Woolshed and Shearing

Woolshed and Shearing

“CHARLOTTE PLAINS” ORIGINALLY AN AREA OF 385,280 ACRES (155,920ha) WAS TAKEN UP IN THE 1860’S. IN 1905 THERE WERE 56,275 SHEEP SHORN, AND IT HAS BEEN RECORDED THAT THE HIGHEST NUMBER OF SHEEP 104,000 HAVE BEEN PASTURED ON THE PROPERTY AT ANY ONE TIME.
IN 2011 A SHEARING TALLY BOOK WAS GIVEN TO ME WHICH WAS PROOF THAT IN 1914 THERE WERE 67,683 SHEEP SHORN PRODUCING 1484 BALES OF WOOL. BREEDING EWES NUMBERED 24,701 WITH 429 RAMS.

WE NUMBER EVERY BALE OF WOOL SO IS IT ANY WONDER THAT NUMBER 1165 WITH THE UP3 & CHARLOTTE PLAINS BRAND IS STAMPED ON ONE OF THE WOOL BALES IN THE PHOTO OF 1914 (ABOVE) AS THE MEN WAIT FOR THE BULLOCK TEAM TO ARRIVE TO LOAD THE WOOL.WE ARE LUCKY TO CUT 270 BALES NOW WITH ONLY 8000 SHEEP. WE AVERAGE ABOUT 4,000 EWES AND 90 HAPPY RAMS.

IN THE  1800’S THE PROPERTY WAS OWNED BY ARCHIBALD & PETER McDONALD FROM SUTHERLANDSHIRE SCOTLAND, ALONG WITH OTHER PARTNERS. THEY WERE BURIED IN THE CHARLOTTE PLAINS CEMETERY IN 1886 & 1890. IT WAS ASSUMED THAT THE PROPERTY WAS NAMED AFTER THEIR MOTHER CHARLOTTE FLEMING BUT NOW WE ARE NOT SO SURE DUE TO DATES ON LAND LEASES.

ROBYN’S FAMILY, THE NAGEL FAMILY BOUGHT CHARLOTTE PLAINS IN 1925. LATER COUNTRY WAS RESUMED FOR SELECTION AND ANOTHER 6 PROPERTIES WERE MADE FROM THAT.  EIGHTY FIVE YEARS ON, THE DESCENDANTS OF A.B.N. OR “BUNNY NAGEL” AS HE WAS KNOWN, STILL HOLD CHARLOTTE PLAINS WITH AN AREA OF 29,000ha. ABOUT HALF THE SIZE OF SINGAPORE!!

AS ALL THE PROPERTY HISTORY WAS BURNT IN A HOMESTEAD FIRE IN ABOUT 1978 WE ARE NOT SURE WHEN THE PRESENT SHEARING SHED WAS ACTUALLY BUILT, POSSIBLY BEFORE 1887. IT IS OBVIOUS THAT IT WAS A 26 STAND SHED, WITH 26 SHEARERS TAKING THE FLEECE OFF THE SHEEP ALL AT ONE TIME, NATURALLY THEY USED BLADE SHEARS AT FIRST. THESE DAYS USUALLY ONLY 6 STANDS ARE USED OR 6 SHEARERS SHEAR ALL AT ONCE USING RURAL POWER, AS WE DO NOT HAVE AS MANY SHEEP HERE NOW, ONLY ABOUT 8,000.

JACK EMBLEM A DROVER’S SON WHO WAS BORN AT “TOLLINESS” TAMBO AND WORKED FOR THE NAGELS FOR 50 YEARS, CARTED WOOL FROM CHARLOTTE PLAINS TO CUNNAMULLA WITH HIS BULLOCK TEAM IN 1922. HE SPOKE OF OFTEN LIFTING 95 BALES OF WOOL WITH HIS WAGON AND 26 BULLOCKS. HE ALSO CARTED 15 TON OF GIDYEA A LOAD FOR THE HOMESTEAD FIRES IN WINTER. YOU MAY SEE JACK’S HUT BUILT IN 1956 WHILE YOU VISIT.

WOOL FROM THE PROPERTY AVERAGES 20 MICRON AND IN 2009  AN AVERAGE CUT OF 8.9KG  OF WOOL FROM THE WETHERS OR MALE SHEEP  WAS PRODUCED.  WITH THE DROUGHT IN THE PAST SHEEP NUMBERS HAVE BEEN CUT BACK, BUT WE ARE BREEDING UP AND RUNNING APPROX., 7500 SHEEP NOW.  SOME MERINO SHEEP HAVE BEEN RUNNING WITH DOHNE MEAT RAMS.  THE LAMBS HAVE A MUCH FASTER GROWTH RATE THAN MERINO LAMBS. AT 8 MONTHS OF AGE RECENT LAMBS WEIGHED AROUND 55KG.

BOASTING A BEAUTIFUL HOT ARTESIAN BORE, A GREAT MIXTURE OF COUNTRY, A BULLOCKY’S HUT, A PROPERTY CEMETERY AND A REGISTERED RACETRACK OF BYE GONE DAYS, CHARLOTTE PLAINS IS RICH WITH HISTORY.