Long, narrow cane stick used by yardmen, drovers and stock agents, to point out cattle being auctioned and to prod cattle for pushing up into pens and drafting into and out of trucks. Nearly all workers at Newmarket Saleyards would have one of these sticks. The sticks were very long (approximately 5 or 6 feet) so that the user would not be kicked.

During the peak seasonal periods huge numbers of stock were moved to, from and around the Newmarket saleyards. Even up until the late 1950s stock going to and from the markets was moved through the streets of Melbourne, and particularly Newmarket. Sheep, cattle and, in the earlier days, pigs were driven to Newmarket down main traffic roads; from railway sidings to the saleyards; through drafting, receiving, penning and selling yards; from the saleyards to the adjoining abattoirs. Prior to the construction of the McLennan Bridge over Racecourse Road in 1964 to facilitate the movement of stock, cattle and sheep were herded directly into yards from the Newmarket rail siding along Newmarket Street, Ascot Vale Road. Red and green “Turner's Flags” were used to control traffic when stock was crossing the roads; while dogs, horses, yarding sticks and rattlers were used to move the stock along.

Physical Description

Long, narrow bamboo/cane stick (142cm) painted yellow with white tape at one end, silver nsulation tape at other end, possibly to stop stick splitting.

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