Southern Cross lighting plant turns heads at Redford family clearing sale at Gingin

By Mal Gill
March 25 2022 - 11:00pm
James Redford cranks a 1950s single-cylinder Southern Cross diesel to demonstrate the restored 32-volt lighting plant does work. It sold for $1020 to a trader who bought some other vintage items such as crosscut saws and a square water tank with the Boans name a department store that operated in Perth from 1895 until 1986 and sold everything from crockery to saddles still clearly visible on its side.

TRACTORS were the items buyers came for, but a 1950s Southern Cross 32-volt lighting plant stole the show at a Nutrien Ag Solutions clearing sale on behalf of Gingin's Redford family on Friday.

James Redford, who managed the Red Gully cattle property for his parents Rob and Sue and who restored the lighting plant once found in farm sheds right across the Wheatbelt, pumped a squirt of dieselene from an oil can into the decompression port then swung the crank handle.

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The single-cylinder vertical diesel engine obediently chug-chugged into slow-revving life, with a cloud of grey smoke quickly filling the shed above the heads of interested onlookers who were packed into what had been a blacksmith's workshop, complete with forge.

After some spirited bidding Nutrien Livestock auctioneer Greg Neaves knocked the lighting plant down for $1020 to Toscana Pty Ltd, Welshpool, which also bought other old items like forge implements and drills, crosscut saws, a square galvanised water tank with the painted 'Boans' sign of its supplier still clearly visible on the side, along with assorted farming and household items, for an extra $1445 spend.

Hayden Mackail (left), who will live on the former Redford property, his father Graham who will manage it for Broome-based Thiseldo Pty Ltd and who manages three adjoining properties, rural stock agent Shane Flemming and Cass Parker who works for the Mackails.

The Redfords, who traded as Mogumber Holdings and are retiring, had farmed the property since 1988, breeding Angus cattle after having farmed sheep and cropped at Three Springs and Arrino before that.

They and James have been active members of the local community, Mr Neaves said and the Gingin community came out in strong support for their clearing sale, with a high proportion of the 145 registered bidders from the local area.

Top two items out of the 247 lots offered at the clearing sale, were both Case tractors in good order and with front-end-loader attachments.

James Morton (left), Gingin, with Frank Dewar, Guilderton and his son Joe.

A licensed 2014 Case JXU115 front-wheel-assist tractor with 3000 hours showing and front-end-loader hay forks and bucket sold for the top bid of $76,000 to SC & MM Kirkham, Coolup, bidding through an intermediary.

A smaller, licensed 2002 Case CX100 tractor with 6500 hours, also fitted with a front-end-loader with hay forks and bucket sold to a Malaga machinery dealer for $35,000.

The same dealer also bought an assortment of smaller lots, including three-point-linkage mowers and slasher, light harrows, post hole borer, mister and two vintage Southern Cross single-cylinder diesel motors suitable for restoration or parts, for an additional $3000 outlay.

Third top item, a Case IH tow-behind mower and conditioner in excellent condition sold for $19,000 to F & A Panizza, Toodyay.

Jubilee Downs Pastoral Company, Dandaragan, paid $11,500 for an older 11 tonne Marshall Multispread in good condition and $500 for the forge.

An unlicensed 2009 Nissan Navara 4x4 utility with 132,692 kilometres showing on the odometer, attracted bidder interest and sold to CJ & VB Martin, Watheroo, for $8500.

The Martins also bought a slip-on fire fighting unit for $1600.

Old mates John Verheyen (left) and John Annear, both of Gingin, check out the bigger of two Case front-end-loader tractors offered at the clearing sale.

Yegan Grazing, Gingin, paid $38 a bale for 115 round bales of 2020 hay, while the purchaser of the Redford property, Thisledo Pty Ltd, Broome, paid $60 for 19 round bales of 2021 season hay.

Thisledo, with local property manager Graham Mackail bidding, also bought a scrub rake for $1150, four of the 10 cattle feeders on offer for $1800 each, one of two 18-disc Chamberlain ploughs that sold for $500 each and a poly pipe winder and pump for $400.

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Mr Mackail said he now managed the Redford property and three neighbouring properties for three different owners who bred cattle in the Kimberley and trucked them south to fatten.

He lives on one of the neighbouring properties and said his son Hayden would move onto the Redford property.

Josh Freeman (left) and Brad Alp, both of Beermullen, with William Alp who has just turned one and is already attending his second clearing sale.

Thisledo - owned by Andrew Stewart, principal of Broome-based Northern Rural Supplies - had also bought 200 Angus cows and 250 Angus weaners from Mogumber Holdings when it purchased the property and they will be mated to Charolais bulls, Mr Mackail said.

The clearing sale raised a total of $250,164 gross.

"It was well supported and it went very well," Mr Neaves said afterwards.

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"It was an unreserved sale, but we didn't have to go begging for anything, it all sold with good honest value."

Mr Redfood said he and his parents were happy with the sale result.

Redford siblings Carol (left), Kenneth and farm manager James with Rodney and Heather Watters, Watters Cattle Transport, who trucked cattle for the Redford family.

"It was a good turnout - there's a lot of locals here," he said.

"I think the un-reserved pricing helped, everything had to be sold and it was, so we're very happy."

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