In the next three weeks, the O’Grady house in the hamlet was built, and they moved into their new home as soon as it was complete. Also, in that time, the well, water tank, windmill and sheep yards were completed, ready to move the sheep to the new paddocks as soon as the internal fences were completed, with a start being made on the first five paddocks with the lower internal fence going west to east.
The other development was in the hamlet, where Augustus had laid steel piping from the water tank up beside the school, to a second water tank that he installed beside his workshop, so he had easy access to waterfor the workshop as well as the stables and horse yard, along with the rest of the community.
With it now being a lot cooler, with showers of rain on a few days, work was a lot different that fighting with bush flies, and the hot sun. We managed to do a lot more work with building fences, which I was pleased about, as I wanted to have at least 10 paddocks operational before the years’ summer season arrived.
When Reverend Forrest arrived on the Saturday evening, to deliver the Sunday service the next day, he was surprised to see the O’Grady house built, and the beginnings of another house on the north side of the hamlet, and he even noticed the carved sign on the front boundary fence, “Yumbarra Hamlet”.
Archie and I were on our way home from chopping down trees for building Ma & Pa’s house, when we saw Reverend Forrest speaking to Helena O’Grady.
“Good afternoon, Reverend. How are you today?” Archie called out, as we stopped for a brief chat. “I am well thanks, young Archie. I can’t believe how much the place has changed, and I see you have a name for your community,” the Reverend said.
“Yes, sir, it was me that suggested the name, and everyone was in agreement with it,” Archie replied proudly, and I smiled. “I believe the ladies have your bedroom set up for you in the community hall,” I stated to the Reverend.
“Yes, thankyou ,Edwin. Mrs O’Grady has offered to feed me during my stay, and I must say I am enjoying my trips to your little community each month,” the Reverend said. “We must be off. We have this lot to unload and get home before dark. See you tomorrow at 10am,” I stated.
I gave a wave as I flicked the reins for the Clydesdales to move forward.Once we had unloaded the logs at the site of the new house, we headed for home, passing Patrick on the way, as he was heading home from spending half a day on our farm, helping with the fence building.
Early on the next Monday morning, leaving Archie in charge of the farm, Florence and I headed for a trip to Ceduna in the motor vehicle, hoping that with the cooler temperatures, we wouldn’t need to stop to let it cool down, and we were pleased that this was the case. We arrived in Ceduna, at about 10.30 in the morning, after passing Reverend Forrest, where he had camped overnight. He was preparing for departure, when we passed him.
We noticed there were a few more motor vehicles in the main street, of Ceduna, but still just as many horse and buggies. We had loaded up the car with a huge amount of produce, as well as fresh bread, fresh milk, butter and cheese, and we sold it all to Mr Harkin at the mercantile store.
“Reverend Forrest has informed us that you have quite a nice little community up your way now,” Mr Harkin said. “Yes, that is right. We call it Yumbarra Hamlet. We have had Reverend Forrest just this past Sunday, staying overnight on Saturday. We passed him early this morning. In fact, it seems a little rude letting him travel to us by horse and buggy, when we have a motor vehicle,” Florence replied.
“Our little hamlet has a community hall, blacksmith workshop, a school, one house with a second soon to be built, and stables and yards for horses,” I added. “My goodness, a very fast-growing little community you have,” Mr Harkin said.
“That will be the limit I am afraid, as there will be no more room for any extra buildings, as the hamlet is located on my land, in the far south east corner,” I stated.
“I see. Well, thankyou for what you have brought to us this time. It is a wonderful bounty of goods,” Mr Harkin said. We said goodbye and left the store, and our next stop was to purchase some more fence wire, staples and nails.
“Edwin Cameron, it’s about time you got here, you lanky rascal,” a voice called out, which made my wife stop still and look at me in shock. “It is alright, my dear, there is only one person who calls me that, and he is my cousin Daniel O’Connell,” I said to Florence smiling, as I turned to face my cousin.
“Hello, Daniel. This is quite a big surprise. What are you doing here in South Australia?” I said to my cousin as we hugged and shook hands. Our Ma and Pa were killed in a train wreck, in Switzerland, while on holidays, we have been staying with your Ma and Pa since then, and now we are here,” Daniel stated.
“We … do you mean Charlie is with you too?” I asked, and Daniel smiled and nodded his head, as his gaze moved over to Florence. “Oh sorry. Daniel, this is my wife Florence. Dear, this is my mother’s sister’s oldest son, Daniel O’Donnell,” I said making the introductions.
“It’s a pleasure to meet the lady who tamed my cousin Edwin,” Daniel said with a wicked grin. “Daniel, behave yourself. Now where is cousin Charlie?” I said to my cousin. “He is close by. We were about to go to the general store to get some supplies, for us and…” Daniel said, stopping short and smiling. “…and what?Come on, Daniel.We don’t have all day,” I said sounding a little annoyed.
“Well, Aunty Joan and Uncle Rory didn’t send just us. We also have 16 Alpine goats including one billy, and 120 Suffolk ewes and 4 rams,” Daniel announced. “Oh my, that is quite a large herd,” Florence exclaimed.
“Yes, dear, and it means that you will be driving the motor vehicle home. You must tell Archie to come down and meet us in the buggy with food and water supplies for the stock and us,” I said to my wife.
“Right, well we better get those supplies and I better get on my way,” Florence said as she led the way down the street to the farm supply store, while I climbed into the motor vehicle. Daniel climbed in next to me. “You must be doing well to have one of these contraptions,” Daniel said once I had crank started the engine, and we headed off to follow Florence.
“Once we had all the basic food supplies and farm supplies, and all of Daniel and Charlie’s luggage, I gave Florence a quick lesson on how to drive, before she set off out of town for home, nearly running over a few people in the process, which made me cringe a little. I hoped that she would get home safely.
It was good to see my cousins again, as I usually only saw them once every two years for Christmas, when the O’Donnell’s travelled down from Irvine on the west coast of Scotland, but Archie and I had missed the last family Christmas, so it was close to 2 ½ years since I last saw them.
Daniel was 18, the same age as Archie, while Charlie was 15, a year older than Simeon. My cousins told me all the news of their 7-week long journey, as we headed to the harbour yards, to collect all the stock. I was pleased to see that they all had bells around their necks, as we guided them through the streets of Ceduna, until we were out of town.
I had called into the farm supply store to buy two long lengths of rope, so that we could keep the sheep and goats together at night, and with just bedrolls and backpacks with basic food supplies, we trekked onwards towards home, when I heard a whining sound. I stopped and looked around to try and find the cause of the sound, and then I saw Charlie smiling as he retrieved a fluffy white dog out of his backpack.
“This is Jock. He is a 14-month old Scottish Western Terrier, a present from ye sisters for all of us,” Charlie announced, as he placed the dog on the ground, and we bent down to give him a pat. Daniel retrieved his water flask, and gave the dog a drink, while I cut off a small section of rope and gave it to Charlie, so as to make a lead for the dog, so he didn’t wander off, before we continued on.
We still had a good six-hours of daylight left, so I was hoping to get at least 6 to 8 miles out of Ceduna before night fall, depending on how slowly the sheep and goats went. We had them all attached to two ropes, so they stayed together, and once they stopped getting themselves tangled up and followed in a line, we started to make some good progress.
As we were trekking north west, I informed my cousins about Florence and her sons, and how they were neighbours until the death of her husband, and that Florence became house keeper for Archie and me, as well as us providing a home for them. I also told them that we had one of the bigger properties in the region, with just over 20,000 acres of land, of which half of it had a boundary fence around it.
When we stopped for an overnight camp, we found some trees to tie to ropes onto, and let the sheep and goats settle for the night, while we managed to get a fire going to keep us warm, and to boil some water for a cup of tea and cook a few potatoes and dried beef for our basic dinner.
Hopefully we would meet Archie the day after tomorrow, so we could get a decent meal and some water for the stock, as I was estimating it would take us four to five days to get the stock up to the homestead. Charlie who had always being the talkative one in his family kept us entertained with jokes and stories that he had learnt from the other travellers on the voyage to South Australia from Plymouth.
We were lucky to have clear or cloudy days for the first day and a half of our trek, but on our second night, it began to rain. The canvas sheets were barely keeping us warm and dry, as the wind picked up later in the night, as we huddled under a large gum tree for shelter.
Just before dawn, the wind and rain finally stopped, and I was able to drift off to a peaceful sleep, waking up when the sun was well up in the sky, and Daniel was getting the billy boiling for a cup of tea. “Good morning. Did you get much sleep?” my cousin asked when he saw me stirring.
“Eventually, once the damn wind and rain stopped,” I grumbled, as Charlie and Jock appeared from the bushes. “At least I had Jock to keep me nice and warm,” Charlie said with a big grin, and Daniel just chuckled. “Well, tonight you can freeze, and I will have Jock,” Daniel said to his younger brother.
“No way! Not going to happen,” Charlie responded, as I pulled out my pocket watch, to check the time. “Goodness, I haven’t slept this late since… actually I don’t know when,” I stated, as Daniel handed me a cup of tea, which I wrapped my chilled hands around, sighing at the warmth of the cup. The sheep and goats although soaked from the overnight rain, seemed to be content grazing on the moist grasses, as we packed up our camp and set off once again.
It was late morning before we finally saw Archie arriving in the horse and buggy. He steered off the track, tomake way for the stock. “Hello, Daniel and Charlie,” Archie called out after the stock had passed. “About time you got here, little brother. We had a very wet and miserable night last night,” I grumbled to Archie.
“Well, Florence had a difficult time driving the motor vehicle, and she didn’t arrive until just before dusk on Monday, which left it too late for me to leave right away, so I left first thing yesterday,” Archie explained.
“Well, you are here now. That is the main thing. Let’s stop and have a meal. We need to rest,” I announced. The stock continued to graze on the grasses while we were stopped. Archie retrieved some fresh bread, some apples and biscuits for us to eat.
Copyright Preston Wigglesworth January 2019 All Rights Are Reserved