Here’s a look at three more of the silos I visited last month.
The first are at St James, a small town 148 miles north of Melbourne. It was first settled in 1870 and reached by railway in 1883, St James then being the end of what would become the Oaklands line.
The silo art depicts the history of wheat farming in the area, with one silo featuring a portrait of Sir George Coles (1885-1977). George Coles snr ran the St James store, selling it to his son in 1910 for £4500. From this grew the Coles Group supermarket empire we have today.
The silo art is by Tim Bowtell who also painted the Colbinabbin silos shown in my last piece
One stop along the line is Devenish, also settled in the 1870s. The silos were painted by Cam Scale and completed on Anzac Day 2018.
These two, built 1943, show a modern day combat medic and a nurse from WW1 – special to me since my maternal grandmother (who I never knew) served as a [British] army nurse in WW1. Fifty young men and women, one sixth of the then Devenish population, enlisted for service in WW1. Seven never returned.
The other silo, not shown here shows a Light Horse man.
The next stop on the line, the last before it joins the main line at Benalla, is Goorambat. The silo art is by Jimmy DVale. Shown here is a Barking Owl, an endangered species with fewer than 50 breeding pairs left in Victoria. What a magnificent depiction of a magnificent bird.
I’ve shown you four of the seven silo groups in NE Victoria. If you ever get the chance go and visit them yourself!