Moving Beyond
Port Phillip District

Squatters and Runs

First Land Sales

Railway Township

Dairy Farming

and Businesses

The Railway At Clyde

Clyde Churches Time Line

Clubs and Organisatons

How Clyde Got Its Name

Clyde's Meteorites


History for Students

Stories and Inquests

History of Clyde
Dairy Industry-Perce Hardy Remembers
Percival Hardy,grandson of Embling Hardy, pastoral pioneer.
Extracts from Perce Hardy's letter to Merv Campbell, c1972

Dairying at Clyde
Dairying at Clyde, as elsewhere, in the 1890-1900 period was not a job for faint-hearted people. Production of whole milk for Melbourne gradually became the main industry. Milk had to be produced all the year round, and prices were low. Five pence per gallon was quite common and freight had to be paid. Milking had to be finished, and milk at Berwick Railway station by 7:30am. Five miles of bad road had to be traversed to get there.

Milk Products Prices 1895 to early 1900s
A comparison of prices at that time as compared with today's prices (1972) is interesting. To illustrate this, one has only to look at some of the old account books from years back.In 1895 the price of whole milk, freight paid to Melbourne, ranged from 5 pence to 6 pence per gallon. This continued except for short seasonal adjustments until 1900.

By 1902, 8 pence per gallon was being paid for autumn and winter production with lower rate for spring.The prices of butter in 1895 was 5 pence per pound and with slight seasonable variations remained about the same until well into the 1900's.

Livestock Prices
Livestock prices were likewise low. A few typical entries were
Fat cows to 4-5 pounds.
Choppers 1 pound to l pound 10 shillings and as low as 15 shillings.
Dairy cows 4 pounds Fat lambs 8 shillings and sixpence,
Fat sheep 5 shilling to 8 shillings. Grazing 6 pence per week for cows

Cultivation and harvesting were slow and heavy jobs.
Oats and maize were the main crops. Seed and fertiliser (usually bone dust) were sown by hand. Crops first were cut by scythe and tied into sheaves by hand. Later mowers were introduced but tying by hand still had to be done.

Introduction of Farm Machinery
William Hardy and William Cadd purchased between them, the first reaper and binder to come into the district.  The machine was a Deering (International Harvester).They also purchased the first seed drill, as far as I know.
William Hardy also had the first power driven separator. This was driven by a "horse works".The horse works were also used to drive a chaff-cutter. The Gates family bought a steam driven separator. This was very effective but could be heard working two miles away. It used to be said that more work was entailed cutting wood, to raise steam than to turn the separator by hand.
In 1908 my father purchased an oil engine to replace the horse works, and in 1910 purchased a L.K.G milking plant. This milked each cow into an enclosed heavy bucket. These have for many years been replaced by the present very efficient milkers.

Railway Made a Difference
After the South Gippsland Railway was built transport problems were greatly reduced. Practically all produce and stock were carried by rail, and the railway station became busier as the years advanced.

At one period there was a staff of Station Master, assistant Station Master, Operating Porter and Porter.
The main produce was, of course, whole milk and cream, also potatoes, onions, oaten chaff, building sand and live stock.
Road transport has now replaced the railway and outward freight is now almost non-existent.

Super Farming Results in 1920s
It was in the late 1920's that real progress in increased production and higher stock carrying capacity began, although prior to that, sub-division into smaller paddocks, and sowing down with English Rye Grass and Clover, had been replacing the native Kangaroo Grass with consequent better returns from live stock, but the practice of top-dressing with Super Phosphate had most spectacular results to the extent of raising carrying capacity by 100 percent and more.

Clyde Dairy Industry Stories - click the headings below for more
1901- 1930 Dairy Industry Impact Dairy Industry-Keith Escott remembers
Dairying- Perce Hardy Remembers Dairymen Fined for Adding Water to Milk