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Draughthorse & YesterYear Festival - KIDS FREE

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by Tricia Ziemer (subscribe)
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.
Event: -
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
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.

YearYear Festival - FREE For Kids
YearYear Festival - FREE For Kids


Here you can experience those old days and ways yourself by joining them for their "Draughthorse & YesterYear Festival" coming up Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th November 2016.

The Old SLAB Kitchen - No electricity - No Fridge - No Dishwasher
The Old SLAB Kitchen - No electricity - No Fridge - No Dishwasher


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.

Guided Tours on the Day
Guided Tours on the Day


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
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
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
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.

No cars but Horses at work - Photo by Lewis
No cars but Horses at work - Photo by Lewis


They are big, bold, friendly and beautiful and you can touch them and see them in work this wonderful celebration.

Then you can wander among the vintage engines, tractors and other agricultural machinery. There will also be vintage cars on show, with their drivers, so you can ask all your excited questions.

Vintage machines and cars - Photo by Lewis
Vintage machines and cars - Photo by Lewis


Not chain saw massacre but chain saw sculpture
Not chain saw massacre but chain saw sculpture


Out of wood comes Art
Out of wood comes Art


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.

Working Dogs and Drovers - Photo by Lewis
Working Dogs and Drovers - Photo by Lewis


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.

Art Deco Tea House
Art Deco Tea House


See more about the family and day at their website www.montdelancey.org.au/

High Tea on the Grounds of Mont De Lancey
High Tea on the Grounds of Mont De Lancey


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.

The Family of Mont De Lancey
The Family of Mont De Lancey


Massive Museum highlights by gone era
Massive Museum of by gone era


Don't forget to visit the Museum and shop for antiques in the lovely shop, but leave your wellies at the door.

Might leave the wellies at the door while you shop for antiques
Might leave the wellies at the door while you shop for antiques
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Why? Because you love learning about the days gone by in Australian Colonisation
When: 10 am to 4:30
Phone: 5964 2088
Where: 71 Wellington Rd. Wandin North, Victoria
Cost: KIDS FREE - Adults $10
Your Comment
This is the sort of thing my husband and I love. It's definitely on my to do list. Great article Tricia.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|7199) 1108 days ago
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.
by e_law (score: 2|425) 1109 days ago
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