres at Arthurs Creek is somewhat of an experimental ground both as regards seeds and machinery, and visitors can glean a lot of information at such demonstrations.’…

Following the end of the gold rush era in Victoria, there was increased pressure to ‘unlock the lands’ held by squatters. Closer settlement was encouraged, together with the need to increase agricultural production and support population growth.

In rural areas, the local Blacksmith exercised both town and country skills. Great innovation and skill was often shown in the development and manufacture of a diverse range of agricultural equipment ‘able to meet the practical needs of local farmers’.

A significant local contribution to the mechanisation of world agriculture was the Sunshine stripper harvester patented by H.V. McKay in 1885. The prototype was assembled in a ‘bush smithy’. An agricultural implement making plant was established at Ballarat in 1888. In 1895, H.V. McKay began manufacturing stripper harvesters under the Sunshine brand name. In 1906 the business moved to ‘the neighbourhood of Braybrook’. A diverse and extensive range of equipment was subsequently manufactured at the H.V. McKay Pty. Ltd. Sunshine Harvester Works, Sunshine.

Demonstrations and trials of orchard implements were held at Mr. Samuel McKay’s farm at ‘Lomas’, Running Creek Road, Arthurs Creek. Equipment on display, on Tuesday 27 June 1922, included the Sunshine Orchard Skim Plough, Sunshine Engine Spraying Outfit, Sunshine Orchard Ploughs, and Sunshine Orchard Cultivators.

‘During the explanation of the working of the machines, the visitors were asked their opinions, so that the makers could if necessary, improve upon the design. A large staff of experts accompanies the implements at these demonstrations, so that all new ideas are embodied in fresh undertakings, and every particle is made in Australia. Mr. S. McKay’s farm of about 300 acres at Arthurs Creek is somewhat of an experimental ground both as regards seeds and machinery, and visitors can glean a lot of information at such demonstrations.’

‘Amongst those present during the afternoon were Messrs. J.A. McFarlane (Macfarlane), David Murphy, Joseph Murphy, James Murphy, R.M. Bassett, Jas. Draper, E. Lobb, J.A. Lodge, A. Steer, Geo. Murphy, H. McMillan (Macmillan), J. McDonald, and a host of others, whose names we could not procure.’

‘About 5 o’clock Mr. McKay had his visitors enjoying hot cups of tea, scones and cake, which were much relished, as the ‘gentle zephyrs’ which careered over the hills and dales that afternoon, gave one a keen desire for something for the inner man; and while that soothing duty was being attended to, the Sunshine staff were busy booking orders.’

# zephyr―soft mild gentle wind or breeze

Hillary Hewitt with a reversible hillside plough at 'Mt Osborne', 1940. Please contact us if you are the credited owner of this photo
Stripping oats in 1925 at 'Barton Hill', the home of James Draper, 1863 - 1940 and Blanche Draper (nee Hurrey), 1880 - 1968; the author's grandparents. Photo credit Draper family
Stripping oats at 'Barton Hill', one of the historic Draper family properties in the Yan Yean and Arthurs Creek districts, 1925. Photo credit Draper family
Binder at work on 'Hazel Glen'. Photo credit Reid family
Arthurs Creek orchardists attending a demonstration of spraying and materials by the district orchard supervisor Mr. E. Wallis held at Martin Brennan’s property on July 16, 1913
Arthurs Creek orchardists attending a demonstration of spraying and materials by the district orchard supervisor Mr. E. Wallis held at Martin Brennan’s property on July 16, 1913. Please contact us if you are the credited owner of this photo
Spraying fruit trees with a Bave-U motorized spray pump. This horse-drawn Bave-U was made at the Russell implements works at Box Hill. Two hoses meant that two workers could spray at the same time c 1914. Photo credit Doncaster Templestowe Historical Society
Harvesting Oaten Hay with the Reaper and Binder at 'Barton Hill'. The author's father, James (Jim) Chester Draper, lived on the family farm during his childhood at 'Barton Hill', Running Creek Road, Arthurs Creek. Photo credit: In the collection of the Draper family for use by "Yan Yean: A History" by Dianne Edwards, published by Yan Yean School Council, 1978
Harvesting at 'Hazel Glen'. Photo credit Reid family
Harvesting Barley at 'Hazel Glen' c 1940. Photo credit Reid family
'Winnowing' at 'Barton Hill' Yan Yean. Photo credit Draper family
Ploughing new ground at 'Barton Hill', 1922. Photo credit James Chester Draper
Hay making with a Fordson Major tractor and stationary baler on Macmillan's farm. Photo credit Macmillan family
Cockerells Forge at Mernda. In rural areas, the local Blacksmith exercised both town and country skills. Great innovation and skill was often shown in the development and manufacture of a diverse range of agricultural equipment able to meet the practical needs of local farmers. Please contact us if you are the credited owner of this photo
Looking across ‘Glen Donald’ on the east side of the Arthurs Creek, with the Village Smithy (the Blacksmith's workshop) to the right at the corner of Greens and Arthurs Creek Roads, c 1890s. Photo credit McDonald family
The Village Smithy or Blacksmiths shop and hut at the corner of Greens Road in the 1890s. Once part of 'Ivy Bank' farm, the Ryder family gifted the site to the Catholic Church for the erection of the 'Church of the Irish Martyrs'. This opened 4th November, 1928. Photo credit Ryder family

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