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Newmarket Saleyards Photograph Collection

Early Morning with Sheep, Newmarket Saleyards, 1987

Image: Early Morning with Sheep, Newmarket Saleyards, 1987

Source: Museum Victoria

The photograph collection consists of 395 images depicting the Newmarket Saleyards prior to its closure in 1987 and at the 150th anniversary in 2011.

The bulk of the collection is from the Queen Victoria Market archives. These 360 images were taken during the last years of the opperation of the Newmarket Saleyards, culminating with the last auction held in 1987. Digital copies of these images are held at Museum Victoria.

The images were captured by City of Melbourne employees, Michael Hunt, Vince Crupi and Jim Stoikos and professional photographers D. Walpole and Paul Bovolos who were commissioned by the council. Crupi then compiled these photographs into eight albums, while Hunt prepared the captions. These volumes were originally held in the Queen Victoria Market archives and are now in the possession of the City of Melbourne. Unfortunately, the eighth volume has not been located. It is believed that this album contains images of the Saleyards last day before it closed.

Most of the photographs were taken in the mid-1980s when the State Government announced the closure of the Saleyards. Crupi, a history enthusiast, convinced his manager to allow him to start photographing what was believed to be the final period of the Saleyards operations. Following protests from employees and others associated with the site, the government extended the use of the Saleyards until its final closure in April 1987.

The photo albums provide an important visual record showing many aspects of the site. The images show the physical layout of the Saleyards, including aerial views, buildings, trees, stock yards, laneways and bluestone paving. We are given an insight into livestock auctions, maintenance, night operations and the logistics of moving stock across the site. Images of sheep, cattle, workers, stock dogs and livestock auctions provide us with a sense of excitement and activity which characterised life at the Saleyards.

The remaining images in the collection were commissioned by the Kensington Community Group for the 150th anniversary Newmarket Saleyards which took place in 2011.

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