26 April 2015

How to store wheat

It has been a while, however it is not lack of interest, just time.

As mentioned in earlier posts, I have been trawling Trove - the Australian National Library's excellent digitised newspaper (and other documents) service for stories about the Coonamble line. It was always a manageable task until Trove recently uploaded years of the Wellington Times, Narromine News and Trangie Advocate, and the Gilgandra and Castlereagh Weekly onto the site. Now I think I know more about the comings and goings at Eumungerie in the 1930s than the then-residents did. There have been many gems which I hope to write up in coming months but for now I heading back to that favourite topic of mine - wheat storage and transport.

This is the Eumungerie grain storage facility that I grew up with - SO41 bins and a bulkhead.

 Prior to the erection of the wheat bulkheads in 1968, bulk wheat was stored under a makeshift corrugated iron shed in those years when the harvest was greater than the capacity of the silo.  Here is a shot of the temporary shed from the south, taken in 1963.

Before there was bulk what, it was bagged wheat.  And lots of it. I don't know the year the following photo was taken, but I suspect it was early to mid-1930s. Taken from the silo itself, in the left foreground there is a slab of railway sleepers awaiting bagged wheat.

Every time I look at the previous photograph I find something new.  I have been mesmerised by the queue - with the collection of now vintage trucks and drays all waiting their turn to unload. Until now I hadn't notices the laconic pose of the gentleman sitting on the edge of the wheat stack.

It hasn't been all Trove treasures though. The humble Facebook has turned up the Eumungerie Community page. I never like to swipe other people's stuff off the internet, particularly without attribution but I cant find the owner of the following photo so describing how I cam upon it will have to do for fir dealing etc. Anyway, its a cracker!

It shows a half stacked wheat stack, taken from Eumungerie station. Just look at the way it was stacked, with the vertical walls facing the railway line.

Looking further north, two more stacks can been seen. These appear to be hay or wool stacks but are too indistinct to be identified properly. A gem of a photo!

So, for me its back to Trove and more digging!

Ciao for now,