Friday, 20 August 2010

Sheep Yards on Ochre Arch

In response to the recent article published in The Grenfell Record titled “Shearing with Sunshine at Ochre Arch” we received a fabulous letter from David and Jenny Johnson who now live at and farm using Permaculture techniques near Woolgoolga on the north coast of New South Wales. David’s father Clarrie at one point owned the property “Rutland” located about 5 km from us further along and to the east on Goodes Lane. David’s sister Marie and her husband Don Hampton owned “Ochre Arch” (“Cleveland” as it was then known) from around 1965 to 1977.

The sheep yards on our place are quite unusual as far as materials go, with the main steel pipes having originally been manufactured for and used as steam engine pipes. The accompanying photograph was taken 15th June 2010 and shows the pipes quite clearly, as well as some of our wether lambs prior to them being transported for sale at Forbes. Our shearing shed can be seen in the background.

In David and Jenny’s letter they explained that the steam pipes Don Hampton used when constructing the yards in came from a large batch that Clarrie Johnson had procured from the railway workshops in Sydney in about 1963 when David owned neighbouring property (to the north of us) “Pinnacle”. “They came as four pipes about 12 foot long in a continuous session with two open ends along side each other with a double flange and three of the joiners like shown in the yard picture”. David used pipes from the same batch for manufacturing cattle yards at the property he owned at that time “Braeside” near Bogolong towards Grenfell. He slipped the pipes over the top of the weldmesh and cemented them in as the corrosion from prior use made the material extremely difficult to weld.

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