RM: EM: said that it often happened that you would get mobs – if you had a mob that had that particular bad strain in it you would find them all that.
But he said at that time there were half a dozen mobs of around 20 horses in that area.
They mainly run at 7s, don’t they. 5s, 7s or sometime 12.
In winter time you might find 15 or so together and spring time they split up.
If you come on to them, they’d be pleased to see you and they’d nearly follow you.
The only time you’d find smaller mobs of 2 or 3 they were usually young colts chased out.
When they said they used to catch the horses and gobble them, where did they take them to then, did they only have to take them down the river further? They were taken down from the Plain to Marengo.
They’d be going down the river and then they’d have to come back up the river. 2.4.2 Transcript of taped telephone discussion with Mr Noel MacDougall, “Marengo” Hernani 2453, immediately following the interview with Ernie Maskey, with Ernie Maskey still being present.
Recorded at Look Out Motel, Dorrigo. September 25th 2001 (RM = Robyn MacDougall, NM = Noel MacDougall, EM = Ernie Maskey, FN = Frank Nicholas, VC = Velda Chaplin, LH = Les Hume, GB = Graeme Baldwin, BN = Brad Nesbitt) RM: Hello Grandpa, how are you? NM: I’m all right, thank you.
RM: That’s good – we are all here at the motel land we are in the middle of the meeting.
I have Ernie here, Les, Graham Baldwin and the rest of members and we were just wondering if you could tell us a little bit of history of the horses and how you brought those horses out of Peak Creek.
We might start off with a little bit about the Brown’s horses.
NM: Well I don’t really know that much about it.
The origin of them but they had blood sires with their horses.
RM: the horses you got out, that was in about 1933, 34? NM: 33, yes RM: 33, there was one creamy amongst them, bays? NM: there was a creamy and white one there, a creamy white piebald one.
She belonged to an old piebald mare but we got seven there.
She belonged to Dave Hollis, she must have been one of the original ones and the creamy and white one was Ted Cobley’s strain.
RM: So how did you get them and where did you catch them? NM: We built a trap yard for them in Peak Creek.
RM: I think you hobbled them and walked them to the Plain? NM: yes.
RM: How did you get them from the Plain? NM: I think we must have driven them, I can’t remember to be honest.
I suppose we put them in with other stock horses and drove them home.
RM: Did they all turn out to be good stock horses? NM: No, two or three died, fretted to death we think.
We never saw them again after we broke them in.
We finished up with two mares, two younger mares but we never worked them because one got her eye knocked out.
But she had two or three foals for me which we worked once they were broken in.
RM: How many horses would there have been around Kitty’s Creek, Peak Creek? NM: We didn’t see any, there were none there in those days.
RM: Did you see many horses in the bush at all? NM: No.
Only the few we got were the only ones running in the river at that stage.
RM: What about after the war? NM: Well there were a few there after the war but they weren’t Brown horses, they didn’t go back to the original Brown horses.
RM: What about Newberry’s? Did you go down into Ernie’s country.
Say Combolo and in that area, were there horses down there? NM: No, not after the war.
RM: Well maybe Ernie might have a few questions to ask and that will sort of prompt you along.
EM: Hello Noel.
NM: Good Morning.
How are you? EM: Good thanks.
In the Mitchell, all my life there’s been horses in the Mitchell side.
Were they there in those years, do you know? 9 NM: I was only up there a couple of times when I was mustering and I never saw a horse or any horse tracks in the Mitchell River.
EM: Bobs Creek and Pargo and Ballards used to have horses there – not a lot, but they were the first brumby horses I’d seen.
NM: Yes but that would probably be after the War, wouldn’t it? EM: Yes NM: No well we up there, I don’t remember seeing horses in Bob’s Creek either.
EM: Oh well, you didn’t have any experience on Corner Camp, out the other side of the Mitchell? NM: No EM: No well there were horses out there from the time I was 10 years old on.
NM: Yes well that could be right too.
I was never in that area.
BN: You do remember after the second world war, around that time were there people breeding horses to sell on for people sending horses overseas for the war, for the light horse.
Do you know of any people breeding for that? NM: that was very doubtful.
They didn’t use horses at all, they used chemical warfare.
BN: I understand the Waughs used to breed horses back in the 30s NM: Who? BN: The Waughs, remember the Waughs? NM: Yes, they may have.
Turnbulls used to sell a few to the Indian Army.
LH: Yes that’s right, the Turnbulls.
NM: Dick Gilder used to buy horses for the Indian Army.
BN: Did he buy them straight from the properties or did he pick them up from the sale yards? NM: No, only from the properties.
He used to get a lot from the Turnbulls up at Kotupna.
BN: What sort of horses was he buying? Blood horses? NM: Yes, blood horses.
BN: Local stock horses that Turnbulls were breeding? Do you think Turnbulls were pulling many horses out of the Gulf Country? NM: Out of where? BN: Any of those wild horses.
Do you think Turnbull would have been pulling any of those horses out and selling them on too? NM: I don’t think so.
To my knowledge they only ever went up there once, up the river chasing horses, and that was old Bob Turnbull and Bob Adams and Louis Austin and Errol Turnbull probably.
BN: Do you know when that was roughly? NM: that would have been before the war I think, about 1931/32 probably.
BN: mDid they get anything do you remember? NM: I don’t know.
Errol Turnbull had a piebald horse he used to ride, a piebald mare, well she came from there but I don’t know what numbers they got, if any.
BN: He actually had a piebald he pulled out of the river.
Any idea where he pulled that out from? NM: somewhere between Peak Creek and the Plain.
They got a few there but they were only there for a couple of days.
Old Louis Austin had a bad fall, a horse fell on him, he had a bad smash and they had to get him away and they never went back after that.
BN: That was all before the war then.
NM: Yes BN: Was that before you pulled horses out in 33 or after? NM: Before that.
BN: Any idea of how much before that? NM: Well I think it must have been about 1931/32.
We got those last few in 33 and Ted Cobley and Eddy Rhodes got most of them.
They got them after Turnbulls were there.
They built a trap yard and trapped them.
I think Turnbulls just chased them.
BN: But then he must have caught one of them.
NM: Yes LH: In more recent years there’s been a lot of horses in Combolo and down at Housewater back in the 70s.
Any idea when they first turned up in that area? NM: No I haven’t, I don’t ever remember seeing horses in Housewater either.
They would have come out of Kitty Creek probably.
RM: After the War do you think any horses were put back into the bush, anything that wasn’t wanted? Did they put old horses back in? NM: I don’t think so, I never heard of any.
RM: How about Newberrys.
Do you remember them? They had a lease down there.
Did they breed horses down there? 10 NM: No.
I don’t think so.
The horses they would have got there would have been horses that came from …anything that was branded would have had DIT on them but I don’t think Newberry’s had horses that went in there.
RM: Here’s Les to speak to you.
LH: Hello, how are you, long time no see.
In Genevieve Newbury’s book she said that they used to run horses down in the Days Water.
NM: Yes they could have LH: They used to muster them, take out the horses they wanted to break in and left the rest in there.
NM: Yes well that country was all pretty well fenced in those days and they would have stayed there.
LH: That could be pretty right NM: Yes that could be right LH: You remember the time you went in and got old Geoff Hickey out? Well just before that I think I went in there with Geoff and there was a big white tailed creamy horse in the paddock there.
Screaming around the paddock.
He was running up the river I think.
He was a brumby horse.
NM: No he would have been running around Combolo, that fellow.
LH: he wasn’t a half bad sort of a horse.
NM: no, he was a good sort of a horse.
LH: alright Noel, we’ll see you.
RM: Grandpa, Graeme Baldwin brought in a piece about the Ellis’s and we were trying to find out about an area they were speaking about called the Bluff.
Do you know where it is? LH: Noel, that’s William Ellis that dropped dead down there and they carted him out of the Bluff.
I found out that the Bluff was the name of their property near Wards Mistake that Lloyd Ellis is on now.
That was what the Bluff was all about.
I hadn’t got around to telling them yet.
I’ll put you back to Robyn again.
RM: I’ll just ask if there are any other questions.
MacDougall one of the things when Les brought in the diaries from the Newberrys, they were talking about horses being down in the Gulf country.
We were talking about last meeting about back in those days, what people meant by the Gulf Country.
Did they mean more of that Mitchell, Aberfoyle, Guy Fawkes area or did they mean the Ebor end? NM: Well I would have thought only the top end.
BN: What do you mean about the top end? NM: Well all of it probably.
From the Peak Creek up.
BN: From Peak Creek up, meaning sort of ‘over the bluff’.
People would have called the Gulf country, meaning from over the edge down into the gorges, they mean going into the Gulf.
From your remembrance Peak Creek going up the river was what people called the Gulf country.
NM: Yes BN: thank you for that because it’s good to have an understanding of what people were thinking in those days, thanks for that, that’s all the questions I have and I’ll put you back to Robyn.
RM: thanks so much, Grandpa, Ernie and I will be back there around 5 this afternoon.
FN: Is there anything else you would like to ask Ernie? BN: I guess I’m just interested, Ernie, in terms of the background.
You started at ‘Broadmeadows’ from the age of ten to fourteen.
You were born down in that country, were you? EM: I was born in Grafton and reared in Newton Boyd.
BN: So where were the rest of your family living.
EM: my Grandparents were buried at Razorback at our old home.
RM: You said that Teddy Cobley lived at Razorback.
EM: He lived at Razorback for a short time but he was up where they call Browns, just up the river called ‘East Home’, that’s the name of the place but everyone called it Browns because it was owned by Mrs.
Then he left there and went to Lingalong and then he lived down ?????? BN: So when you turned up at Newton Boyd, when you say 10, you had started working.
EM: Well I left school as soon as I could.
RM: You did go one day.
EM: Yes, I did go one day and I didn’t like it and I didn’t go back again.
I went to work one day and I didn’t like it either.
BN: so when you were born until say 10, you were living in Grafton? EM: No, I went to Newton Boyd, I went to Newton Boyd College.
BN: University OK.
So you were living there but you started work when you were ten.
EM: Well life was pretty hard, there were 14 kids.
My father lived there all his life and his mother and father were buried there and that’s just home that’s all.
BN: and your father was living at ‘Razorback’? 11 EM: He worked for different people around there and he droved.
RM: Are you getting at, did they buy ‘Razorback’? BN: No, Ernie has been very helpful giving information from when he started at Newton Boyd but I’m just interested in your family links all the way and it is very clear to me now that you grew up in the Newton Boyd area and your family was there for many many years before then.
LH: the only reason he went to Grafton was to get born! BN: Of course! EM: My place is just about three miles from ‘Razorback’ over at ‘Why Worry’.
BN: Sorry to get personal.
I just got interested in going right back to make sure I got a good picture.
EM: I suppose we were the only people that are not imported to Newton Boyd.
RM: That’s right LH: Last of the originals.
BN: I reckon that’s a fascinating history Ernie, I think that’s great.
FN: You did a wonderful job, you took the time to tell us that, thank you for that.
EM: Glad I could be helpful. 12 2.5 DOCUMENT PREPARED BY ROBYN MACDOUGALL, A MEMBER OF THE WORKING PARTY Because it has separate pagination, this document is included in this report as Appendix 1. 13
Read more about NM: Dick Gilder used to buy horses for the Indian Army: