Dictionary of Sydney

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Mr William Kennedy remembers timber carting around Liverpool in the early twentieth century, interviewed in 1986

Mr William Kennedy was born in 1910 and was interviewed in 1986 for the 'Looking Back at Liverpool: An Oral History of the Liverpool Region 1900 to 1960.' He recalls the difference between drays and jinkers, both horse-drawn vehicles, which were used to cart timber in the Liverpool area in the early twentieth century.

WILLIAM: A dray is a two-wheeled vehicle pulled by one horse. It doesn't have springs on it like a cart or a car, no springs, [it] just sat on the axle. Dreadful things to ride on, no give in them. They carted wood, that was mainly firewood. Jinkers were four-wheeled vehicles and there was a big long pole, it could be extended, telescopic pole, connecting the two front wheels with the two back wheels, and that'd be extended depending on the length of the timber they were carrying, and pulled by a team of six horses and sometimes eight, depending on the size of the load. And that would move into the bush with the big tall trees that they cut out for the paling logs or timber to be sawn up into building material. It was quite interesting to see them loading it compared with today where there are cranes to lift things on and lift things off. Those days it was done by, the big log would be lying on the ground and then they'd put chains around it and they'd have two horses on the other side of the jinker and they'd put two planks down and the horses would be led up and they'd pull the logs up these rails onto the jinker. It's quite interesting, it's hard to explain but you would have to see it to believe it. Sometimes they'd have about seven logs. Well the Department of Labour and Industry with all their rules and regulations and safety precautions now, that wouldn't be on then. Yet there was very little accidents in the bush those days. They were skilled men, much more skilled than men today. It was remarkable what they could do. They were experienced bushmen, real bushmen in the strict sense of the word.

Contributed By
(Excerpt from interview with Mr William Kennedy, 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)