29 January 2015
Millthorpe eNews
The major upgrade now taking place at Millthorpe’s Golden Memories Museum will centre
on the new Trevor Pascoe Pavilion, and the emphasis will be on Australian inventions, some
of which have a very close connection with Millthorpe.
Museum President Peter Whiley bubbles with enthusiasm over the project. “Despite its
short history since European settlement and relatively small population, Australia has
generated a remarkable number of important inventions in the last 200 years”, he says. “We
have achieved at a level well above what would be expected for a country of its population.”
Warming to his subject, Peter points out that we lead the world in achievements across
many fields such as agriculture, domestic, sport, the arts, medicine, transport and
“Did you know,” he enthuses, “that Australians were actually the first in the world to build a
successful wheat harvesting machine, make a feature length movie film, build a refrigeration
system, build the self-constructing tower crane, put wine in cardboard casks, explore both
the Arctic and Antarctic by air, invent a portable pacemaker, manufacture and market the
one-piece bathing suit, develop the wire-guided missile…”
He shows the eNews a long and rapidly growing list of Australian inventions that the
Museum is gathering, either for display in the flesh or to feature on display boards. Eighteen
large items have already been collected, and Peter and the indefatigable Museum
volunteers are endeavouring to make them functional so that they will actually work in front
of visitors at the press of a button.
One of the inventions, the G-Well Bag Loader (pictured), has a special connection with
Millthorpe. It was invented by Cliff Bowd who was born in Millthorpe in 1892, grandson of
original pioneers Edward and Esther Bowd.
After he moved to Canowindra, Cliff invented the bag loader, originally known as the Bowd
Loader, in 1938 and sold the patent to Lachlan Steel in Cowra who then sold it to G-Well in
Sydney, and the G-Well Bag Loader was born. It, and variations and improvements of it, have
been in constant use to load bags of wheat, seed grains, hay, wool and even peanuts since
the 1950s.
They were commonly known by all who used them as “kickers” and have been mechanically,
pneumatically and hydraulically powered. They were used to load sewn bags of wheat, oats,
potatoes, and all types of agricultural produce onto a truck.
Says Peter, “Almost all carriers’ trucks and many farm trucks in the late 1950s through the
1960s and into the 1970s were fitted with a G-Well Bag loader. Variations included a system
to empty wheat bags into a bulk bin, another adaptation lifted bales of hay onto a truck, yet
another was used to load 200kg bales of wool.”
Other inventions have Millthorpe connections, too, and the eNews will feature some of
them in the lead-up to the opening of the new Pavilion and remodelled museum late this
What on earth is it? This Australian invention, used widely across the country, especially
in the 1950s to 1970s, will be one of many featured when the Millthorpe Museum opens
its new pavilion late this year.
A reminder that a Swap Meet will be held on Sunday, 8 February, at Newbridge Show
Ground. Gates will open at 6am. For information, call Jan on 6368 1185 or Sally on 6368
1018 or 0488 612 033.
Contact Laurie Williams at [email protected] or drop a note in at Galvanised, 17
Pym Street, Millthorpe.