If the walls of the 137-year-old St Elmo shearing shed outside Parkes could talk, it would have piles of yarns to spin.
The very first anecdote would go back to the 1880’s when the Job family selected their land from the old East Billabong Station squatter run, and the original centre part of the shed was built.
It was constructed with local timber consisting of unmilled cypress pine frame, grey box slab walls, which can still be seen inside the shed, and debarked pine sampling as grating. It was originally a blade shearing shed.
In 1906 the shed was extended, again using timber milled on the site. It was a fivestand shed powered by a belt and pulley system from a large steam engine tractor positioned outside the shed.
The steam engine tractor was replaced with a Lister petrol motor to drive the overhead sunbeam shearing gear in the first half of the 20th century. Electricity was connected in 1984 and the Lister engine was replaced by an electric motor, which now power the overhead gear, as it is still a working shearing shed.
On the 16th of September the shed will have a brand new story to tell when the Parkes Action Club will be using the space for an exceptional art exhibition called Ducks on the Pond showcasing eight local and regional artists.
Limited tickets are available at $25 prepaid or $30 on the night and includes food by The Dish Café, wine by Twisted River Wines and entertainment by The String Family from Sydney. For more details go to visitparkes.com.au. All the money raised will go towards the Action Club’s community programs.
St Elmo Shearing Shed is 12km from Parkes on the Renshaw McGirr Way (Wellington Road) and 2km down Job Lane. No high heels are recommended for the event.