You might well wonder what a Tractor Pull. I had no idea the first year what to expect.
All the local people of Coolatai district (and from afar) bring their tractors and pull a machine with weights on it and all the tractors test their testosterone powers (not many women pullers!!). There are all sorts of classes and divisions for horse power and other mechanical measures which I don’t know about. It’s fun to watch the pride and anticipation of the Pullers – each believing his (or her) tractor was better than any other there.
Also to listen to the commentator was amusing:
“If Al doesn’t get to the start line now he’ll be out on his ear. He’s probably having one of those fabulous cream and scones morning teas and a cuppa tea.Oh – there he is coming out of the gents. Obviously a bit nervous.”.
And so the humorous commentary goes on and on. All day. I marvel at how someone can keep coming up with more personal comments and even MORE information about yet another class of tractor – that looks the same to me as the last 3!! No personal detail is safe. If it’s known, or not, it will be told – or made to sound ambiguous. Anything for a good yarn!! I love the dry humour of the bush.
This year was the 4th Pull. It’s the biggest turn out yet Hundreds of people turned up.
I love the day because it is so country. Everyone turns up in their ute or 4WD (that actually looks like its used as a 4WD not as Mum’s taxi in the city). Some don their “Sunday best” which is their best Akubra hat. There is certainly fashion and country style to be noted.
It’s mostly boys and their big toys. All the girls roll up too to cheer people on and catch up with everyone after a busy harvest. I chatted to those I knew and met a whole lot more. Everyone is so friendly.
This year there were more spectaculars to see than 2 years ago (I was overseas for last year’s Pull).
Lawn mowing took on a whole new meaning for me seeing supercharged ride on lawn mowers. Oh to have my lawn razzed by one of these mowers in about 1/100th of the time I can whipper snip 1.2m tall grass over .5 acre. I could just see me dodging the apple tree and then around the peach tree and a quick uie around the peppercorn tree…. It looked fun and really fast.
Clydesdales have always appealed to me but I’ve never seen them working – especially pulling machinery from the turn of the 20th century. A character named Peter Venables brought along his team of Clydies and machinery that looked old and rusty and not useable.
But Peter mowed the grass at the show ground with his team and this VERY usable machinery and ploughed long furrows. It was tranquil to see Peter and his horse team walking the fields. Much more tranquil than the super charged ride on lawn mowers!!
Peter was lamenting that lots of these lovely old pieces of equipment are being sold for scrap metal. Useable history being sold.
I spoke to Peter for a while after the demo. What a character!! He was so animated and excited about all the equipment he had with him. He showed me and a group of teenagers how to get corn off the cob with one hand operated machine and then to grind it into flour with another. Modern day machines are no doubt faster but there was something earthy about Peter and his earth and food preparation. I wondered if there would be a taste and nutrition difference in grains coming from a John Deere 40′ wide harvester and those grains sewn and collected by Peter.
Peter is 76. I wonder what will happen when all these old timers have passed on. All this amazing knowledge just gone if they do not mentor someone. Sandy Thorne has put out a book called “Old Timers” – Peter is on the cover with his 4 abreast team. Peter showed me a photo of one team that had 10 horses abreast – truly magnificent.
And then there was the sheep shearing by Garth and Mick. They got the easy job of shearing. Their mates took turns in providing the power by turning a handle which turned the mechanism to run the shears. Talk about hard work.
I thought I would only spend an hour there but I spent the best part of the day chatting and interacting before filling my backpack with veges from one of the stalls and heading back through the tall grass to home. There were a few kangaroos on the way but no unidentifiable sounds in the long grass – which is a good thing. The glow of the sun on the tall mature grass heads as the sun sinks is truly spectacular. The landscape shines like a sea of grass – and I felt at times as if I was swimming through a sea as the grass was so tall.
Make note to come and see the Coolatai Tractor Pull next year. See you there!!