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TAS Country : October 21st 2010
10 Tasmanian Country Friday, October 22, 2010 News Woolmers to celebrate in style OLD WORLD: Woolmers general manager Damian Saunders, left, and Peter Lawrence show off some old shearing equipment. Pictures: ROSS MARSDEN KAROLIN MacGREGOR CHEERS: Kim Brundle-Lawrence, left, and Phyl Ockerby with Red Cross memorabilia. IT is almost 15 years since historic Tasmanian property Woolmers Estate was opened to the public. Next month, celebrations will take place to commemorate the establishment of the Woolmers Foundation. Peter Lawrence was one of the original founding members and his involvement with the magnificent Woolmers continues. Mr Lawrence said the celebrations on November 21 were designed to be fun and relaxing for the whole family. The events to be held from 10am to 3pm will include displays, music and activities for younger members of the family. The Woolmers shearing shed, which was built in 1819, will feature in the celebrations. Despite being the country's oldest shearing shed, the original building has been carefully maintained and still features most of its original timber work and structure. The shed, which has two levels, was used to shear wool from the estate's 6000 Merino sheep, which was then shipped back to England. Woolmers was originally settled by Thomas Archer before it was passed down through six generations of the family. Eventually the estate and its contents were entrusted to the foundation. Convicts were used as the major source of labour in the early days. And with about 4856ha of land by the 1850s, Woolmers was one of the largest employers of convict labour in the state. The shed features some convict graffiti, which was probably scribbled on walls during the many hours the convicts spent there during shearing time. Once shorn from the sheep, the wool was lifted on to the second level of the Woolmers shed, where it was pressed into bales. The bales where then loaded on to horse-drawn vehicles for transport. Woolmers general manager Damian Saunders said the foundation performed maintenance on the shed when needed, but tried to retain as much of the original building as possible. As part of the celebrations, Mr Lawrence will bring along some items from his extensive collection of vintage shearing equipment and memorabilia. One of the pieces will be a 1925 hand- powered Stewart Clipper machine, which was used before the invention of electric shearing plants. Mr Lawrence said as well as shearing sheep, the machine was also used to clip horses. Ron Murray from Westbury will also be shearing some sheep on the day using his 1930s shearing plant. Demonstrations of the traditional blade shearing are sure to keep the crowds entertained. About 20,000 visitors a year visit the Woolmers Estate which contains one of the most complete family records and collections of personal possessions of any property in the state. As well as the shearing equipment, a display of Red Cross memorabilia will also be on site on the day. The Longford Primary School choir will perform at 12.30pm, and a birthday cake will be cut as part of the celebrations. There will be performances by the RSL Pipe and Drums Band, the Longford Morris Dancers and the Classy Clowns. For vehicle enthusiasts, a display of vintage cars and motorcycles will also feature. A barbecue will be held on the day and visitors will be able to enjoy Tasmanian food, wine and cider. Guided tours of the magnificent homestead, outbuildings and the National Rose Garden will be conducted. Entry for adults will be by gold coin donation and anyone who goes along in period costume will get in for free.
October 14th 2010
October 28th 2010