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The First week

The images below were contributed by 3 different people who were on site during the first week of the 2014 season. They were forwarded to me via Anne Dawes (who was one of the photographers) of Farina Station.

For the next week I’ll be using images shot with “compact” cameras. On about May 18, we expect to begin receiving images from John Rapley, a Seymore photographer, who will be shooting with his Sony cameras.

He is expected to be on site until about the 25th. I’ll be on site myself for a rush trip on May 31 to try to cover the Cricket match week end. All being well, I’ll be back on site from June 8 or 9 until June 15.

The Second week

The images below were contributed by Lorraine Short and Peter Cram. On their return to Adelaide they emailed me the following…

“We have recently returned from 2-1/2 weeks at Farina.  We were the first to arrive on a cold, wet and somewhat muddy afternoon but soon joined with others in starting up “the action”.  Thus our photos will be limited to this time period.  (also there are participants whose cameras are far superior).  With this in mind I have only sent a few that may – or may not – be of interest,

For most of the time, Peter was working with the team who were constructing the new shower and toilet block.

My rostered tasks placed me inside the bakery van on most days, serving customers, who had come “seeking bread, buns, pies and some respite from the flies” according to one couple!  Sadly, we could not do anything about the flies except make sure that fly nets were firmly on our own heads!

We were unable to ascertain who the couple were on the camel trek.

On our last morning (Monday) Jeff Fulwood and Kevin, plus several assistants with sturdy backs, nudged the cattle truck into position.”

3rd and 4th Week

The following images were contributed by Victorian Photographer John Rapley. He emailed them to me after leaving the outback and regaining communications.

I was hard pushed to select images for this page from the copious excellent range sent to me by John. Once again, we had to wait for the photographer to return to Southern climes before we had adequate communications to do the transfer.

The beautiful image of singing around the campfire – featuring guitarist and composer Peter Cram really sets the scene for John’s contribution, and the wide angle shot of the daily project roundup shows part of the shearer’s quarters very well. The next 4 images were apparently shot during the station tour by Kevin Dawes. The first of these features the remains of an old drover’s shelter. Kevin is also seen fishing for Pigmy Perch in the remains of the last rains.

Last year I covered the deliver of the two railway waggons from Quorn. This year Jeff Fullwood has delivered another (this time Cattle) truck. As John illustrates, the same procedure for offloading and setup was successfully implemented.

With the delivery of the new catering van, we have been able to make the underground bakery more accessible to visitors. John shows a group of children leaving after their guided tour. One can see that the bakers in charge certainly enjoy their work!

Week 7 and 8 (the school holidays)

Most of the photographs (below) were from David Linn. The last 2 were from Martin MacLennan.

David tells me that the new (bigger, more powerful, but quieter) generator just installed has cured the oven controller failures that we were experiencing in week 5 or so.

It seems that demand for bakery products during the weeks 7 and 8 (the school holidays) was exceptional. It was quite normal for there to be a queue at the marque door at 8am, waiting for the start of business. On at least 2 occasions, the cupboard was bare by 1pm, so late-comers unfortunately missed out!

It wasn’t because of slackness of the bakers either – they were working like fury… pushing the old oven to capacity.

Martin tells me that at the end of the last week (8) work was begun to improve the old Scotch Oven. Master oven builder Dennis Benson, has come down from Queensland to lend a hand. I understand that (with help from Doug MacLennan and Kevin Dawes), he’ll be replacing the worn and uneven old house bricks from the floor of the oven with new fire-bricks, and re-working the roof of the oven (out the back of the building) to reduce heat loss, and also protect it from water damage after (the occasional) rain.

Doug MacLennan, under instruction from Dennis, is increasing the height of the chimney , and adding a chimney pot to reduce water damage and to improve the oven “breathing” and efficiency. Hopefully less wood will be required to produce the expected higher production demands next (and subsequent years).