WINTERY weather was the perfect excuse to escape to an out of season Elders clearing sale at Williams where buyers sent prices to a $21,750 high for a Toyota Landcruiser utility.
The sale farewelled popular Williams resident and retiring property manager Bernie O'Neill and family and marked the end of farming era for the Packer brothers, the Perth-based owners.
Most of the sheep had been sold with the property but a token offering of ewe and hoggets was responsible for drawing a good proportion of the crowd. Neighbours Bob, Bill, May, Rodney and Alison Petchell who were the new property buyers, were too strong for their competitors.
With a couple of dollars freight advantage they bought both lines paying up to $70 a head.
The 257 one year old wethers fetched the top money while the 243 ewe hoggets made $62.50.
Both lines carried an October shearing and were bred by Tayle sires.
The two mated heifer lines were again a token representation of a substantially bigger herd that had been previously dispersed and Albany based Elders auctioneer Ray Norman received a $770 bid for eight Angus heifers and $610 for a second line of seven.
Both lots had been depastured with bulls until sale day and the buyer was Brian Liddleow, Williams.
The big crowd of 236 registered buyers were oblivious to the intermittent wind and misty rain as they concentrated on clearing all 261 farming lots.
With seeding over and harvest still a long way off, it was trans-seasonal items such as the Pizey post hole digger $3200, an 18 foot stock crate with Hobbs Hoists ($1620), a Chamberlain C670 with a front end loader and three-point linkage ($7800) that attracted noticeably strong competition.
The bigger machinery had reserves within easy reach of buyers and the auctioneering team rarely needed to consult the clerking sheets before knocking down the lots.
Among the higher prices was a Case International 5126 27-tyne combine with knife points and in excellent condition that was bought by Ray Chadwick, Williams, for $14,000; the Izuzu seven tonne tipping truck sold to Paul Milne, Darkan, for $10,000; the Chamberlain 4280 tractor went to a Narrogin farmer for $9400.
Rarely seen at clearing sales was a Bourne rock loader which sold for $9600 to the Dearlove family at Dudinin.
The complementary single axle trailer sold to a separate buyer for $800.
A Hough H30 loader, offered by an outside vendor, made $6000
Items such as the Jetstream double-axle boomspray with a foam marker appeared to be one of better bargains of the day when sold for $1000.
Another was the Massey Ferguson 3324 pto header that made just $220.
The buyer was heard to comment, "the tyres alone are worth $400 each".
Also good buying were the three 1000 litre overhead fuel tanks that fetched $100, $190 and $250.
Antique hunters were offered a rare gem in a hollowed-out log about four metres in length.
Originally a horse trough it set a benchmark value and went to a good home when it made $65 and was bought by vintage machinery collector Jesse Martin, Narrogin.
Other indicative values for the usual minor items were $2200 for a 37ft Jetstream auger with a Briggs & Stratton Motor; $920 for a 5t Marshall twin spread broadcaster; a Jetstream All-bulk bin with hoists made $1500; a 3pl grader made $580; $1800 for a 600 bushell elevated cone-bottom Sherwell silo; and $3000 for outside vendor's John Shearer round bale feeder.