Managers letter. 1883, 84, 85.

1883, 1884, 1885.

 

George Fairbairn, was the manager of Warrah after Richard Hudson. He was manager from 1880 to 1910. Jesse Gregson was the AACo Company superintendant. 

 

 

1883, 1884, and 1885 would have seen fairly dry times. Quirindi saw less than average rainfall, 500 mills for 1884 and about 550 mills for 1885. I suspect it was much much dryer in western parts of Warrah by the reports given?

A whim.

Whim gins were before windmills. Devices using a horse to bring buckets of water to the surface from a well, for livestock. Warrah had plenty of these and in a dry time it was a big job. All of the creeks in 1883 except the Warrah and the Mooki terminated once they hit the plains. The water just went underground, so there was hardly any surface water all along Warrah's northern boundary. Hence the need for wells.

This is a photo of a whim on Warrah from the 1800's. It's possible it could be the "Yarrabah" whim as it all lines up the same?

There was one on "Yarrabah" and you can still see scratched into the old tank a formula from some worker telling how far the horse has to walk to fill the tank. There is also the old bases of the wooden structure there.

 

The site of "Yarrabah"s whim today. The whims wooden structure was where the mill is now. Obviously the whim was pulled down and replaced by a windmill at some time.

Sheep shorn in "The grease" were simply shorn without being washed. In these days wool was worth more if it was washed before clipping. In later years the buyers found the grease, or lanoline had a good value so the practice soon stopped as it was from then on a waste of time and money.

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 21 AUGUST 1883.

 I now hand you my monthly statement. The month has been an exceedingly dry one and in fact I may say the whole of the winter months have been such as to arouse feelings of great anxiety for the future welfare of the stock, not only on Warrah, but throughout the whole of the North West. Stock are at the present time dying for want of grass, I will not say water, for all the runs through which I travelled appeared to be fairly well suplied in this respect. The feed on Warrah however, although short and precarious has been sufficient for our immediate requirements and the fat stock we are sending to Homebush have invariably realized the highest prices.

 

SHEEP.

Washing commenced on the 24th August but a considerable amount of time has been lost owing to sickness among the shearers. Up to the present time, 26,552 sheep have been clipped. The fleeces are in fine condition and I have no hesitation in saying they will far outweigh last years. The work too at the washpool is better than that of last year, a fair amount of brightness being attained without destroying the melloness of the wool.

Warrah's Washpool, at Warrah Creek.

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 11 DECEMBER 1883.

 

I now beg to hand you my monthly report.  Since writing to you on the 13th, 1.04 inch of rain has fallen over the run but as the storms have occurred at long intervals and the heat been too great to enable the grass to derive much, if any, benefit from them, the run, on the plains especially, has become so dry as to create no small amount of uneasiness in my mind and a copious fall of rain is much needed.  The bush country generally looks well both at East and West Warrah and the young stock and breeding ewes are well provided for, but the plains, although possessing a plentiful supply of grass, have dried up to such an extent that improvement in the condition of the fattening stock depasturing upon them cannot be expected and as the fat stock were heavily thinned previous to shearing, our prospects of lightening the run, in the event of a drought, are not very encouraging.  At the present time, not more than 12,000 fat wethers could be found amongst the Company's flocks and even these are not of sufficiently good quality to warrant our disposing of them, were we not compelled to do so by the exigencies of the season.  I started the drover Tudor on the 6th with 2044 Berida wethers of prime quality, estimated to weight 58 Ib in Sydney and Weale will take delivery of another draft tomorrow of similar number and quality.  Frazer should reach here on the 12th for 2000 Rimbanda wethers and I am making arrangements for a fourth drover to come up for another draft a week later.

 

John Frith should reach Homebush today with an exceptionally good draft of 200 bullocks and will return immediately for a draft of cows from Paddys Point. Isaac Frith will also reach Sydney with 202 very fair bullocks on the 20th for the Christmas market. I have instructed both these men to return for more fat stock without delay. 

 

Shearing was finished on the 22nd. 101,969 grown sheep and 15964 lambs having been put through the woolshed of which 8080 were shorn in grease.The clip was unusually heavy and well grown the Warrah breds shorn in grease giving 8.63 Ib of wool and the washed grown sheep of the same descriptions 4.03 of clean wool.  The yield of the lambs was also highly satisfactory.The lambs, shorn in grease which were taken in the earlier part of the year yielding a nett average of 2.88 and those that were washed 1.79 Ib. The clip of the purchased sheep also proves that the Company had selected the best wool producing wethers in the northern districts, their average being 3.34 of snow white wool per sheep, being the average of all sorts, not including lambs to 3.78 of washed wool being the best result ever previously attained on Warrah.

 

120 bales of greasy wool and 1416 bales of washed have been despatched giving a total of 1536 as the result of the years operations.

 

My brother at Windy is complaining that his stock of draught horses are likely to become unequal to the demands made upon them for watering the sheep and has requisitioned me to send him not only 4 extra draught horses but chaff and corn for those which are doing the heaviest amount of work.

 

 

JAMES FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 27 DECEMBER 1883.

[James Fairbairn was George Fairbairn's brother and was working at West Warrah, or Windy Station today.]

 

I am happy to say Christmas passed away without any hindrance to the work or annoyance to myself.  The desire for grog amongst the men was very great and fearing that they would slip off to the publicans during the night I provided a Christmas dinner for all those waterdrawers who had worked throughout the day and at 7 p.m. I gathered them in. I gave them plenty to eat and lots of coffee to drink and kept them amused till near 9 o'clock and then despached them to their respective homes.  On the following morning I was out early to go round to all the wells and found every man at his post. In this way I think I prevented a drinking bout which had it occurred, on the station at this critical period would have brought about an amount of trouble and annoyance easily understood by you.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 5 FEBRUARY 1884.

 

Although reports are to hand of heavy storms in Queensland and to the North, I regret to state that we have not participated in the same visitation and am inclined to think, that so far as New South Wales is concerned, the rainfall in question has been prospective rather than real. At one time the aspect was so threatening, that I really did expect a break in the weather, the change taking place with the moon and on the 1st February, a month in which rain is generally looked for, but 19 points fell however, making a total of 1.19 inch for the month.  In the present dry state of the country, this is not sufficient to benefit the grass in the least, but as the temperature has been considerably lowered by it, the stock will consume less water from this out and therefore will be more likely to hold condition. With the exception of the tank in Nowlands paddock which retains sufficient water for the sheep, there is no surface water on the plains, which confirms me in my opinion, long since entertained, that the stock depend on the wells in dry times for water.  The nature of the strata here prevents the possibility of carrying tanks down to a sufficient depth and the slopes are too steep to admit of much being gained by the construction of dams, therefore I would strongly recommend that for the future wherever practicable, small tanks only be sunk alongside the wells, similar to the one in Round Island, as a substitute for troughs by rigging the wells with self acting buckes, these tanks, no matter how large could easily be filled from them in the winter months, or when the requirements of the stock are not very great, and afterwards kept filled as the troughs are now. supplied during the dry months.  Either this or wooden or iron tanks, similar to those now in use at St. Helena, Brown Ridge and Campions Island, which have been found to act very satisfactorily and have proved of great assistance this year.

 

The most of the paddocks on the eastern side of the cattle track, are still fairly well clothed with grass, the ringbarked country especially so, but at West Warrah the state of the run is not so encouraging, although the stock do not exhibit any signs of falling off. Mount Parry, Pump Station, Upper McDonalds Creek and Paddy's Point paddocks, are fairly well off for feed and there is a supply of rough stuff to be found in Lower McDonalds Creek, St. Helena, Brown Ridge and Lower Denbigh paddocks.  The rest are very bare, some black, particularly Haydons and Pine Ridge. I am glad to state however, that the underground supply of water although somewhat lower than it was, is as vigorous as ever.  At one time I felt rather anxious on this account.  Hamiltons Island, Bull paddock, Upper McDonalds Creek, Brown Ridge and Parsons Hill wells having suddenly failed and Pump Station Creek having dried up to within a short distance of the south boundary fence. Matters were so arranged that the sheep did not suffer inconvenience while the process of deepening was going on and now we have an abundance of water. Although in no instance, except in the case of Brown Ridge, which was merely cleaned out, were the men able to sink to a greater depth than two feet, a long hole was also opened out. in the bed of Pump Station Creek, and a supply of water, ample for present requirements, obtained within 12 inches of the surface.

 

The special stud paddock well remains dry.  I found it necessary to take the men out of it, to deepen others more urgently needed, but intend to proceed with it as soon as circumstances will enable me to do so.The stud ewes have suffered nothing through the failure of their well, the fences between them and the wells in the adjoining small paddocks having been opened for their use and a man kept in constant attendance upon them. The small spring dams in the Toll Bar paddock are holding sufficient water for the sheep.  There is also a fair supply in Bowden and Borambil dams, but Colly Crk. is dry. Upton's Tank contains several feet of water and the most of the Jack's creek sheep are being supplied from it.

 

Five native dogs have been seen in Warrah Creek paddock during the month one of which has been shot dead, another captured in one of Lassetter's steel traps. Mr Sisson hopes soon to be able to give a good account of the remaining three. A few sheep were killed by them, but nothing serious has resulted from their depradations.

 

 Cattle. 

The cattle continue to thrive.  The older classes of bullocks have never looked better than they do now and with the assistance of a little fresh feed many of the younger animals would soon reach standard weights.  In fact I may say that almost the whole of the bullocks (about 800) from three years up, are in good marketable condition.)  400 of which are prime fat.  202 of the latter, started for Sydney this morning.  They are fairly well grown, as fat as you could well imagine anything to be, weigh Bh cwt.  The roads however are in a bad state, grass being seldom obtainable and water procurable nearer than the Merriwa reserve.  I have instructed the drover (Isaac Frith) to feed them on apple tree leaves until he reaches Jerry Plains and then to buy grass for them wherever he can get it and tender vouchers for any extra cost over and above what is usually allowed.

 

Owing to the dry state of the country between here and Queensland, buyers of bulls have been afraid to operate and a sale has not yet been effected, but when the weather breaks a brisk demand will probably arise for this class of stock and unless matters become more serious than they are now, I daresay we shall be able to make provision for them until then.

 

 

Improvement.

 

  Upton is making fair progress with his fencing and will probably have it finished within the next 3 months.  His last contact was for 40 miles, 16 of which have been taken over, posts erected on 6 miles more, which with the St. Helena, Campions Island and Hamiltons Island subdivisions will make 31 miles, or about 9 miles less than his agreement specifies, but the Pine through Middle Onus, the continuation of the one from Red Ridge to the Black Creek track and the renewal of the fence along the Great Northern Road, which I presume, you intent to have done, will about complete the extent of his contract.  The division of McDonalds Creek was also partly decided upon and I would like much to have it done.  Barkwill has completed the Parson's Hill tank including the side drains which you leveled with the theodolite when last here.  The drains on both sides measure  chains and have been made sufficiently wide to carry all the rain likely to fall.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 11 FEBRUARY 1884.

 

I regret to say that we have had an opportunity of tasting the sweets of a tremendous bush fire which originated from the pipe of one of Upton's fences. I returned from Windy last Saturday afternoon and at 6 p.m. a man rode in to say that a fire had sprung up in Green Hill paddock at 4 p.m. and that a dozen men had been beating at it since its commencement, but could make no impression on it and Green Hill, Jacks Creek and Upper Harrisons paddocks where our best grass is, were in flames,  I made a hurried muster of all the men I could get hold of and started out quickly with a supply of wet bags, arriving at the scene of the fire at 1 p.m.  At this time it extended from Middle Onus fence to Upper Harrisons from along the line between Jacks Creek and Green Hills. I immediately set to work and got the side out next to Jacks Creek and then galloped across to the side next to Green Hill paddock. The flames which were now assisted by a strong southerly wind were running with terrific fury, but nearly every man on the station, to the number of fifty, had by this time arrived and after a great struggle we succeeded in getting the fire out after about five hours, the quantity of grass consumed must be nearly 1500 acres, not used up country, but really good cattle grass knee high, a great many old posts along the line in course of erection were burnt, also a number of battens laid along it.  I have been in continual dread of fire and for some time through the carelessness of Upton's men, have threatened, cautioned them repeatedly.  All Upton's men, including himself, turned out and assisted and a number of men, including my brother, came over from Windy.

 

The country at Windy is looking very bad and to relieve the paddocks I have had to arrange for the removal of 12000 sheep to this side.  Mount Parry has gone off very much and I have been compelled to remove 7000 sheep from it.  2000 to the Mountain Paddock and the balance to Pump Station and Upper McDonalds Creek.  I have also shifted the Hamiltons Island wethers (Haddon Rig) which were beginning to lose condition to Parsons Hill and will lighten the Denbigh paddocks by putting 2000 into Upper Harrisons.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 2 MAY 1884.

 

A couple of days ago, the Quirindi police wrote me that a bullock supposed to have been stolen from the Company, was running in a paddock belonging to Walhollow, adjoining Hall's property and bearing what they believed, or what their informant believed, to be the Company's G brand recently faked to 0.  They at the same time advised me to send a man over to identify him, but after considering the matter and consulting with the Murrurundi Sergeant of police, who happened to be on this place, I decided to send a man over to identify the bullock and with instructions, should he think him to be the Company's to take him, which he did.  There is no doubt in my mind that the beast in question is one of the Green Hills or Washpool bullocks.  I had him in the yard this morning and examined him.  He is a rich red well bred looking animal in good condition but showing signs of having fallen away greatly. Branded I on the thigh under the faking, which appears to have been done about 3 weeks or a month ago, with perhaps the point of a bullock bow.  He also wears an earmark which is beginning to fret and a piece of rope with a coupling chain attached to it, fastened round the horns.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 17 MAY 1884.

 

Dunne, one of the Windy fence cutters, has been fully committed for trial at Maitland in June next, for the horse stealing part of the business.  I don't think this gang will be likely to make short cuts through Windy again mounted on stolen horses.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 27 MAY 1884.

 

Upton has been settled for the East Warrah portion of his fencing contract and is now engaged with the erection of the line across McDonalds Creek, as the whole of the posts for the other lines are split, I don't suppose it will take him much longer to finish the whole contract. 

 

The sapping I am afraid you have lost sight of although our experience has proved it to be the most productive improvement the Company can make. However it is too late now to do anything in this way beyond keeping suckers down during the present year.

 

 

Cultivation.

 

  In compliance with your instructions to have the most unproductive portion of the lucern paddock, about 15 acres, ploughed up and sown with oats for a crop of hay I have been endeavouring to do so ever since you were here, but owing to the weak condition of the bullocks in the neighborhood consequent upon the drought, my efforts have not been very successful.  However I have at last agreed with a farmer to commence the work on the 1st June, provided his bullocks, which are now feeding on geen oats, will then be strong enough to enable him to do so.  Lucerne roots are very strong and horses are unsuitable for breaking them up, as an instance  of which, Hall, my present contractor for the job, informs me that when ploughing up W. Britton's lucerne paddock at the Willow Tree two years ago he broke three strong ploughs which horses would have been unable to break.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 6 JUNE .1884.

 

Refering to your letter of the 2nd about the introduction of hydraulic power into the wool shed, there can be no question as to the present press being altogether too slow for the requirements of the shed and were we to employ 50 shearers the work could not possibly be done with it without occasionally blocking the shearing, but the capacity of the Washpool will not admit of 50 shearers being put on the board therefore we have generally been able to scheme along by working 18 hours a day.  I have known the shed to be blocked with wool.  I do not however think you could effect a saving of more than 6d per bale by hydraulics even supposing the press were to meet anticipations which you appear to doubt.  But on the other hand were it to answer as well as I an informed it has done in other places I can see no reason for doubting why it should.  The efficiency of the wool shed appliances should not I think be reduced to the consideration of a few pounds shillings and pence.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 24 JULY 1884.

 

Men have been employed for the last few weeks excavating alongside the woolshed as preparations for the new hydraulic press which work will probably be completed on Thursday next.

 

I regret that I have been put to very great inconvenience during the last few days owing to the absconding of Hough, the store keeper. He left here during your last visit to Warrah and has not turned up since having embezzled a cheque No. 200/84 amounting to £6.10. But as Hough's wife has returned I daresay I may yet have an opportunity of getting hold of this fellow to straighten matters in connection with his store. 

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 19 AUGUST 1884.

 

Improvements.

 

Upton has completed the erection of the subdivision lines through to McDonald's creek and St. Helena paddocks with the exception of the hanging of the gates which were not to hand when he was ready for them and now hints very suggestively at a claim for compensation.  However the gates have reached the railway station and will be forwarded to him immediately, he is at present engaged with the erection of Hamilton's Island line and as the wellsinkers have struck water in Singleton's well I have authorised him to commence that subdivision also, the completion of which will finish his contract.

 

Laurie, I am informed, has bolted from the work he had in hand at Box Island, leaving about 100 yards unfinished, but Barkwell who is doing the Box Island tank, in the adjoining paddock, is making rapid progress and will finish in the course of another ten days when I daresay I shall be able to get him to finish Laurie's tank as well.  The whim gin which is being erected over this well, is well underway everything being finished but the drum, which the carpenter James is now working at.  Mallon has been employed during the past three weeks effecting repairs to the Washpool.  The fixings under the tubs and stagings having become very delapidated.  A man has also been employed during the month raising the embankments along the drains of the tanks at Red Ridge for the purpose of utilizing the embankments which were placed at too low a level.  The drays have been kept constantly employed hauling supplies from the railway station, but when this work is finished we shall be able to make arrangements for giving the plough and scoop a fair trial.

 

As I had no guarantee that shearers would be plentiful this year notwithstanding the inducement of the bonus of £4 per man which is held out to them, I have given all good shearers that have applied to me for work, sapping at I/- per acre, the usual rate, until shearing begins.  There are at present about 30 shearers employed at this work and I daresay we shall have to account for the cost of fully 6000 acres when shearing commences which I venture to say you will not be displeased at in two years time when results come to be shown, the ground now being sapped by these men is No. 2 Stud paddock, Willow Tree, Borambil, Dry Creek, Timber in Yellow Plain, Warrah Ridge, and Devils Camp.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 16 September 1884.

 

Shearing was commenced on the 1st, and the washing on the 25th, and if a good commencement means a good ending we should have a very satisfactory year's work.  The board is still full although some six shearers have been discharged.  The work hitherto has been good, 23,000 sheep have been shorn to date.  The largest day's work being yesterdays amounting to 2750.  The washing too could not be progressing more favorably.  1900 per day are being turned out a fair amount of brightness attained and the fleeces singularly soft and mellow on the wool table.  The average clip however owing to the depressing influences of the late dry summer will be lighter and inferior to that of last year and I expect to have more tender woll than we had in 1878 but the clip will be much better that the 1878 clip in that as much of the wool is free from seed and burr with the exception of the points and bellies which are always have burrs owing to the prevalence of clover. 

 

The sheep shorn are the Special Stud ewes with their lambs, the rams in grease, and the purchased wethers, which will be finished today.  These purchased sheep will close the first portion of consignments of wool to the Great Northern wool dumping and shipping Company, and a commencement of the test consignments will be made to the Newcastle Company tomorrow.

 

 

Improvements.

 

  Up to the present I regret to state the plough and scoop have not proved a success, but at the same time I must admit they are not only new to the workmen but new to myself, therefore I am not in a position at present to say much for or against them.  So far we have been able to get no use out of them, but as the bullock driver who was engaged at the trial when you were here, has bolted from the work in disgust and another driver has been employed in his place, it is just possible we may be able to render a better account of our stewardship next week.  The new whim gin with self-acting buckets which has been erected over the Box Island well is acting admirably and the unfinished tank there will most probably be completed by the end of next week. The hay shed at Old Warrah has been weather-boarded and any chaff that suffered from dampness during the late rain has been dried.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 14 OCTOBER 1884.

 

I now hand you my usual monthly report on this portion of the Company's holdings.  Since the 16th, the date of my last report, the run has been visited by another welcome rainfall of 3.06 inches.  This has simply crowned it, and whatever misgivings we may have had previously as to risk in purchasing store wethers, they must now be entirely dispelled.  The plains are clothed with a luxuriant growth of grass and although the whole of the Stock are depasturing on them thetoy allowing the grass on the ridges ample time to grown their present appearance might lead a stranger to supppose that the paddocks are unstocked.  Acting on your instructions to buy 30,000 store wethers, a buyer, Mr. Blair , was promptly dispatched to Goodooga with instructions to inspect and report on various lots of wethers said to be suitable which were offered for sale.  The result of which inspection is that we have closed for 25,000; viz. 10,000 Brenda wethers @5/9 each, and 15,000 Cubbie wethers @ 6/- payable at six months.  I have, however, experienced considerable difficulty in getting the exact numbers at the price you have limited me to, for although several 5,000 lots are now under offer I cannot make sure of getting one 5,000 lot without committing the Company to the purchase of two, and I now ask your permission to take 35,000.  We may not find it necessary to buy 35,000 although the run is well able to receive then, but in dealing for the limit you have given me there is a chance of our being left with the number we have already closed for, viz, 25,000.  Mr. Blair telegraphs me that 5.000 good wethers are offered at Comburrah, terms 5/- each delivered at Brenda, these are most suitable and I have telegraphed him to inspect them, then again we have the opportunity of getting the 6000 Gilgoin sixtooths @ 6/- said by Blair to be the best sheep he has inspected, we are still committed to the purchase of this lot provided the owners wish to sell them.

 

 

 FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 6 FEBRUARY 1885.

 

About 2300 yards have been excavated at the Red Ridge tank at a cost of about £57.12 or 6d per yd.  The men have been at no other work since they started but had they been working by contract instead of by day no doubt they would have put out the same quantity in far less time.  They have it down 4 ft. and the rock will prevent their sinking more than from 6 to 12 inches deeper.

 

I saw Alby on Wednesday.  He appears to be getting on very slowly and said he was heartbroken.  Complains he can't get his saws to work no how, that the bench is too short for the lengths and was altogether out of sorts. The man evidently does not know how to sharpen his saws.  The teeth are all shapes and lengths and sizes and badly set.  I told him I would send out for three of them tomorrow and have them sent to Newcastle for repairs.   Old Smeale is carter for him and keeps an account of the timber from which it appears that 16000 feet, chiefly square piers, were cut up to last Saturday night. The cost of which, in wages, without taking into consideration the cost of cutting the logs at Id per foot, amounts to about £80 or 10/- per hundred feet.

 

                                                                                    

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 31 MARCH 1885.

 

I now hand you my monthly statement for the month of March. I had hoped that this the run would be blessed with a fall of rain sufficient to dispel all misgivings as to winter prospects but regret to state that I have to some extent been disappointed.  The month commenced well with a fall of 0.90 inch of rain which with sundry other showers brings the total up to 1.14 inch since the date of my last report, and 1.59 inch for the whole of March.  This rain following as it did closely on the February showers produced a great improvement in the appearance of the plains also the stock which are grazing on them so much so that we were induced to discontinue sending fat sheep to market in its depressed condition.  At present however I am not very sanguine of good results in the absence of rain, but the run is still able to meet the requirements of the stock for some months.  The plains, although very scantily grassed, are carrying the sheep satisfactorily, and the mountain paddocks from East to West along the Southern boundary are in good condition.  There is a prospect of a fair lambing as both the ewes and the paddocks we have decided to lamb them in are very much better than they were this time last year and the supply of surface water is quite as plentiful as it generally is in dry seasons.  The wells, too, exhibit little or no sign of weakness but not withstanding all this, we cannot deny the fact that rain is needed and anxiously looked for.

 

I regret to state that a change has recently taken place in the staff at Windy, by the retirement of the Overseer, Mr. James Fairbairn, [George Fairbairn's brother], an officer who has served the Company well during the last eight years.  He leaves of his own free will tomorrow the 1st proximo, and will be succeeded by Mr. R. j.n. Ogden (on trial), Mr. Ogden, as you are aware, is a son of the Company's late surveyor and has been working at Windy very energetically as an assistant  for something over three years.  I cannot say how he will succeed but feel sure he will do his best to perform his duties to the entire satisfaction of the Company.

 

 

Improvements.

 

  The improvements which have been carried out during the month consist of the sinking of a new well in Pump Station Creek, the erection of a whim over same, and laying of a new line of troughs, erection and completion of nearly two miles of fencing along the Great Northern road, and repairs to 1. mile  from Curley's corner, to Flaggy Gully on the east side of Toll Bar paddock.  The erection of a whim over Upper McDonald's Creek well, a new hut for use of Overseers at drafting yards at Jack's Creek, sinking of a well above Old Warrah intended for purposes of irrigation of two acres of ground which is now being prepared for use as a kitchen garden, the intention being to grow vegetables in sufficient quantities to supply the requirements of all the employees at East Warrah. Completion of the Upper Harrison's Red Ridge tank and drains, raising of embankment round existing tank at Green Hill and sinking of a new drain erection of a new whim gin over the new Haydon's Well, and laying of two new lines of troughs into Haydon's and Black Creek paddocks respectively. Removal of the old woolpress at Woolshed and preparations for the erection of the Hydraulic press, the excavations necessary for which will be commenced in the course of a few days. The cutting of 29000 feet of timber for building and fencing purposes by Jasper Pittock at Pine Ridge and the suckering of the sapped timber in Four mile paddock.  We have also started the ploughing of the Cultivation paddock at Willow Tree and the work is getting on rapidly, about 10 acres being now ready for sowing with wheat, intended for hay.

 

I have verbally agreed with Mr. McNair, builder of Murrurundi, to erect the new Windy Homestead within 6 months from date at a cost of £450, contractor binds himself to find all material except sheet-iron, timber and paper.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 22 APRIL 1885.

 

We shall have the ground for the garden ploughed up this week and will be ready for the wire in the course of next.  The garden will be 100 yards x 100 yds Therefore you will know what quantity of netting or sheet iron, as you may decide, to send.  We may have white lead enough in stock to paint the gates.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 28 APRIL 1885.

 

I regret to state that the past month has proved the driest we have experienced since the beginning of 1884, the rain-gauge having registered but .39 inch since the date of my last report.  Some storms have however fallen over other parts of the run producing a little freshness in favoured places, notably McDonald's Creek, and the paddocks lying along the southern half of Windy.  All the bush paddocks are still well grassed, but the northern side of the run from East to West is mostly very brown and badly in need of rain. The weather too is becoming raw and frosty which is naturally telling on the feed of a substantial growth as well as on the young tender grass recently started by the rain. All the Stock however are doing well, and those which are not improving are holding their condition. Although the sheep are still drinking the demands upon the wells have not been heavy of late, and waterdrawing has consequently been reduced to a minimum, the waterdrawers being employed half their time cutting burrs.

 

 Of the hoggett rams poisoned through eating milk thistle whilst approaching the yards.  It is a well known fact that sheep unaccustomed to eating milk thistle are liable to die from this cause, and hoggetts are especially prone to it.  Mr. Haydon of Blandford has, I understand, recently lost a number of sheep through shutting them up in a yard which contained thistle, and I myself have had similar experience of its ill effects upon hungry sheep in New South Wales.

 

The sale rams have been carefully culled and I think you may safely venture to ask £3 per head for them, and would also feel much pleased to hear of your having submitted them to offer of sale, as they are to some extent in our road.

 

 

FAIRBAIRN TO GREGSON, 26 MAY 1885.

 

Improvements. 

 

With the exception of the erection of a Cottage at Old Warrah for the gardeners, which is now approaching completion, Carpenter Mallon   has been employed during the month assisting Littlewith the erection of the New Hydraulic wool press.  Mr. Kerle the Engineer in charge of this work arrived on the 13th inst. in order to see the Machinery tested and left again on the 15th.  He appeared to be satisfied with the working of the pipes and rams, but arranged for several portions including the accumulator gland which was found to leak badly, to be taken out and returned to the Atlas Company for renewal, which was accordingly done.

 

Pittock has cut about 80,000 fencing battens, and 40,000 feet of building and other timber, I have therefore issued instructions for the sawing to cease as soon as a few thousand feet of useful hard wood timbers for gins Gates and other purposes are cut, but I reckon counting two battens to the rod we shall require 100 000 battens for the subdivision fences decided upon and the fencing of the roads lately conceded to the Government. 

 

 

The Company this year will clip 118,000 sheep of which 102,900 are grown and the balance 5 month lambs and as we have but 34 shearers we cannot hope to put them through faster than at the rate of 1,800 per day so that the shearing will extend into November. The improvements in course of progress are extensive and will neccessarily involve the expenditure of a large amount of cash this year. Upton is proceeding with his fencing at the rate specified in the contract namely 3 miles per month. Barkwill and party have completed the unfinished tank at Red Ridge including the digging of side drains and are now employed sinking a new one near the same site in Parsons Hill paddock.

 

An agreement has been entered into with three men to excavate 3 tanks intended to be used in place of troughing at the wells and they are now employed at the Round Island. The timber which is intended for a wooden tank at Campions Island is being carried out and will be ready for the builders in a few days. Timber is being cut and prepared for a new whim gin at Round Island and for the new well at Big Jacks Creek. The bull paddock well at West Warrah has been retimbered.

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Harald GATENBY | Reply 15.08.2019 19:12

Sounds like they all had long tough days, and in Mr Fairbain's case writers cramp at the end of each day ! Most work carried on outside the Warrah I lived on.

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