TRIP REPORTS Strathfieldsaye Estate By Damian and Angela Stock On the afternoon of Friday September 20th Angela and I headed to Strathfieldsaye Estate to prepare for the club’s visit that weekend. Our plan was to arrive well before our first visitors. Martin and Dot, however preparing the farm, and our cattle and horses, for our absence took a little longer than expected. No sooner had we arrived at “Strath” when Martin and Dot pulled up outside the Disher Lab, our base for the weekend. We knew that Martin and Dot had stopped for afternoon tea at Stratford, at their favourite spot, and expected them to be a little behind us, but they weren’t far behind at all. After selecting our bedroom in the lab building for the weekend we showed Martin and Dot the options available and they selected the master bedroom in the shearer’s house, a short walk up the hill from the main homestead buildings. While they settled in, Angela and I visited our hostess, Pam Parker, at the manager’s house where she lives. While at the lab we had noticed that there wasn’t any water refilling the toilet cistern and we found the same situation at the homestead. Pam advised us that all the toilets were supplied by a tank on the top of the hill, which had been replaced by a new plastic tank during the week and could be the cause of the problem. She had numerous post-it notes from the volunteers who had worked on the tank so we headed up that way to see if we could make sense of things. Despite our best efforts we could not work out how the many taps worked together to get water to the various buildings. As it was getting towards dinner time we decided to stick with the old bucket method for filling the cisterns as required. There would be time on Saturday morning to investigate further, after a good night’s sleep.
The historic homestead main building.
Our plan for the evening was to head into Stratford, around fifteen minutes away, for dinner, with Pam, Martin and Dot. Pam had said that the Stratford pub was under new management, and that the meals were pretty good, so that was where we headed. The pub was pretty busy, possibly due to it being the first weekend of the school holidays, and there wasn’t a spare seat inside the restaurant. Given that the evening was quite pleasant we decided to grab a table outside in the courtyard. The meals certainly were value for money and I know that my steak and ribs was quite filling. After dinner we returned to the estate and dropped Pam off at the manager’s house, and Martin and Dot to their accommodation, where we had supper. Having had a busy day, driving to the farm from Melbourne in the morning and then to Strath in the afternoon, it was soon time for Angela and I to head back to the lab for the night.
The historic navigation tree, supposedly 1000 years old.
After a good night’s sleep, a quick breakfast and a good coffee, I headed back up the hill, convinced that I had overlooked something. There was one tap, without a handle, that I had tried to open the night 13