Happy New Year!

Sharon and I wish you a wonderful new year – may it bring joy, health and happiness and all the good things to you 🙂

2014 started with a startled screech from the cockatoos at dawn on 1 Jan – well it is Summer here in Australia – and it gave me the opportunity to photograph the rather spectacular dawn of the new year.

We’ve got a few good things planned for this year – including some subtle updates to this site – Enjoy and happy travels!

Dawn 1 Jan 2014

Dawn 1 Jan 2014

The Saw Doctors Wagon

The saw doctors wagon colour schemeI saw a curious thing last Sunday. Since Canberra presented us with cold blustery day we paid a visit to the National Museum of Australia.

The saw doctors wagonThe large main hall of the museum now houses a number of “big objects” from the collection. These include vehicles that are well travelled. One very Australian story held my fascination – the saw doctors wagon.

The saw doctors wagonThis large trailer is brightly painted decorated with geegaws, tools, family photographs, and hand made signage that served to advertise Harold Wright’s mobile home and workshop.

The saw doctors wagonIn Australia during the Depression of the 1930s, unemployment levels reached to over 30 per cent and many people survived by becoming itinerant workers, travelling from town to town to get work.

The saw doctors wagonThe wagon started its life in the 30’s as a horse drawn vehicle, but as times and the economy changed the wagon was refurbished and enlarged, fitting it onto the chassis of a truck, and towed by a tractor.

The saw doctors wagonNamed the Road Urchin, the wagon travelled throughout north-west Victoria and New South Wales for 34 years, housing Harold Wright, his wife Dorothy, daughter Evelyn and dogs, cats and chickens!

The saw doctors wagonAs a travelling blade sharpener, Harold Wright made little money. Apart from reflecting a family’s itinerant lifestyle what fascinated me about this vehicle was all the scrappy bits and pieces the trailer was decorated with accompanied with the sense that each item was probably picked up on the road and probably had a story attached to them.

The saw doctors wagonI wanted to hear what it was like when the trailer moved as I am sure it would have rattled as it made its way around the back blocks.

The saw doctors wagonInterspersed between tools, knick knacks and gee-gaws were photographs of family and friends.

The saw doctors wagonAlso dotted all over the wagon there are handmade signs many clipped from newspapers and modified to suit the message.

The saw doctors wagonIf the story intrigues you on the Culture Victoria website there is a short film about Harold Wright, his life and you old footage of the vehicle being driven.

The saw doctors wagonI came away from my visit  feeling this country has been home to some strong individualists indeed.

The saw doctors wagonYou can visit the National Museum of Australia website to see more photos and read about the Saw doctor’s wagon

Most of the photo credits go to  Jerry Everard (my dear husband). The good ones are his and dodgy ones are mine!