High country sheep drive.

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Tono kōrero mai

Bruce Petrie of the New Zealand Wool Board narrates this radio documentary about high country sheep farming. He accompanies the muster on remote Bluff Station of Marlborough, inland from Kekerengu.

[Recorded in 1956 using one of the New Zealand Broadcasting Service's new portable tape recorders, this programme is an early example of a radio documentary using actuality recorded in the field.]

Every February four thousand ewes have to be walked 60 miles from the back country to the shearing sheds at Kekerengu, accompanied by seven shepherds, a pack train and 40 dogs.

Jim Chaffey, Bluff Station owner speaks to the homestead at Kekerengu via radio telephone, which has revolutionised life on the remote station.
Pilot Lance "Snow" Gatehouse talks about how an airstrip has changed life in the back country.

Bluff Station homestead is described by the Edna Roberts, the wife of the head shepherd, Les Roberts. She talks about their isolated lifestyle.
Jim Chaffey talks about the cob homestead and modern developments that have been introduced.

Sheep are walked out from the inland station to the coast at Kekerengu. A mob of four thousand sheep and forty dogs is described.
Shepherd Bob Middlemass describes how the mob is moved by men on horseback and their dogs. He describes a shepherd's supplies and the equipment they carry with them on horseback.

The role of the packman and his team of horses is described, and 'packie' Jack McDonald talks about his job, the advantages of mules over packhorses, the supplies he carries and how he cooks them.

Bruce Petrie talks about the dangers of mustering life and Jim Chaffey explains how illness and emergencies were dealt with on the station during World War II, including a fatal crash by two Air Force planes.
He talks about the changes using airplanes have brought to the station, delivering supplies and in rabbit control.

Two young shepherds Trevor Mackie and Barry Bensemann explain the appeal of the musterer's life and tell some stories of adventures in the back country.
Charlie Pickering, an older shepherd talks about what will happen to the sheep once they reach Kekerengu; shearing and dipping.

Bruce Petrie reviews the musterer's fifty-six- mile journey from Bluff Station to the coast at Kekerengu.

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Year 1956

Reference number 248048

Media type AUDIO

Collection Sound Collection

Genre Documentary radio programs
Nonfiction radio programs
Radio programs
Sound recordings

Credits Petrie, Bruce, 1925-1961, Narrator
Chaffey, Jim, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Gatehouse, Lance, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Roberts, Edna, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Middlemass, Bob, Speaker/Kaikōrero
McDonald, Jack, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Mackie, Trevor, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Bensemann, Barry, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Pickering, Charlie, Speaker/Kaikōrero
New Zealand Broadcasting Service (estab. 1946, closed 1962), Broadcaster

Duration 00:57:54

Date 1956