Claude and Alice Saunders.

Claude Saunders was interviewed by Neil Barwick, with Claude's wife Alice, at their home in South Tamworth.

Claude Saunders was born in 1927.  He spent the first 50 years of his life living and working in and around the Warrah 1912 subdivision area.  He is married to Alice (nee Miller) and they have 3 daughters.

His father Clyde resided on Farm 58 after Claude’s  grandfather Fred passed on his farm to Clyde, and he also farmed on the western portion of Farm 57 bought from his uncle Fred Saunders.  

Farm 58 and the western portion of farm 57 are now owned by Bo Ward, and are called "Glendale". 

The original Saunders home is still standing today. Just metres from Big Jacks Creek.

These farms were set up as a dairy,the cows were hand milked,separated for cream and the milk then fed to fatten pigs and calves.The cream was taken to rail at Willow Tree first by horse and dray and later by lorry, then railed to Singleton for processing.The pigs and calves were sent to market in Quirindi by spring cart but later by carriers to Scone.After dairying finished in the mid 50’s, sheep were run with a small area of cropping.

Claude's father was Clyde. According to the book, "1912 Warrah Subdivision", Clyde was the last registered dairy farmer on Big Jacks Creek, as by 1954, the former dairy farmers up that creek had either left the area, or diversified their farms into sheep and cattle or cropping. Also, by this time the cream lorries had ceased running and Clyde Saunders took his own cream to Quirindi twice a week.

Claude first attended school at the convent in Quirindi, boarding with family members.He then returned home to attend subsidised school in a room in a dwelling on their farm. 9 children attended.However some time later further up the valley, Arthur Saunders organised a small school called Mt Boo which then had the attendance of the students from the subsidised school which closed plus 5 Bradley children from Millers Creek station at the head of the valley.After finishing primary school, Claude boarded in Sydney at St GregorysCampbelltown for 12 months.

Apon returning home Claude started shearing at age 15 years.He would have to ride his horse to local shearing sheds, over the ridge to Kelahers Farm 72 in Little Jacks Creek, to Bunty Halls Farm 44 and other district sheds.He shore Jack Daly’s sheep for 19 years.When Claude announced that he was giving away shearing, Jack Daly said,

“If I’d known you weren’t going to be a permanent, I wouldn’t have put you on!”

Between shearing jobs, he did all manner of casual farm work and finally quit shearing when he purchased the eastern portion of Farm 59 from Bill Perkins (Murrurundi), and also in 1962, farm 82 from Bob Holt which Claude owned for 6 years.

The eastern portion of farm 59 is also now a part of Bo Wards "Glendale". In a strange co-incidence, Bo Ward also now owns block 82, called "Raplock".

In the 70’s Claude sold his farms, moved into Quirindi and then to Tamworth.Here he took a job for 12 months on a small cattle hobby farm before taking on shearing again.He worked with a shearingteam run by his brother-in-law, ranging out into the north-west as far as Walgett and into New England and Tamworth regions.Claude finally quit shearing for the second time when he was 63 years of age.

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Latest comments

12.06 | 20:33

What a wonderful story, enjoyed it very much.

06.06 | 22:53

What great history that now seems to be forgotton. ⚓🦉🐉🦂💙👑

10.05 | 15:31

Takes me back to wonderful childhood days visiting "Merrieton" and "Towarri". At about age 12, I thought Tony (aged about 24) was the most handsome chap around

06.01 | 15:43

Which farm did "Pop Mackelvane" have, I was there during the last part of the second war.

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