Even with all the cooking and providing required to look after the shearers and the rest of the ‘team’ (shed hands, rouseabouts, etc . ), I loved the ‘smoko’ breaks – at the shearing shed – in search of. 30am and again at 3 pm – SHARP!! Here was one of the fantastic tips to these ‘likely lads’ instructions, Pat and Ned. What is the perfect way to find the Swing beam shear?
Whenever I was sighted, on my way with the ‘teas’ – the words would reverberate around the shed instructions ‘ducks on the pond.’ So ?? If I heard them, they meant nothing to me. In the future, I would learn that this is the shearers’ standard warning: a woman was approaching all the things ‘dirty ditties and yarns,’ and any bad vocabulary must stop until the mentioned lady was out of the ability to hear. Gentlemanly Manners?? Well, I never…
‘There was movements at the station’ – will be the first words of a well-known Aussie poem, but I think ‘Banjo’ Patterson would have arranged – there was far more feverish movement and sound within the shearing shed. On the outside, there was much milling around connected with sheep, packed sardine-like of their pens.
The shorn people loudly bleated their demonstration at the outrage of the means their precious overcoats were unceremoniously stripped from them. And others are still ‘in waiting’ simply because it was, equally loudly, bleating their fear of the mysterious that awaited them inside the ‘hell-hole’ that humans get in touch with a shearing shed. Almost nothing older, experienced hands and fingers had to ‘baa’ about prompted confidence – or may dispel the mind-numbing fright the first-timare ers experiencing. (It might only be a small mind, but the fear equipment is HUGE! )
Apart from lambs baa-ing and dogs shouting, the noise of the generator that ran the shearing machines was intense. Whenever it blissfully stopped: yes – for the ‘smoko’ – everyone found that they were there to lower their voices quite a few sound levels in the ‘deafening’ silence ensuing.
‘Downtime for the particular shearers themselves – yet ‘full on for the rest of the particular shedhands – ‘throwing’ the very last fleece, ‘skirting’ it, and also piling it into the constructed from the wool bale in the wool click; emptying the outside counting pencils for the shorn sheep in the bottom of the chute, having saved their numbers; moving every group of sheep one note down closer to the shearing program; and trying to gulp lower a ‘cuppa’ and require a couple of handfuls of cases-cro? Te and cake to eat out and about. Sometimes there was a moment to be able to sit and enjoy – yet too often, ‘smoko’ was above without any respite for these staff.
And the smell of a shearing shed is like nothing more you could ever experience. It is actually as though all that timber in the pens and the floor include absorbed the countless years of lanolin, the natural oil inside wool, the wool fragrance itself, the animals’ unique particular smell, and their grassy breath – and their manure pellets that don’t hold fragrance terrible because they are herbivores.
Along with the ‘background note’ to this concoction? The odd fume and three of diesel emanating from the ‘monster’ motor powered the shearing appliance – and, in turn, the shearers’ handpieces. An electricity network would not be possible until many years later.
Referencing the lanolin has just contributed another memory to the floor. With all the toughness and ‘rough edges’ of these two adult males, Pat and Ned, you might not believe just how delicate and smooth their hands and fingers were, thanks to this lanolin in the wool. They had hands and fingers that any lady will openly admire and covertly covet – maybe the best ‘softness’ about shearers?
I had fashioned an exciting attempt at ‘throwing’ some sort of fleece, wherein I threw myself with it. To complete is to pick up the bear hair in a magical, secret technique so that it can then be ‘thrown’ covering the wool sorting table rapid a large steel frame coated with broad cyclone cord – wherein the magic comes about, in that it lands properly spread out over the whole exciting depth and breadth of that family table.
The ‘secret’ is explained to you and demonstrated sometimes, but it remains a ‘secret’ to some of us. I experimented with; I failed dismally; anyone watched and laughed; my spouse and I blushed – and retreated post-haste to my Home and my secret along with magical potions that THEY cannot do!
The point of ‘throwing’ the fleece and obtaining it falls correctly is it is then ‘skirted’ – that is, to have all the rough and dirty outside bits drawn off and discarded right into a particular pile. And then, the actual fleece (still ‘hanging together’) was rolled, folded, gathered right into a bundle, and put into the massive wool bag within the wool press. At that time, the actual Ajax Handpress was controlled by brute workforce stress on two levers, a few three times over, which led to the compaction of the made of wool into 200kg. Bales, expecting delivery to the wool shops.
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