Lameroo silos VK-LMO5, Silos On The Air

After leaving Geranium I headed to my eight silo on the day, Lameroo silos VK-LMO5 for the Silos On he Air (SiOTA) program. Lameroo is located about 201 km south-east of the city of Adelaide, and about 40km west of the South Australia / Victoria State border.

Above:- Map showing the location of Lameroo. Map c/o Google maps

Lameroo is primarily a service town for the surrounding rural areas, growing grain and sheep. Lameroo now includes the former settlements of Kulkami, Mulpata, Wirha and Gurrai, which were on the Peebinga railway line, and Wilkawatt, which was between Parrakie and Lameroo on the Pinnaroo railway.

From around 1858, land around the now Lameroo, was first taken up on pastoral lease. The area was known as Wow Wow Plain. However there was limited grazing during this time. Following the establishment of a homestead and the digging of a well at Garra, south of Parrakie, settlement on the Wow Wow Plain became more popular.

In 1884 a well was dug at Wow Wow Plain. It measured 7 feet by 4 feet and 254 feet deep. It was timbered with round Cypress Pine which was obtained from the stands of Southern Cyrprus Pine located in the area. The well was dug by pick and shovel.

In 1894 the land was surveyed. The town reserve was proclaimed in 1894 and a Government well was excavated. In 1904 the town was named Lameroo at the suggestion of J.M. Johnston who had worked on the Overland Telegraph Line. He liked the name Lameroo as it was a reminder for him of Lameroo Beach, a small beach located off the Esplanade in central Darwin.

Above:- The South Australian Government Gazette, Thursday 17th November 1904.

Trains once ran to Lameroo on the Tailem Bend to Pinnaroo line. Construction of the lie commenced in 1904. Earthworks were completed to Lameroo by 1905. The first trains arrived with passengers and goods commenced arriving in 1906, with the line laid into the railway yard on the 6th day of April 1906. The Lameroo railway station was declared open on the 14th day of September 1906.

When the railway line first opened, trains watered at Tailem Bend and carried travelling tanks, but started watering regularly at Cotton Bore in 1907, and this was the only watering point on the line until a softening plant was established at Lameroo in 1915.

Above:- An early view of the Lameroo railway station. Image c/o Trove

In 1919, Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson, the Governor-General of Australia visited Lameroo in 1919 aboard the vice regal train. A large group gathered to greet the train. Also in attendance was Sir Arthur Stanley, the Governor of Victoria, and Crawford Vaughan, the Premier of South Australia.

Above:- the arrival of the vice regal train to Lameroo in 1919. Image c/o Trove

Today you can view the old railway station and a considerable amount old railway memorabilia in the reserve on the southern side of the Mallee Highway.

The main street of Lameroo is the Mallee Highway. Here you can find a number of shops. Lameroo was judged winner of the medium sized town category in the 1992 KESAB Tidy Towns Awards, and was in the top ten towns for five consecutive years.

Lameroo was the birthplace of Julie Moncrieff Anthony AM, OBE (b. 1949), an Australian former professional singer and entertainer. She was born to Betty and Les Lush, a sheep and wheat farmer.

At the start of the settlement of the Lameroo area, crops, rather than livestock, were the principal farming activity. Wheat was the main crop in the early years and then barley became popular too. Old farming practices sometimes led to the drift of topsoil but later soil management techniques reversed this trend and the use of super-phosphates from the 1950s increased crop yields.

Prior to the advent of Bulk Handling all grain was handled in bags and it was a common sight to see huge stacks awaiting transport in the railway yard.

Above:- Unloading wheat sacks from horsedrawn wagons at Lameroo.

After the South Australian Co-Operative Bulk Handling Limited (SACBH) set up operations in South Australia in 1955 local farmers requested a silo be built in the area, however, due to restrictions in the Bulk Handling Grains Act 1955 terminals had to be built at Wallaroo and Port Lincoln before overseas shipping facilities for the eastern area could be built at Port Adelaide. In the meantime the grain trade was canvassed regarding using grain stored in silos and from data on hand, Lameroo was selected as the ideal location for the first silo in the Port Adelaide division. The contract was let in 1959 and total capacity for the completed silo is 11,900 tonnes.

As the wheat silo proved so successful barley growers demanded a similar facility and in 1964 the barley silo was erected with a total capacity of 13,400 tonnes.

The silos at Lameroo are operated by Viterra which was founded in Canada in 2007. Viterra is the largest bulk grain handler in South Australia.

I called CQ on 7.150 and this was answered by Peter VK3PF, followed by Marija VK5MAZ, and then Gordon VK5GY. I now had three contacts in the log, the required number to qualify the silo.

I logged a further 6 stations on 40m from VK2, VK5, and VK7, before my callers completely dried up. I then moved down to 3.610 on the 80m band where I logged 6 stations, all from VK5.

To complete the activation I moved to 14.310 on the 20m band and logged Roly Zl1BQD in New Zealand.

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3PF
  2. VK5MAZ
  3. VK5GY
  4. VK5WG
  5. VK5FANA
  6. VK3BEL
  7. VK2VW
  8. VK5KLV
  9. VK7PSJ

I worked the following stations on 80m SSB:-

  1. VK5BJE
  2. VK5YP
  3. VK5FANA
  4. VK5MAZ
  5. VK5PET
  6. VK5MRE

I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. ZL1BQD

References.

  1. Grain Central, 2021, <https://www.graincentral.com/news/agribusiness/glencore-agriculture-to-rebrand-globally-as-viterra/>, viewed 16th July 2021.
  2. Lameroo & District Historical Society
  3. Mallee Highway Touring Route, 2021, <http://www.malleehighway.com.au/html/lameroo.html>, viewed 16th July 2021.
  4. Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lameroo,_South_Australia>, viewed 16th July 2021.
  5. Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lameroo_Beach>, viewed 16th July 2021.
  6. Wikipedia, 2021, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julie_Anthony_(singer)>, viewed 16th July 2021.

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