The Kandos-Rylstone district has long been known as a producer of fine wool. In keeping with this tradition, the Kandos Museum acquired some time ago an item that was vital to the industry and one that has played a huge part in it – the wool press. This particular model was purchased early in the 1930’s by Chapple & Co for use in their wool scouring and fellmongering business. It is not known whether the wool press was new at the time.
The business was operated by Sydney Chapple until his death in 1942. After that, Chapple & Co was jointly managed by his wife Ethel, sons Walter and Keith Chapple, and son-in-law Ted Barlow. When the business closed, the wool press was purchased for £20 (pounds) in 1954, by Wesley Starr. The press was then moved to the wool growing property The Meadows owned by Wesley and Muriel Starr (Muriel was Walter Chapple’s daughter). Here it was used at every shearing until about 1995 when Mr Starr purchased an electric press. Mr and Mrs Starr then gave the press to their daughter Linda and her husband Terry Rohr, of Kandos, who used it in their shearing shed until 2003 when they also upgraded to an electric press. The press was then donated to the Kandos Museum.
THE KOERSTZ WOOL PRESS: It was generally accepted that the Koerstz wool press produced the best and weightiest bales of wool during the era it was used.
The Kandos Museum invites you to inspect the press and other interesting displays at the museum.
Source: Community Capers, Rylstone-Kandos district newsletter - June,2011