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4: McGlashin & Cumming

Engineers &Millwrights.

 

Originally the site of McGlashin & Cumming Engineers & Millwrights:

Gilbert McGlashan began his engineering business in Learmonth in 1861 in a building owned by William McKay.

In 1863 he took Cummin, a Millwright into partnership, in 1864 they invented a reaping machine for cutting grain crops. Up until then all grain crops were cut by hand using a sickle of scythe. The new reaping machine was pulled by one horse and had a cut of 3 feet. The next model had a cut of 3' 6" and was pulled by two horses. The machine was were much sought after by the district's farmers and in 1865 they had 45 made ready for the forthcoming harvest season.

Ballarat Agricultural and Pastoral Society encouraged competitions for inventors of new farm machinery. The McGlashan Reaper entered in the 1866 annual exhibition was described as "a fine article".

In June 1868 McGlashin applied to the Council for permission to erect two verandas on his business premises.

The business was sold in 1884 to William Wilson Walker who continued the blacksmithing business. He was able to purchase the land in 1891 from the trustees of William McKay's estate. William's brother-in-law, Alf Sandford, 10 years William's junior was apprenticed in the business for sometime.

One day William was invalided by a kicking horse as he shod it, his injury failed to heal later resulting in the amputation of a leg. William's two sons Charlie and Keith managed the blacksmithing and gradually took over the business. As his artificial leg limited his mobility William now concentrated on a boot and shoe repair business.

William and his wife Annie also owned enough land for several house blocks.

William Walker was well known for playing his violin at many district functions.

The family business changed to a garage as motorcars were introduced.

In 1910, Learmonth residents owned 2 cars and 7 motorcycles.

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Learmonth Garage (November 2008).

The current building on the site.

 

 

Neville Goldsmith bought the business from the Walker Brothers in 1969 and changed the facade to that of a modern garage. The business was later sold to Brian Briody who closed it in 2006/7.

 

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