Heavy horses haul back the years for charity
MEMORIES of days gone by where brought back to life yesterday at Mick Bradford's picturesque Swanfels property for the 14th Heavy Horse Demonstration Charity Day.
A record crowd turned out to enjoy the beautiful spring day while watching live demonstrations of heritage machinery in action, wandering around the huge machinery displays and market stalls, and enjoying refreshments on comfortable bales of hay.
Good friends of Mick Bradford, Allen Mealy and Richard Wheeldon said Mr Bradford could possibly have one of the largest heritage machinery displays in Australia and it was a credit to him that he puts on this day for the public each year and donates the proceeds to RACQ CareFlight.
"There are not many place in Australia that you can see so much working gear from days gone by," Mr Mealy said.
"This is my fifth year here, and having Clydesdales of my own, I enjoy attending the day and learn more each time."
One of the many demonstrations during the day was of the lucerne cutting reaper in action driven by Mick Bradford jnr.
The reaper is one of the oldest pieces of machinery in Mr Bradford's collection and dates back to the 1880s.
Mr Mealy said it was amazing to watch the reaper in action and showed just how far productivity had come over the past 100 years.
"Using the reaper would have involved catching and harnessing the horses before even starting work, giving the horses breaks during the cutting process, then the workers would get out with a pitch fork and throw the lucerne onto a wagon followed by manually tying it all up into sheaves," he said.
"These days they just jump on a tractor and that's it."
Mr Bradford has been collecting machinery for more than 40 years and has 16 Clydesdales.
He said he was pleased to see so many people take an interest in his treasures which are near and dear to his heart.
"I think this is the most people I have ever seen here," he said.
"We had a huge crowd for all the demonstrations but the highlight of the day was when we harnessed the eight Clydesdales up to pull the cultivator."