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This website aims to develop case studies of the development of farming practices and attendant transformations of local ecologies of defined blocks of land. Through these biographies of particular plots of land we are developing localised analyses of the wider historical trends in the political economy/ecology of the Northern Rivers.

Go to: Early family history | Involvement with the Catholic Church | History from the 1950s | Dairying | Frank’s education | The history of the Bridge and naming of Boyle Road | Changes in the local area from the 1970s | Frank and Andrea meet | Moving out of dairying | Farmers’ markets | Rice | Raising awareness of food production | The future and the food movement | Farm forestry | Work ethic | The House

The House

Frank: They just basically walked out of the house; and left everything behind. It had been picked over by reli’s [relatives] but there was still a fair bit of furniture here, including that big table, big pine table in there. Lovely big long table. And our furniture, we’ve still got some of it here. I suppose [laughs] more stories. When they moved, when the family moved out of the house here they had a big bon-fire and they burnt a lot of stuff including photos. Which looking back, it’s an absolute crime, ‘cause we do not have many photos of those early days. And not that there were many photos anyway probably, but there would have been some.

Frank: I think, maybe to clean, I’m only assuming just to cleanse themselves of what happened here. They, there probably were a little bit bitter still about it. But then again they probably wanted to move to town with everything new. You know it was a thing, things were changing and old stuff, like old furniture was just, you just didn’t want it. It was just attitudinal, how society looked at things. Old furniture was just, old black dark furniture was just, you just didn’t want it. You wanted a new, laminex table [laughs].

As kids we used to come over here. Our cousins would come out to visit, and the old house was the place to come. We’d come and play here and muck around and dad used it as a hay shed and pig pen and it had many, many lives when it was empty. But the furniture was just sort of moved around and put into different rooms and we’d come over and we’d set up the big table as a table tennis table, playing it. And we came over here once, a whole group of us cousins and stuff, to play table tennis and the table was gone. Then we went back to dad and said “dad what’s happened with the table?” He said “I don’t know”. Anyway he did a few investigations and the next door neighbour said “oh we saw someone going up there a couple of weeks ago in an old green ute.” Anyway, about two days later we were milking over there and this green ute turned in and came up the track [laughs] and dad, he had this big white horse he used to ride and he got the rifle, not loaded but carried the rifle and came over here and baled this bloke up. He’d come here picked up a whole lot more gear, more stuff and he was heading back down the track and dad baled him up with the gun and horse and dogs. I don’t know what he said but anyway the guy turned round and dumped off what he had, casue he’d come back for a second load. Dad must have scared the hell out of this bloke because, not only did he bring the stuff back that he had on the ute but he went back to wherever he was living and brought all the stuff back, including the table. And on the table there’s four little holes here where he had a vice on it. He must’ve set it up. It was after the Aquarius Festival so he was, yeah he was just a hippy.

He might have thought it was abandoned?

Frank: Mmm well yeah, that’s what he said.

You would wonder how he would know though?

Frank: Well that’s the thing you know. It’s sort of well off the road and it’s amazing really.

Alright, thank you for that.


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