The Story of Newmarket Saleyards

Board 2: The Lynch’s Bridge Project

This History Trail is about a market place – a place where livestock and money changed hands, a meeting place where city and country met, a work place. It was the everyday life of thousands of people in its time and affected the life of both city and country people. Culture develops out of work. Culture is not only fine arts and opera, it is what people do in their daily lives – the dynamics of life. The pastoral industry holds a key place in the history of Australia and its economic development. Newmarket was at the heart of this industry. Consequently, much of my research has been with people who took part in the activity of Newmarket. Community consultation has been important to this project, especially through the Newmarket Saleyards Historic Sub-Committee.

At the time of researching and writing these history panels, a complete history of the Newmarket Saleyards had not been written. Therefore, for its information, this ‘Story of Newmarket Saleyards’ drew upon a wide range of unpublished writings, oral history tapes, private papers, reports and personal comments. Photos were also difficult to come by. Very few people take photos of their workplace and the saleyards is a case in point. Fortunately, before it was known that the Saleyards would close, the Living Museum of the West documented with photographs and oral history interviews, many of the activities that occurred at the Saleyards, as did the rural newspapers, Stock and Land and The Weekly Times. Other sources of photos that the public have access to at present are in collections belonging to the Melbourne City Council and the La Trobe Library. For more detailed information, including access to the original oral history tapes and transcripts, contact Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.

I would like to thank the Museum of Victoria for their input to this project and the sponsors for their financial support.

Elizabeth McKinnon Researcher/Designer Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.