$95,000 tractor heads big Lewisdale sale

28 Mar, 2002 07:00 PM

THE Lewis family's 93-year association with the Wickepin property Lewisdale was publicly finalised when Wesfarmers Landmark held a clearing sale there on Monday.

But for Ray Lewis principal of the Lewisdale Merino and Poll Merino stud it was merely the end of one chapter and a the start of a freshly restructured stud enterprise on another property closer to Wickepin that will be called Lewisdale Stud Park.

The 1336 hectare Lewisdale property had been taken up by Ray's grandfather David in 1909 and was subsequently farmed by Ray's father Daniel whose wife, 90 year old Ada, was there on Monday to witness the closing of an era.

The arrangement of 655 lots represented the farming careers of three generations and, at one time, 11 Lewis boys from two families.

For Jack, Geoff and Len, three of Ray's four brothers who now farm separately, it was a time to record the event, reminisce and grab some last minute mementos as they went under the hammer.

The Lewisdale property was sold to pure bred Awassi sheep producer YYH Holdings last month and Ray said he had no regrets in the decision to sell.

The property was set up with laneways and small paddocks to suit its role as a stud property but had failed to attract buyer interest when auctioned in October.

He said the auction had given other family members had the opportunity to keep the property in the family but given its specialist function he was pleased that, with new owners, it would continue to be used in the same way.

Locals were also pleased that the sale would bring new families to the district (the farm has three houses) with nearby farmer Wayne Leeson saying it could have been split between neighbours and a family lost from the town.

East Wickepin locals had the a chance to farewell one of the district's most colourful personalities in typical Ray Lewis style - drinks, evening meal, music and singing until late at night.

The clearing sale was also typical of the man who is widely regarded as a master in Merino presentation.

It was described by many sale goers as the most colourful (the paint spray gun had not been spared) and the best-presented clearing sale they had seen.

The sale attracted 400 registered bidders and took the Wesfarmers Landmark selling team 6.5 hours to complete with much of the offering comprising smaller sundry items.

The business end of the offering caught the big money with $95,000 paid for a two year old John Deere 7710 tractor with 680 hours by a Kukerin farmer.

The John Deere 7720 Titan header with 3300 hours and a 30 foot front was the only major item passed by the auctioneering team and remains on the market.

The other piece of machinery to make substantial money was the $40,000 853 Forward 28-run minimum till combine that was two seasons old. It was fitted with a small seeds box and harrows.

The Massey Ferguson 2745 tractor showing 3050 hours work also was among the top prices at $13,250 and the Massey 188 tractor fitted with a front-end loader also made good value at $9000.

A range of five Chamberlain 18, 20 and 24-disc ploughs all sporting a new coat of yellow paint made from nothing to $2300 to be the most expensive plough this writer has seen sold this season.

Two 30 tonne Sherwell field bins with augers reached the season's going rate of $6200 and $6900 for units of that capacity.

Of the main hay making equipment the New Holland 495 mower conditioner made $8000; the New Holland 411 10ft disc bine made $8500, and the Claas Rolant 46 hay and silage roller was passed in.

Sheep handling equipment was also among the higher pricemakers with the TPW hydraulic wool press making $6900 and the set of McDougall portable sheep yards bringing $7200.

Making considerably less but more than expected was the Fordson Major tractor that attracted much interest and sold for $3900; two Southern Cross windmills with 6ft heads and in questionable working condition made $1050 and $1000.

Vintage machinery drew its enthusiasts and resulted in $180 for a hay rake; $160 for a mechanical cross-cut saw; and $70 for nine rabbit traps.

Not quite the same vintage was the unlicensed cream Bedford truck that evoked some special memories from Geoff who remembered buying it new in 1962 and feeling "as proud as punch" driving it home.

"I paid 1500 pounds and it carted a lot of wheat in its time", he said, before brother Len outbid him to get it for $150.



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