History with Brian James: Ramsay Nuthall and his Pig Scraper

James Torpy (left) and John and Maisey Threlfall (right). Photos: contributed
James Torpy (left) and John and Maisey Threlfall (right). Photos: contributed

Ramsay Nuthall was born at Young in 1951. His mother, Mary Crawford, had been born in Young in 1923.

The Penson family owned the 'Renmark Estate' for many years and at the time of this story Bob Penson, the father of Maurice, was the owner.

The property later known as 'Renmark', and although this has nothing to do with the story Bob and Maurice were both good golfers.

Renmark is the town in South Australia where the Nuthall's came from.

Coming from South Australia Ramsay's father was involved with fruit growing and irrigation and because of this Ramsay gained an interest and a lot of his life was involved with fruit growing.

Sgt. Derrick, Officer in charge of the Young Police Station was a friend of Derrick Nuthall, and became involved in various Interests of a similar nature.

Roy McVeigh, from McVeighs soft drinks and ice factory, also became involved.

One of their interests was buying a young pig ,fatten it up and then slaughter and dress it, and no doubt have a Bar-b-que.

Part of the art of dressing a pig is to get skin and hair off the carcase.

The two Derrick's no doubt came up with the idea of using the iron contraception lying under one of the police houses in Campbell St.

This had been left over from the Colonial days of the long gone gold rush era, when this area had been selected to be the Police Camp when the European miners drove the Chinese from the Lambing Flat goldfields.

This item was a police bed used for prisoners to sleep on and could be set up as a single or double bed, why they would want a double bed is not known.

When Ramsay left Young he took the bed with him, we do not know why, he may have wanted to scald some pigs.

Ramsay's grandfather was born in Dachau in1870 and served in the British Forces.

He served in South Africa, California and Adelaide. He was in the same year as Breaker Mourant.

In the 1950/60's Derrick Nuthall and Geoff Nuthall selected two blocks each from the part of Greenbank that was set aside for Soldier Settlement Blocks after the second world war.

Derrick Nuthall served in the British forces with a friend, John Threlfall, and helped John obtain an assisted migration sponsorship to migrate to Australia.

John established a poultry operation on Telegraph road at Young, and his son runs the operation, which now include stock food.


James Torpy was a miner and hotel keeper, born in Ireland in 1832.

In 1861 he was a hotel keeper at Lambing Flat and as leader of the Miners Protection League he addressed a meeting in 1862, being an excellent speaker he was given the job of presenting a petition to Parliament.

Torpy was arrested for riot, managed to get bail and when the main witness could not be found the case was dismissed.

Mr JW Torpy, who was attached to the 'Orange Advocate ' for 45 years died under tragic circumstances.

The older generation of Orange residents would particularly remember him.

Born at Forbes, deceased was 68 years of age and had resided in Orange most of his life.

Mr Torpy had only been in the office 10 minutes when a member of the literary staff noticed that he had collapsed.

The late Mr James Torpy purchased the newspaper and continued to occupy the position of editor until his death.

He possessed a most intimate knowledge of the origin and growth of Orange, his marvellous memory equipped him with a wonderful knowledge of the period from the proclamation of the village reserve of 1854 to the present day.

  • Brian James produces his column each Tuesday for publication in the Young Witness on behalf the Young Historical Society Inc.