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"From the Bush to the Bungalow" 1924 film of timber tramway operations

Frank Stamford
 

The link below is to the YouTube video "From the Bush to the Bungalow" which shows horse tramway operations on Horner & Monett's 3 ft gauge timber tramway about 3 km east of Powelltown, Victoria. The date is about 1924. The horse tramway operations are shown between 3:56 to 6:04; and 7:34 to 8:06 minutes. I would recommend that you change the speed to 0.75 to more accurately represent the original film speed (click on the wheel on the bottom right and select "Settings" to do this). The film gives a wonderful insight into logging operations, horse tramway working, and life in the bush at that time. Many similar tramways operated in Tasmania, Victoria, New South Wales, and to a lesser extent in Queensland and Western Australia. The YouTube video can be found here: https://youtu.be/7BRpobdO6Hg

John Browning
 

Thanks Frank

The conditions appear to be hot and dusty.

It was interesting to see the driving technique – mostly braking I guess as the horses would be well motivated by the prospect of knock-off time and a good feed back at base.

John

Frank Stamford
 

Thanks for those interesting comments John.

In the early 1980s I had the privilege of interviewing Alf Milner at Yarra Junction, he was 79 at the time, and had worked with timber tramway horses in the 1920s and 1930s. He said he loved the horses, and from the way he spoke that was clearly true. He also said that the horses had one hour for lunch, but the men had 45 minutes. But because the lunch break was usually in some remote part of the forest he got an hour for lunch, as there wasn't much to do in the spare 15 minutes.

And it was clear from what he said that a great deal of skill was needed to control the loads in wet weather. He also described the way he modified the harnesses for each horse so that they fitted as comfortably as possible. And he said that the lead horse was always carefully selected to be the "brainy one".

Regards,
Frank


On 8 Jun 2018, at 3:45 pm, John Browning <ceo8@...> wrote:

Thanks Frank

The conditions appear to be hot and dusty.

It was interesting to see the driving technique – mostly braking I guess as the horses would be well motivated by the prospect of knock-off time and a good feed back at base.

John