Lifetime of collecting

23 Jan, 2002 10:00 PM

THE atmosphere at Curly and Pat Layman's farm was more like that of an Ag show than a clearing sale on Saturday.

More than 540 people registered as potential buyers and many more came to see the hundreds of items ‹ some dating back to the first world war ‹ that were on display at the Mumballup auction.

Visitors were cashed up and keen to buy, with the sale grossing $400,553.

The top-priced item was a centre pivot irrigation unit able to cover 70ac, which made $10,100.

Other lots that fetched good prices included a Ford 1414 eight-tonne truck which bought $6800, a Fiat 750 tractor with cab for $5100 and a Fordson Power Major tractor for $4600.

In the vintage range, the Wiz McCormick tractor went to $3600 and the Cletrac crawler tractor made $3000.

Curly's father Fredrick took up the land after the Great War as part of a land settlement package for veterans.

Curly, 74, lived and worked on the farm all his life and stored hundreds of historical items from horse-drawn ploughs to big meat safes.

There was everything from a pinball machine to vintage machinery and antique furniture.

Pat, who has lived on the farm since she married Curly 51 years ago, said it was a lifetime of collecting.

"We didn't throw anything away," she said. "Curly had most of the things stored in sheds.

"I used to drive the old horse-drawn single furrow just after we got married.

"We did not have much money, so we used to grow peas and sell them in Collie.

"I used to work the land with that old furrow."

Mrs Layman said many of the items had been new when they arrived on the farm.

"The old Cletrac crawler was a one-owner job," she said.

"It was bought in 1941. Farmers could not get one unless they were producing food for the war effort.

"It was good to see that much of the vintage stuff went to people who planned to restore it.

"A woman bought the McCormick one-horsepower tractor (with steel wheels) for her husband, who is a mechanic.

"It was in pieces but all the parts were there and she said her husband would have it shining like new.

"There was so much interest, it was a great note to go out on."

The Laymans plan to live in Alice Springs.

They sold their property to a company which plans to grow olive trees on the 1105ac.

The Laymans sold 4000 sheep as well. See the livestock section for details.


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