Woodford Saleyards

The Woodford Saleyards are on the corner of Archer and Margaret Streets Woodford.

Research done by Woodford Historical Society

In 1906, John Ferguson purchased the block of land that he hoped to subdivide into smaller blocks and sell to the locals.  The area had been purchased by Ambrose Tilney under Deed of Grant in 1880.  Tilneys had lived on the next block, and we know that there were yards there when Ferguson bought the block.  It was here that the coach horses were changed when the coach service started in 1880, and carried on until the Railway reached Woodford in 1910. The first Auctioneer mentioned in Woodford was William Yates Jnr, who was in business in 1907, and G.Y.Harding was in town but lived at Neurum.  J.Gannon was trading soon after this, and he was joined by W.H.Perkins, forming a partnership.  They ran Cattle Sales and Auctions, both in Kilcoy and Woodford, until Perkins bought his partner out. He moved to Brisbane about 1940, and had a shop at The Grange, and still carried on selling at the Cannon Hill Saleyards. With the arrival of the Railway, yards were built on the Eastern side of the line, and were reached by a lane from George Street, through the Railway Gates. They were still in use at the end of the 1930s, but with the arrival of road transport, they eventually died out. The sale yards in the main street were bought by Ole Raaen in 1929, and Walter Beanland ran Sales there, but after Webb Bros bought the yards in 1946, they were given a facelift, and regular Sales were held with Beanland the Auctioneer.   These sales in the early 1950s were very popular with a lot of the stock being driven up the main street to the yards.  On at least two occasions, steers wandered into Cars Trucks and Tractors doorway and came out through the plate glass windows.    Harry Perryer ran the sales for a time, and then R.A.Wood and Son took over in the 1960s.

Memories from Colleen Coop nee Nichols

As a teenager living on my father and mother (Doug and Mae Nichols) dairy farm at Mt Mee I remember that RA Wood and Son conducted calf and pig sales every Monday, and cattle sales on a Friday once a month. Old man Wood’s, I think his name was Robert, conducted these auctions picking up calves and pigs from farms in the local areas. His son Bob was an auctioneer in later time, taking over the business from his father, trading under the same name. Bob, alongside with his wife Audrey who did the books for his company. Val Liddle was also the office girl for RA Wood & Son. I think RA Wood & Sons sold gas stoves and other items out of the building where the real estate is today. Mum and Dad bought a gas stove from them in about early 1960 when they built their new house at Mt Mee.

Doug Nichols went into partnership with Bob Woods in 1969 trading as Nichols & Wood Pty Ltd, and Audrey continued doing the office work. In 1972 Doug Nichols purchased Bob Wood’s share of the Stock and Station agency outright and started trading as Doug Nichols & Co Pty Ltd. On the 8th January 1973 I started as office girl and Jack Webb was penciling at these auctions. After about a year Jack Webb retired and I took over the penciling which I did for 37 1/2 years retiring on 30th June 2010. My brother John Nichols would pick calves, pigs and cattle from between Woodford areas to Dayboro. John was also yardman when he arrived with his consignment he would have to pen all the calves, pigs and cattle into pens according to size, weight etc. Nichols & Wood would also conduct monthly cattle sales in Dayboro, ending in about 1975.

When Doug Nichols took over the business the cattle pens were made of old wooden posts and rail, I remember they were very dilapidated and Doug and John set about building new yards to accommodate the cattle. I don’t know what year, but I think the calf pens were built in early 1900’s. They were always in need of repairs to keep them useable.

Doug, John and I, in about 1982 had built the business up so much that we decided conduct cattle sales fortnightly as the yards were not large enough to accommodate 830 head in one sale. At that sale where we had 830 head of cattle we were still selling at 8pm under a lead light with the help of Terry Perkins and Stan Wallace auctioneers from Cannon Hill saleyards. Big Day!

Doug Nichols sold the Stock and Station agency and the saleyards on 2nd May 1992 to Mike Wheeler. Mike sold the business to David Staihr in 2016 retaining his interest in the saleyards land. The saleyards still operate at 129 Archer Street Woodford on the block of land in the middle of town to this day 7th February 2021.

Memories from Kay Garson nee Tripcony

Owen “Owie” Roberts, Father of Betty (Kruger), Enid (Bleakley) and Gavin, lived on the Cove Road  near the Commissioner’s Flat State School. He had a cattle truck and picked up cattle, pigs and calves to take to the saleyards from the farmers in the district. He enjoyed a beer or three after the sales. On the night after the sales Mum would hear “Owie’s” distinctive truck negotiating the slight bend and the bridge over Cedar Creek and then gaining revs as he aimed for the Commissioner’s flat turn off. She would get Dad to follow him to make sure he negotiated the Stanley River bridge safely. At the time it was a typical single lane wooden structure with running planks but no rails and quite a drop to the river. He always made it safely as far as I know.

Photos courtesy of Colleen Coop

Doug Nichols at the Woodford Saleyards
Collen Coop, pencilling at the Woodford Saleyards which she did for nearly 38 years
Doug Nichols auctioning calves at the Woodford Saleyards
Doug Nichols