The Bullock Roast

Kingsford Smith’s plane at Richmond.
From the Johnson family collection.

A half column advert appeared in the Windsor & Richmond Gazette of 6th July, 1928 for the above event that was to be held the next day. The venue was the Riverstone Sports Ground and there had been no previous adverts or references for the event. The day was being held in honour of Captain Kingsford Smith and the Southern Cross, the plane having just completed its history making flight from America was in a hangar at Richmond undergoing repairs.

The day was organised by the Skuthorpe family with 10% of the takings being donated to the Windsor Hospital. There were pony races, wood chopping events, buckjumping, and foot races for the children and adults. Admission was one shilling for adults and sixpence for children, prizes were donated by the local storekeepers.

The Gazette on the 13th July published this report on the day under the headings “Bullock Roast” and “A Gala Day at Riverstone”.

Riverstone was en fete on Saturday when a “Bullock Roast” — a quaint idea in the early days — was held on the local sports ground. A program of mixed sports, arranged by the Skuthorpe family, were carried out during the day and attracted a crowd of between 300 to 400 people. Much interest centred on the roast bullock, which sizzled over a blazing fire in the open air during the day, and which was devoured by the multitude late in the afternoon. Truly, it was a day reminiscent of the early Hawkesbury.

In the early days, bullock roasts were popular in the Hawkesbury and the Skuthorpe family was among those who arranged them. It was therefore fitting that Saturday’s program was arranged by a member of the Skuthorpe family — a descendant of one of the oldest and original settlers of the Kurrajong Hills. No history of Australian horsemanship pioneering out ‘Back O’Beyond’ would be complete without giving the Skuthorpe family pride of place.