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Festival recalls tougher times

When David Bell, now 92, was on leave from World War II service, his dad said he was thinking of buying a tractor. So David ordered one right away.

December 3, 2013 4:02am

Stanhope dairy farmers David, 92, and James Bell.with old tractor and hand-feed baler.


When David Bell, now 92, was on leave from World War II service, his dad said he was thinking of buying a tractor. So David ordered one right away.

‘‘I couldn’t wait to see the back of the draught horse,’’ David said.

‘‘I always said they were machines that kept eating and going through fences.’’

David plans to join his son James and grandson David at the Moora Harvest Festival on December 8 to demonstrate how he and other farmers did things decades ago.

The three generations will put a circa 1930s Mitchell hand-fed stationary baler into action at the third annual event to be held at Moora Racecourse and Recreation Reserve.

Rev ’n’ Rec motor club will host the event that will celebrate the farm machinery of yesteryear including steam engines, sleeper cutters, chaff cutters, stationary engines, tractors and vintage tools, as well as vintage cars and bikes. There will also be shearing, blacksmithing and morse code demonstrations, and working and agility dogs will be showing their skills.

James, also Rev ’n’ Rec’s treasurer, said decades ago baling was a four-man operation.

‘‘You had a man driving the tractor, another on a horse sweep picking up hay, another fed hay in with a pitchfork. It was fed through and then a man tied the bale with wire or straw,’’ James said.

He said the number of machines and people involved in the Moora Harvest Festival was growing each year and it was a great day out for the whole family with plenty to see and do. Food and drinks will be available on site. Entry is $2/adult, children are free.

Moora Racecourse and Recreation Reserve is on Moora-Heathcote Rd, west of Rushworth.

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