Dictionary of Sydney

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Mr Fred Scott remembers his grandfather's work as a wool classer in Liverpool, interviewed in 1986

Mr Fred Scott was born in 1914 and was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960.' He remembers his grandfather's work as a wool classer in the early twentieth century when semi-rural Liverpool had close links with the wool industry.

INTERVIEWER: What did your grandfather do in Liverpool?

FRED: He was a wool classer.

INTERVIEWER: Did he get work in the Liverpool region?

FRED: Yes, six months he worked at the wool wash in Liverpool, and for six months he went around the western districts [of New South Wales] to Bourke.

INTERVIEWER: Can you give me any information about the wool wash?

FRED: I only know what my grandfather told us - I'd seen it for many years. They used to float wool down by barge to Botany Bay, which was a long time ago.

INTERVIEWER: How would they get the barges up here?

FRED: Come up by river. To the weir, where the weir was. Then load it - drive it along - the wool wash was down on the Georges River and they used to take the stuff down to the boats. Henry Haig's was the company that used to have the wool wash in those days. But my grandfather used to go out to the stations called Linello[?], Dunlop and Louth out near Bourke. They belonged to Gilchrist, Watt. Ernest Watt was the director and manager. When my grandfather retired he'd never missed a year for fifty years.

INTERVIEWER: Whereabouts would the wool come from, for the wool wash?

FRED: Came from all around the country in those days. It was top classed stuff, you know, it was washed and sent away [abroad], because they didn't send greasy wool away.

Contributed By
(Excerpt from interview with Mr Fred Scott, from the 'Looking back at Liverpool : an oral history of the Liverpool region 1900-1960' conducted in 1986 by Liverpool City Council, editor and project co-ordinator Catherine Johnson; researchers Angela Imbrosciano, Verica Miiosavijevic, Kathleen Smith)