Ringer was published by the Hay Historical Society in 2004. It is a wide-ranging collection of stories and articles about the history of Hay and surrounding district. Lavishly illustrated with a wealth of historic photographs, Ringer offers a tempting selection of items for those with an interest in the Western Riverina.
Ringer contains tales of swagmen, of early settlers, of bush fires and floods, of shearers and station hands, of explorers and bushmen. There are descriptions of the life lead by our pioneer women, who battled drought and the troubles of the Depression and war years to bring up their families, while helping to run properties in remote areas.
A variety of memoirs have been included in Ringer, with the well-known names of Tom Culley, Noel Reid, Florence Carr, Norman Hurst and others giving an insight into pastoral life of the days when amenities were few and transport was by horse and buggy. Ringer presents aspects of the story of Hay from the first settling of the township, to the duststorms of the 1940s. Events described in the volume range from the opening of the first bridge at Hay in 1874 right up to the Romano Cup win by the Hay Cutters in 1998, and the opening of Shear Outback in 2002.
As well as pastoral and grazing history, and outline histories of many of Hay's institutions, there are several sporting recollections. The tale of the visit in 1892 of the Melbourne Cricket Club is re-told in Ringer, when the Hay Club fielded eighteen and could have done with a few more! Along with gems of sporting history are included rare photos of sporting heroes such as Norman Callaway, who could have been another Bradman had not the First World War not cut his cricket career tragically short. Other sportsmen featured include the famous schoolboy athlete, Richard Harris, who was a one-man team from the Hay War Memorial High School, and Theo Tartakover, who learned to swim at Alma beach, and then swam for Australasia at two Olympic Games.
A special feature is the saga of the "Ringer Store", and Henry Barkley Maclure's enterprises in Hay. Henry Maclure named his store "The Ringer", after the title for the fastest shearer in a woolshed, and his business life was dedicated to providing the best possible goods and services for his customers. It is in tribute to Henry Maclure's vision that this book is named.
An interesting first-hand account of the Girls' Institute at the Hay Gaol in the 1960s is included, with some of the photos which first appeared in the Riverine Grazier and later were published in Hansard in connection with an enquiry into the operation of the Institute. Other items include an account of the blowing down of a district woolshed, notes on the Mossgiel archaeological finds of the 1960s and 1970s, and the tale of the shopping for a corset for the woolshed ball (gentleman's name suppressed!).
Ringer is A4 in size, comprised of 200 pages of a high quality paper. A total of sixty-two chapters are followed by a comprehensive index listing all people, places and significant events mentioned. Maps of the town of Hay and of the Western Riverina provide a useful guide to the localities mentioned.
Cost: $ 40 (plus $ 10 for postage & handling within Australia).
Orders by post should be sent to the address below, enclosing a cheque or money order (credit cards cannot be accepted).
Address: Hay Historical Society Inc., P.O. Box 467, Hay, NSW, 2711.
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