Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

A Personal Museum; Domestic Utensils Vie for Space on Tables with a Collection of Century-Old Love Letters

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

A Personal Museum; Domestic Utensils Vie for Space on Tables with a Collection of Century-Old Love Letters

Article excerpt

HIS home attracts a steady stream of international visitors, but some of the locals steal the firewood he sells at his gate to supplement his pension.

The Hut or The Shack, Barry Seccombe's tiny house on the Orara Way at Karangi, is a travellers' landmark for the quantity and variety of objects of all kinds that its owner has festooned around his dwelling.

Motorists are inclined to slow down and gawk; stop and stare or pull up and call in.

Old horse-drawn machinery shares yard space with a a[approximately]mad hatter's tea party' dining table and chairs and interesting pieces of timber.

Step on to the veranda and the scene changes to festoons of logging chains, saddles, horse collars, old chain saws and hand tools a some of them the very same used in the construction of the hardwood hut.

Venture inside and the walls are just as busy, covered with everything from interesting news-paper and magazine articles to family photographs, portraits of family members dating back more than 100 years, amusing signs and sayings, poetry, hats, horse gear, broad axes and pictures of well-endowed women.

Domestic utensils vie for space on tables and cupboards with a collection of love letters written by a smitten Seccombe 100 years ago; books of Australian stories; notebooks, bottles and framed photographs of race finishes featuring his horses.

It is the flotsam and jetsam of a long, crowded and lively life.

Spend an hour or two talking to 78-year-old Barry Seccombe and you will see a very different Coffs Harbour.

Born on November 3, 1934, into a large and sprawling family deeply involved in the Coffs Coast timber industry, Barry Seccombe was working weekends in the big steam mill at Central Bucca managed by his father, Tom Seccombe, and owned by Billy Seccombe, long before he left school a which was as soon as he could escape the classroom.

He never became a smoker because he tasted the dried cow dung cigarettes rolled by his brothers on their mile-long walk to Central Bucca Public School. One puff and he lost all desire to continue the habit.

His busy mother, Pearl, ran the Central Bucca post office, boarded the school teacher and provided meals for visiting ministers who arrived to take services at the local church a all denominations from Catholic to Methodist.

A horseman from an early age, young Barry ran foul of the law when he was nabbed by the constable for using the shanghai hung from his saddle horn to smash the ceramic insulators on telephone poles.

Constable Attrill, the Woolgoolga trooper, a noted rider who broke in horses in his spare time, a[approximately]acted on information received' and rode from Woolgoolga to Central Bucca to catch the offender red-handed and succeeded in putting the fear of God into him. …

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