Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my www.youtube.com/user/tmztvaustralia for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Update October 3rd 2016
See the Black Smiths at work and buy works of art at Mont De Lancey Homestead Property this upcoming weekend the 8th and 9th of October. The Blacksmith Festival has around 10 black smiths all showing off their skills, food, fun, beautiful things to buy and guided tours. Not to be missed as well from 10 am to 4:30 pm each day.
Meet the Gentle Giant Draughthorses at Yesteryear Festival
Mont De Lancey Homestead built by hand from hand made bricks
Back in the old days, there was no cars, no petrol, no electricity and no TV. Well, you might ask, how did people survive? Good question and the answers are to be found at the Mont De Lancey Historic Property, 71 Wellington Rd Wandin North In the Yarra Valley.
You can experience the old ways of lighting the house with lanterns and candles instead of electricity in their original slab kitchen from the 1860s. See how the women use to cook and iron using live open fire. There were no clothes washing machines. To clean the clothes, they would boil the clothes in a huge pot of boiling water and then dry the clothes on the porch using a special pressing machine.
There was no electricity; so no fridge. They kept their food cold by either putting it into the coolest part of the house in a screened food cupboard with mesh. The mesh kept the "creepy crawlies" out. Or they wrapped it and dropped it on a rope into the massive water tanks next to the house.
Stunning Sculptures - Watch the Blacksmiths at Work
On the property, they also have a massive blacksmith shed and it is fascinating to watch the skilled blacksmiths, use ancient technology from as far back as the Vikings, to make all the tools needed on the farm to plow, build fences, and live on the land. The workers, even make the pans to make damper and the billy to boil tea. Now they use these skills, handed down over the generations, to make beautiful art pieces and garden sculptures. You might see something you want in your home on the weekend.
Then you must wander up to the see how the stored their water in a massive storage tank lined with bricks. The pioneer family made these bricks themselves with the very own clay from the property. They used these same bricks to build their home, still standing today in all its glory, which has all the original furniture including beds, toys and books. That's right, books. Because there was no electricity, in the evenings everyone played musical instruments and sang together or told stories passed down through the generations. They might write and then read their poetry to each other. They wrote on chalk boards to do their homework to take to school the next day.
But they had one modern thing. Can you guess? They had indoor plumbing. Well not really. They had bed pans under the bed and wash basins to wash up when they needed to go to the toilet.
Australian Draughthorses at work and play - Photo by Lewis
You can see all this on guided tour as well as the massive Draughthorses. The gentle giants of horses used on the property.
Your next question might be "What is an Australian Draughthorse?
Well, a Draughthorse was the car of Yesteryear. And it is a very special breed, created in Tasmania by cross-breeding four pure draught horse breeds which were in Australia since the colonial times. These included the Clydesdale, Percheron, Shire, and Suffolk Punch,. This giant of a horse was bred specially for pulling farming plows, wagons and huge carts, baling the hay, with massive wool bales.
Draughthorses pulling the wool to Melbourne - Wiki Photo
The streets of Melbourne were designed wide enough for these horses and their huge loads to pass through the city centre on route to the ships carting the wool back to Europe.
The woodworkers will be demonstrating their techniques to turn wood into artefacts of beauty, including massive sculptures. As a matter of fact, you can meet Robby Bast, who is based in the Yarra Valley, and has created works for venues all over Australia including the famous Healesville sanctuary Platypus.
Then head across to watch the sheep being gathered up by the working dogs and their drovers.
Learn how they took the wool from the sheep and turned it into thread and then into that lovely wool sweater or blanket you just must have as your own. You can buy it in the shop on the day.
This is going to be a fabulous family day and best of all Kids are FREE.
Since parents are only $10 each, bring them along too. You can bring a picnic lunch or grab lunch for eating at the playground at the newly opened Monty's Cafe. This adult friendly Monty's Cafe caters to a beautiful quiet lunch in Art Deco surrounds. You are going to love this escape to the times of High Teas. Not really the environment for kids, but you can "take away" outside to the play equipment. The food is divine.
And all this done by a group of dedicated volunteers, some who are actually descendants of the original family that built this beautiful property. This is your chance to truly meet a family with their history deep in the culture of our Australian Founders.
This is a great place to visit. We've enjoyed it on a number of occasions, and included a lovely lunch. Draughthorses are wonderful. I still remember the Draughthorse Paddock at the Corner of Doncaster Road/ Station Street in Doncaster.