Cows in the south Park Lands

Prior to, and after the Second World War, many working class families lived in the south and west parts of the City.

Many of these families owned a family cow, and the 'family cows' of the neighbourhood were allowed to graze in the southern Park Lands.

Up until the 1960s, most of the Park Lands were fenced to keep stock inside. To enter a park, you would either have to pass through a gate, or climb through the wire fence.

The fences were sometimes damaged by cows, as they would put their heads between the wires to graze outside the fence. During the winter of 1955, one of this Park's cows became a minor celebrity with repeated stories in The Advertiser newspaper.

The cow was sick, and was being sheltered in a tent and covered in blankets. Its owners, a local couple, tended to the cow night and day to nurse it back to health. The cow couldn't move due to its poor health and the sodden winter ground. Local residents made regular trips to the cow's tent, with refreshments, for not only the cow but also its keepers.

Eventually a good samaritan brought in a mobile crane to winch the cow out of the Park Lands and take it to a better shelter.

Up until the 1960s, when cricket games were scheduled here, the players had to first comb the field looking for cow dung or “cow pats”. Cow pats that had hardened were easy to remove but recent soft ones put a dampener on the player's spirits!

It was not unusual for the cows to escape the Park Lands in search of greener pastures. The City Council archives include a letter from a disgruntled resident in 1869, complaining about “cows breaking into my premises and annoying me.” He urged a Council officer to come and “abate the nuisance, as there is still one cow in my yard". There is no record whether the cow was still there when the letter was received.

At this point, turn left and follow the line of trees towards the east, until you come to a dirt trail.

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