The Story of Newmarket Saleyards

Board 10: Near and Far

The suburbs of Kensington, Flemington, Ascot Vale and Footscray surrounded the Yards. Workers at the Yards lived in the immediate vicinity and, over 126 years, a complete way of life developed that was distinctly different to other suburbs.

The local chaff and stock feed stores, shearing sheds, wool stores, and the constant flow of livestock along the roads leading to the Yards created a rural environment. All of the Newmarket shops, hotels, and cafes relied upon workers and their families from the Saleyards and its associated industries for their trade.

Some families lived and worked in Newmarket for five (5) generations, and one generation inherited the traditions of the Yards from the previous, whether they were male or female. Women never worked at the Yards, but some wanted to. They found the Yards an entertaining and fascinating place.

The Newmarket community was an extended family covering most of Victoria that met on market days, listened to the Country Hour radio programme and read the rural newspapers to stay in touch. The Royal Melbourne Agricultural Show was the time, once a year, when country and city cousins met, and Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington Racecourse brought together the family which is Australia’s livestock industry from near and far.
The original panel was sponsored by ICI