The following morning, I took the boys to school in the motor vehicle, while Archie brought the horses and wagon, so we could go and get some more wood for the new house, which I wanted to make a start on right away. Patrick arrived at about the same time as Archie, and he was stunned to see a new motor car parked next to the produce stall.
“Good morning, boss, is that yours?” Patrick said as he stared at the machine in front of him.
“Yes, it will make trips to Ceduna a lot faster, and allow us more time to spend on the farm, which leads me to let you know that you and Archie are going to collect some more wood. My Ma, Pa and two sisters will be arriving in December, so I want to have their house built well before then,” I replied.
“Where are you going to build it?” Patrick asked.
“Right here actually, so my sisters are close to school, and it will give some distance between my wife and my Ma,” I said with a big smile, which made Archie and Patrick laugh. Once Patrick had left his horse in the horse yard, behind the school, and they had set off in the wagon, I drove up to the school, where the boys were running around in the front yard.
“So, the rumours are true. I thought my children were telling fibs,” Augustus said when his buggy arrived at the school with his whole family on board.
“Yes, but it doesn’t like hot weather, as I had to stop to let it cool down a few times, on the trip here yesterday,” I replied smiling, as Augustus and Julia walked around the motor car. Then they spotted the tank and the large pack located near the well.
“A windmill and water tank for the school and hamlet. I am building a house for my Ma and Pa, and two sisters, next to the produce shop, as they will be arriving in December, but first, I want to get this windmill built and operational,” I responded.
“Since I am here now, I will be happy to help, while Julia assists in the school,” Augustus said.
By midday, we had the water tank in position next to the school house, about 6 feet higher up, than where the well is located in the corner of the yard, and ¾’s of the windmill tower constructed, with Augustus quickly making two spanners, which I had forgotten to buy in town, so as to tighten the bolts and nuts.
“Is this the only windmill that you bought?” Augustus asked as we stopped work, to join Julia for a midday meal.
“No, I bought two others, one for the homestead, and the last one for the well to be dug at the sheep yards when they are finished,” I replied.
“I see. Quite a big investment, you have made,” Augustus stated.
“Yes, but worth while in the long run I feel,” I responded.
“I have been meaning to ask you, would you consider selling some of your Exmoor ewes and a ram?” Augustus asked me.
“Well, no I hadn’t, but I don’t see a problem with that. We are doing well with our flock of Suffolk sheep, so yes, I will agree to sell you half of the Exmoor ewes and one ram,” I replied, and Augustus smiled and held out his hand to shake, to seal the deal.
By the end of the next day, we had completed building the windmill over the top of the well, and it was now pumping water up to the water tank near the school house. Patrick and Archie had brought a second load of wood to the hamlet, and started splitting the wood into planks, leaving some aside for the main support poles, beams and cross beams.
The following day, while Augustus was busy in his workshop making some more spanners, and making a supply of horse shoes to sell in Ceduna, Shamus arrived about half an hour after school had commenced, and by then Patrick, Archie and I were putting in last posts into the ground for the house.
“Good morning to ye. I heard that you are building a house for your Ma and Pa,” Shamus said when he stopped his wagon, just past the workshop.
“Yes, that is right. We are expecting them in December some time, but I want to be prepared for them to arrive at any time, just in case,” I replied.
“I see. Would ye be open to having a second house in this little hamlet here. At the moment my family live in a big lean-to, with just three sides to it, as I have been concentrating on building some fences and clearing land. Then my wife can establish crops and a vegetable patch as grand as ye has,” Shamus said.
“I see no issue with just another house, but the vegetable patch will have to stay on your land,” I replied.
“I thank ye for that. It will make my wife happier to be closer to other people, since we are so far west of here. It takes well over half an hour to travel here to bring young Margaret each day to school, but I would be happy to travel to the farm each day,” Shamus said.
I drew out a layout of the house we were building on the ground with a stick, so Shamus had an idea what it would look like.
“Aye, I like this design, and we shall build one the same, but a little smaller, so Patrick and Margaret have a bedroom each upstairs. Would opposite the produce store on the corner be fine with ye as a site?” Shamus replied.
“Yes, that will be fine,” I replied, thinking that I would need to build a fence around the hamlet, to limit the number of buildings that could fit in it. I would move the gate to the second fence, as the main gate to our farm.
The outside of the house, along with the kitchen fireplace and chimney, was built in just two short weeks, just before we stopped work to celebrate Easter, with the minister coming to participate. He even stayed overnight in the empty new house, which had 4 walls and a roof over it, enough for him to have shelter to sleep. I had retrieved the spare bed from the barn, so he could sleep in a proper bed.
Reverend Forrest was surprised at the changes that had taken place since his last visit to our area, with a windmill and water tank, a house nearly built, and another one that had started to be built, plus Augustus had built a post and rail yard beside his workshop to accommodate his horse while he was working.
A week after selling 20 Exmoor ewes and one ram to Shamus, Antonio asked to buy the other twenty ewes and two rams, which I agreed to, giving us more money to deposit into the bank on the next trip into town.
Once all the internal walls had been completed in the new house, including the hole for the outhouse, with the same system to establish a storage tank for the waste, as we had done at the homestead, we headed out to the western side of the farm, to begin digging the well for the second windmill.
When we had a good supply of water available, we put the water tank into place close by and we began constructing the windmill, which was completed by the end of April, just as the first rains arrived for the season.
When this was completed, I let Patrick have some time to assist his father with building the new house, while Archie and I built the third windmill, over the top of the well at the homestead, and set the last water tank into place, so we had a steady supply of water for the house, gardens and the stockyards.
The vegetable patch at the homestead was now producing a huge amount of produce, and a lot of it was going to the produce stall in the hamlet. Florence was also doing well with making cheese from the goat’s milk, as well as butter, and the new crops had just been planted.
At the school, Helena and Julia had decided to give the children a half day off school on Wednesdays, allowing them time to do some planning for classes, and also Florence, Maria and Louisa would join them for a social afternoon together. At Florence’s suggestion, they met in the large empty house, which was a little bit cosier than the large school house up on the hill.
Augustus was away at the time, making a trip into town to get some steel piping, and more steel for his blacksmith workshop, and some basic supplies for the family, as well as to sell the horse shoes and some tools that he had been busy making, to create some more income for his family.
“We used ye house in the hamlet for us ladies gathering today. Much cosier than the school house,” Florence said to me once I had arrived home and entered the kitchen.
“Oh, and I am presuming ye are wanting to use it on a regular basis from now on?” I asked.
“If we may please, kind husband,” Florence replied nicely, which made me chuckle.
“Trying to soften me up are ye, dearest wife?” I asked.
“That is what I may be doing, dear husband,” Florence said, and I laughed.
“So, does this mean that the building is to become the hamlet community hall, and we will need to build another building for my Ma and Pa?” I asked.
“That you may,” Florence said as she came up to me and wrapped her arms around me and kissed me on the lips softly, before leaning back to look into my eyes.
“Oh, if I must I will build another house, but ye ladies will need to furnish the hall at your own expense and with your own time. Us men have enough to do around the farm as it is with winter about to set in,” I said and Florence gave me a quick hug before returning to her duties in the kitchen, humming a little tune as she did so.
At dinner time, when I told Archie that the house we had built was going to become a community hall for the hamlet, he groaned in annoyance, that we would have to build yet another house for our Ma, Pa and sisters. This time Archie suggested making it smaller, so there were only two bedrooms and a small store room upstairs, instead of three bedrooms, which I agreed to.
I decided to make the new house 2 yards narrower and 3 yards shorter than the community hall, which luckily hadn’t had a stair case built yet, so the top of the kitchen could remain open, while the store rooms and outhouse would have roofs on them.
I was informed that where the master bedroom would have been in the community hall, that it would become a guest bedroom for visitors, like the Methodist minister to stay in, and so the spare single bed would remain there, and be placed in the bedroom when it has had some furnishings added.
Florence informed me that they would be white washing the inside walls of the bedroom, adding some curtains, and buying a rug to place on the floor, plus including a basic wardrobe, small table and chair. Augustus asked permission to build stables next to the yards that he had already built, which would be directly opposite Ma and Pa’s new home.
Reluctantly I agreed to the new building, making a total of seven buildings in the hamlet. I was not wanting it to get any bigger, so I decided to build a post fence, making the boundary of the hamlet, including the school and its yard, with the Cameron house and stables the most north, and the O’Grady house the most to the south, the back of the stables and blacksmith workshop the furthest east, and the school yard the furthest west, with no buildings to be added into the school yard.
This would leave some open space between the blacksmith workshop and the south boundary, and also some space between the school yard fence and the back of the community hall and the produce store. I decided to have posts in the ground spaced 2 yards apart, so it was wide enough for a horse to squeeze through but not wide enough for a motor vehicle.
This ended up being a community project, with everyone helping out to make the fence line around the hamlet.Meanwhile the women were busy getting the community hall looking a lot better, with the help of some chairs that Augustus brought back from town, along with a rug, a small table and chair and a small wardrobe for the bedroom.
When one of the children asked what was the name of the hamlet, us adults looked at each other for an answer.
“How about Yumbarra? It’s a little place north of Plymouth where we come from,” Archie suggested, and I nodded my head in agreement. All the other adults agreed, and so that was the name of our little community. Archie volunteered to carve a name plate from a plank of wood, to put at the front of the Hamlet.
Copyright Preston Wigglesworth January 2019 All Rights Are Reserved