New Farm Park, Brisbane

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A BIT OF BETTER BUTTER

Continuing with our history hunt of the local area from the last post we visited the old Kingston butter Factory. It was built in 1907 after a group of 50 local dairy farmers formed a cooperative to run a butter factory in Kingston. It opened in1907 with one butter maker, 2 engineers and a cream tester.
By 1930 there were more than 30 employees and the weekly output was 50 tons. A new large factory was built in 1932 with an output of 3,367 tons of butter. It won awards at home and abroad.

Betty Botter bought some butter,
"But," she said, "the butter's bitter;
If I put it in my batter,
It will make my batter bitter;
But a bit of better butter,
That would make my batter better."
So she bought a bit of butter,
Better than her bitter butter,
And she put it in her batter,
And the batter was not bitter;
So 'twas better Betty Botter
Bought a bit of better butter.


In 1958 it was taken over by "Peters Dairy Company" and by 1979 it had ceased taking milk and only made Cottage and Baker's Cheese. In1983 the factory ceased operation. (Thanks to the take over of the dairy industry by big businesses)
In 1988, bicentennial year, the factory was transformed into a community facility by the Logan City Council. It is now a Theatre and home of Logan City Theatre Co. It also houses a museum, Arts &Craft shop and function rooms. I often brought my class here for children's theatre productions.

Inside the museum we saw this old milk delivery cart.

On the back there were a variety of milk churns.


This one caught my eye because the name L.Benfer, Mt Cotton was familiar to me. I used to teach in the rural suburb of Mt Cotton and I taught Benfer children and Len was their Grandfather.



In the corner of the museum we were amused by the old "dunny" (an Aussie term for an outside toilet.) They even had fake spider web and a Red-back Spider (poisonous), which were notorious for hiding in the dunny. I can remember carrying a lantern like this to the outside dunny when I was a kid. Squares of newspaper hung on the back of the door, which made interesting reading if you could get comfortable with the smell and fear of spiders and snakes.
There was a pan under the seat. Once a week the dunnyman (nightcarter, sewage worker) would come at night or in the early hours of the morning and pull the can out of the little door and replace it with an empty one. We always hoped he wouldn't come while you were sitting there. He would heave the full can onto his shoulder, careful not to spill any, and run with it to put it on the dunnycart (night soil truck). There was nothing worse than being caught behind a dunnycart on your bike on the way to school.

Here is a famous Australian song about the Red-back Spider:

There's a Red-back on the Toilet Seat
by Ralph Ernest 'Slim' Newton
The red-back spider (Latrodectus hasseltii) one of Australia's most venomous spiders. It's found across Australia including Tasmania and is often found in outdoor dunnys, letter boxes, under logs and rocks and other dark areas.
Since the poison attacks the nervous system, it only takes a small amount of venom to cause serious illness. The red-back spider's painful bite can be fatal, especially to the young and elderly. An effective anti-venom was developed in 1956 and you should seek medical help immediately if bitten.
The red-back spider is most active at dusk and during the night. The man bitten in this song was bitten by a female red-back. The male does not bite.
There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
I jumped high up into the air,
And when I hit the ground,
That crafty red-back spider
Wasn't nowhere to be found.
There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
And now I'm ere in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight,
And I curse the red-back spider
On the toilet seat last night.
Rushed in to the missus,
Told her just where I'd been bit,
She grabbed the cut-throat razor blade,
And I nearly took a fit.
I said "Just forget what's on your mind,
And call a doctor please,
'Cause I've got a feeling that your cure
Is worse than the disease."
There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
And now I'm ere in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight,
And I curse the red-back spider
On the toilet seat last night.
I can't lay down, I can't sit up,
And I don't know what to do,
And all the nurses think it's funny,
But that's not my point of view.
I tell you it's embarrassing,
(And that's to say the least)
That I'm too sick to eat a bite,
While that spider had a feast!
There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
And now I'm ere in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight,
And I curse the red-back spider
On the toilet seat last night.
And when I get back home again,
I tell you what I'll do,
I'll make that red-back suffer
For the pain I'm going through.
I've had so many needles
That I'm looking like a sieve,
And I promise you that spider
Hasn't very long to live!
There was a red-back on the toilet seat
When I was there last night,
I didn't see him in the dark,
But boy! I felt his bite!
And now I'm ere in hospital,
A sad and sorry plight,
And I curse the red-back spider
On the toilet seat last night.

14 comments:

  1. I like the lamp with the fake spider best.

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  2. WONDERFUL! POST! Just wonderful!

    We do not have as many poisonous spiders here in Colorado as you do in your home land. I think I would have been terrified to use the pot, but one must do what one must do.

    Linda
    http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com

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  3. Hi Diane, This is such an interesting post... I love hearing about your history.. I had never heard the word 'dunny'... We call them 'outhouses'... ha

    And I've never heard of that that particular spider. One of the worst ones here is the Brown Recluse. It hides in attics and inside things in storage... AND--it is very dangerous if one gets bitten.

    Isn't it kinda sad that all of the BIG businesses and 'chain' stores have taken over and put the local stores out-of-business? I hate that---and it's happened here BIGTIME.

    Keep us posted about the baby.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  4. Good to see local council making use of the place for the community.

    Re your comment on my post, I don't know your marine scientist friend in Hobart but no doubt the people I was with on Bruny Island would - they were all marine and fisheries types from Tassie. I love Tasmania, if only it wasn't so cold!

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  5. I love your stories of the past ! At least they kept the building ! the toilet is very romantic, lol ! I tried to read Betty Botter bought some butter, but then my tongue went on strike !

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  6. Great post Diane...I love the yellow milk delivery cart...I can just see a couple of my horse pulling it..:)

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  7. Hi Diane, another wonderful and interesting post, thank you.

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  8. Your Aussie red-back spider seems like a variation of our black widow...they have the same round, shiny black bodies, but the black widow has a red hourglass on its stomach. It is also a venomous spider.

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  9. i just love reading your blog, di. Keep it coming. cheers, Kathryn

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  10. It's nice that this old butter factory was able to be recycled into a museum and theater, Diane.

    The poems made me smile ... Ihope to never sit on a red back spider!

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  11. It is always sad to see the smaller businesses go under because to the large corporations. I'm glad the building has been saved and is used. The wagon and milk cans are fun to see.

    The spider story is cute, I would rather not experience such a bite. Apparently the Red-back is a close relative of our Black Widow.

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  12. Diane,
    I must be getting old but I do remember some of those things...well done.

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  13. Oh my gosh -- great history lesson with songs and smiles! Glad they saved that building and preserved some of the history of it.

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  14. You had me at "butter"...you lost me at "spider" LOL

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