Farming history on display

Farming history on display
18 May 2022

From vintage mowers to machines used to bend steel rims for wagon wheels, the eagerly awaited new display at Bullsbrook Museum will take visitors on a journey through Bullsbrook’s agricultural past.

A dedicated team of volunteers – the powerhouse behind Bullsbrook’s much-loved local museum – is putting the finishing touches to the exhibits and signage ready for the museum extension to begin its soft opening to the public at the end of May.

The extension has been built by the City of Swan with help from the Residents and Ratepayers Association (BRRA Bullsbrook), a grant from the State Government and the tireless efforts of the Bullsbrook Museum’s dedicated team of local volunteers.

Sandy Pate, curator for the new agricultural display, says having the space to finally add an agricultural machinery display is an exciting milestone for the museum.

“It is important the museum caters for everyone. Expanding the displays to honour Bullsbrook’s agricultural history has been a huge part of that vision,” Sandy says.

Collecting, storing, cataloguing and displaying all the exhibits, including more than 100 large items, has been a huge challenge, with the museum’s volunteers working tirelessly behind the scenes.

Most exhibits are at least 50 years old, with the focus on Bullsbrook and its immediate surrounds. Many illustrate the more intricate detailing used on farm machinery back in the day.

Some are rare items, such as the series of cogs and levers used to bend steel rims for horse-drawn wagons. Unlike similar tools used many decades ago, this one could shape larger rims suitable for camel wagons.

The new display is a fascinating peek into local agricultural life many, many years ago.

The museum extension had been more than three years in the making and a labour of love for its team of local volunteers, including  President the Late Anne Sibbel, Vice-President Frank Sibbel, Treasurer Anne Melville, Secretary Val Pate, Cataloguer Olga Utting and co-curator Bev Taylor. Many others have donated time, machinery and vehicles.

Visitors can take a self-guided tour at any time, with donations welcome on entry.

While the farm machinery display is accessible any day of the week, the main hall at Bullsbrook Museum is open Sundays, 10am – 2pm or by appointment.

The entire museum is now wheelchair friendly and there is a playground and picnic area within the grounds.