Photographer's Note

I had the opportunity whilst in Birchip to visit a farm, one of the four belonging to a family of brothers, giant men, each around two metres, living and working on properties which are almost comparable in size to some European countries.
On this particular farm that once numbered almost quarter of a million sheep, I had the rare chance of seeing a shearing shed that had stood to the blistering summer heat of the Mallee and the gale force winds in winter for well over one hundred and sixty years.
In this photo there is no shearing going on but procedures that I did not look at too closely (not at all actually) where the male lambs lose their masculinity and all lambs lose their tails.
On some of the posts and fences one can see names and dates etched into the timber belonging to only some of the countless shearers who had worked on the property during the shearing season and then moved on to other places and who had helped make the region prosperous. The earliest date I found was 1861.

Thanks to wikipedia for the information and lyrics to one of the iconic Australian songs about shearers.

"Click Go the Shears" (Roud # 8398) is a traditional Australian folk song. The song details a day's work for a sheep shearer in the days before machine shears. The enduring popularity of this song reflects the traditional role that the wool industry has played in Australian life. The song describes the various roles in the shearing shed, including the "ringer", the "boss of the board", the "colonial experience man" and the "tar boy". After the day's shearing, the "old shearer" takes his cheque and heads to the local pub for a drinking session.

The tune is an adaptation of the American Civil War song "Ring the Bell, Watchman" by Henry Clay Work and the first verse follows closely, in parody, Work's lyrics as well.

The second verse in the original 19th century song is as follows:

Click goes his shears; click, click, click.
Wide are the blows, and his hand is moving quick,
The ringer looks round, for he lost it by a blow,
And he curses that old shearer with the bare belled ewe.

The usual chorus of the song is as follows:

Click go the shears boys, click, click, click,
Wide is his blow and his hands move quick,
The ringer looks around and is beaten by a blow,
And curses the old snagger with the bare-bellied yoe.

Difficult photo to take due to the dark interior on one hand and the very bright sunlight coming from clear windows.

Photo Information
Viewed: 1820
Points: 28
Additional Photos by Klaudio Branko Dadich (daddo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3580 W: 114 N: 6323] (28618)
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