Rural Notebook | Remember the days of the old saleyards

A QUIET yarn with Hartley Bowyer and Livermore agent Neil McDonald gave us an insight into regular cattle sales that were held in the Lithgow area in years gone by.

FAMILIAR FACE: Bowyer and Livermore long-time Hartley agent Neil McDonald.

FAMILIAR FACE: Bowyer and Livermore long-time Hartley agent Neil McDonald.

Boxer McDonald started work with Bathurst stock and station agents Bowyer and Livermore on October 3, 1971 and 43 years later he still proudly wears the B and L cap.

He described the South Bowenfels saleyard; 250 yards past the servo on the road to Lake Lyell and built by local identity Jack Grew.

B and L partners Peter Bowyer and Bob Bodel usually conducted the auction and regular buyers included Henry Luther, Jim Cunnynghame and Nev Scott (former manager of Lowther Park for Thompson Bros. Warrie).

Neil tells me that the rail trucking yards that were often used were situated just behind the Miner's Lamp on the Western Highway at Lithgow.


Tough drive

A BUSINESS trip took me to Captains Flat this week and the horrible season that starts near Blayney does not change one bit on that trip.

Not many livestock can be seen on bare paddocks and many of the toughest decisions have already been made.

Wool producers are probably in the strongest position as decent wool cheques have produced reasonable cash flow in spite of recurring drought.

The farming game seems to have become more risky as the run of dry seasons continues and the urge to "return to the land" doesn't seem to be as strong as it was.

Risk and reward

THE benchmark Eastern Young Cattle Indicator dipped below 400 cents to settle on 385.2c early last week, having fallen from a high of around 720c in August 2017.

Several meat traders are guessing that the EYCI will probably break the 800c glass ceiling when the string of drought years finally ends.

Fortune always favours the brave, but a certain type of bravery is needed to start restocking in present conditions.

Morgan night

TOMORROW night brings Chad Morgan to the Burraga Hall and there is a prospect of a big crowd, a lot of laughs and a chance to forget our problems for a few hours.

Please don't be the sad face that didn't go to see old Chad on his first appearance in downtown Burraga.

Barbecue will be held from 6pm and showtime will be at 7pm. Tickets at the door are $20 and under 12s are free.

Profits from the night will go towards the Burraga Sheep Show in August. There may be a real crowd, so a couple of plastic chairs in the boot might be a wise choice.

Getting close

THE Royal Bathurst Show on May 3, 4 and 5 will again be the highlight of autumn for many members of our community and country people always enjoy our local show.

Wool producers are always strong supporters of fleece sections in the wool pavilion and drop-off dates will be printed in this column in coming weeks.

Great job

MAYORS of our local towns and cities do an excellent job in being the spokesperson for their council.

Kathy Sajowitz in Oberon, Reg Kidd in Orange, Scott Ferguson in Blayney, Ray Thompson in Lithgow and Graeme Hanger in Bathurst are all adept at speaking to the media and are great advocates for their respective cities or towns.

On the rural scene, David McKay, NSW Farmers Bathurst, Rachel Nicoll, Hartley, and Hugh Webb, Oberon Branch, do their jobs well as spokespeople for their branches.

Bathurst Merino Association secretary Kirby McPhee makes good use of social media to keep members informed of industry happenings.

Not many community members remember to say thank you to these people who keep us informed of the activities of their organisations, so we'll raise our glass and carry on.

Please accept our thanks.

Just a guess

I CAN'T resist a crystal ball guess at Saturday's state election results:

  • Gladys to be returned with a loss of four Lower House seats and a two-seat majority.
  • Paul Toole to retain Bathurst with a four per cent swing against him.
  • Phil Donato to hold Orange with a three per cent swing to him.

Every reader's guess will be as good as mine, so the best of luck to all involved.

Diary dates

Monday, March 25: Bathurst Merino Association (BMA) committee meeting at Perthville Hotel at 7.30pm. All interested people welcome.

Saturday, March 30: BMA wether trial shearing at Cow Flat.

Wednesday, April 3: NSW Farmers AGM, Bathurst RSL, 7.30pm.

Thursday, April 4: Oberon-Hartley NSW Farmers AGM at Oberon RSL, 7.30pm.

May 3, 4, 5: Royal Bathurst Show.

Wool report

PRICES eased for the third week in a row across all micron guides.

The 18 micron and finer were the most affected, losing around 45 to 50c/kg. The medium to broad merino types lost between 30 and 40c/kg and the fine crossbreds also lost around 40c/kg, with all other crossbred categories unchanged.

The Northern Market Indicator finished the week on 2027c/kg, down 31c/kg.

The market is seeing increasing supply of low yielding wools with low newton strength and high mid breaks, which is making it very hard for processors to put together batches of good processing wools.

The wools with good test results are bringing good premiums above market value.

Next week will see 44,137 bales on offer nationwide.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

IF statistics tell us that 12 per cent of all serious car accidents are caused by drunk drivers, does that mean that the other 88pc are probably caused by teetotallers?


A CHEEKY shearer was in the barber's chair and trying to chat up the cute hairdresser.

"How about you and I meet for a drink when you knock off?" he asked.

"But I'm married," she answered.

"Just tell your hubby you'll be a bit late home," our man went on.

"You tell him," she said, "that's my Aldo at the next chair with the razor."


THE doctor told George that it was lovely to hear him call his wife of 53 years "sweetie" or "honey" to her face.

"To tell the truth, doc," George replied, "I forgot her name about 10 years ago and I'm not game to ask her what it is."