Shearing set to return to Bannaby

Historic Bannaby woolshed could be back in operation

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The Bannaby woolshed was built for Matthew Hillas by John Ward in 1886. Photo: Hilary Conor

The Bannaby woolshed was built for Matthew Hillas by John Ward in 1886. Photo: Hilary Conor

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It has been decades since the historic building was last fully operational.

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The historic Bannaby woolshed will soon be buzzing with the sound of shearing blades as Merino sheep return to the property for the first time in decades

Small authentic timber yard modifications are being made to the 1886 built woolshed that is part of the Kerridge family's Taralga aggregation ahead of a potential shearing in 12 months time.

While Angus cattle are their primary focus and run alongside some crossbred sheep, a mob of Tarcutta 450 Merino wethers were recently purchased through AuctionsPlus as a form of diversification.

Principal Keith Kerridge said they moved away from Merino sheep about 15 years ago and it could be up to 30 years since Merinos had run through the shearing shed.

A mob of 450 Merino wethers from Tarcutta were recently purchased through AuctionsPlus as a form of diversification at Bannaby.

A mob of 450 Merino wethers from Tarcutta were recently purchased through AuctionsPlus as a form of diversification at Bannaby.

"We just thought it would be great to get it operational again," he said.

"We are doing a bit of work on it to get it shipshape and getting yards sorted out.

"There is a bit of a dog problem in our area and we moved away from sheep quite a long time ago now but we are just going to really give it a go. We don't want to have any lambing ewes there at this stage but we will see how this goes.

"If it all goes well we will expand from there."

Capable of working up to eight stand, the impressive building has shedding underneath and was once a central part of the large aggregation.

While the current wool market might not provide the welcome return to the industry they would have liked, Bannaby manager Glynn Langford said it would be great to see the woolshed back in full swing.

"It's a beautiful shed and the timber work is a real credit to the original workmen," he said.

"It's nearly all round timber. There is no sawn timber apart from where they have split slabs.

"There have been a few repairs done to it over the years but it's all pretty sound, especially the timber."

The woolshed was built for Matthew Hillas by John Ward with a "huge number of sheep" shorn there in the early days including stock from properties like Bolong.

One single beam reportedly reaches 65 feet (19.8m) long.

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