A Drive through History


A book of memories

The Cattle Drive of 2015 from Cooplacurripa to the Wingham Camp Draft was captured on camera by Taree local,  photographer Judy Lawrenson.

Photographer Judy Lawrenson.
Photographer Judy Lawrenson.

Judy was keen to document this current piece of history on camera to recognise the efforts of these modern day cattlemen, otherwise down the track this event may only be a memory.

Judy and her husband, Dennis, took away many fond memories and experiences from the cattle drive.  These memories are now being documented for a “coffee table” photo book which is nearing completion. Over the two week journey, Judy took many photographs which have now been edited down to 200 or so photos.

The cattle drive is around 80 kilometres each way and takes one week to arrive in Wingham; then following the camp draft, a further week to return to cattle property Cooplacurripa Station in the Upper Manning that kick-started Bydand’s pastoral build-up by childcare centre entrepreneur and one-time jackaroo Michael Gordon.

Each year for approximately the last 22 years, local property owners, Bill and Dan Lyon, and Darryl Spooner, with a team of dedicated drovers and their well-trained cattle dogs, drive approximately 1000 head of cattle from Cooplacurripa Station in the Upper Manning  the approximately 80 kms to to Wingham Showgrounds for the Annual Wingham Camp Draft.  The Bydand Pastoral Company – Cooplacurripa Station, provide the cattle for the camp draft each year.

Seasons fluctuate in the Upper Manning, but 2015 saw good rainfall ensuring healthy cattle and plenty of grass and water in dams along the way to Wingham.  The cattle stayed in traditional stock reserves overnight to freshen up for the next day’s journey of usually around 12 kilometres.

The idea behind the drive started when local property owners felt the next generation of future cattlemen were missing out on the experience and thrill of droving cattle. Now the third generation of some of those families take part in the annual cattle drive.

As Judy is undertaking this as a community project, she recognises that book publishing can become quite expensive and would appreciate any interested parties who could assist in the publishing process to please contact her at judylawrenson@gmail.com .  Also any one interested in ordering a copy of the book may contact Judy on the same email address.

cattle-Blackflat Lane 2


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