Mid West families in good spirits

Headshot of Jenne Brammer
Jenne BrammerCountryman
Email Jenne Brammer
A straw bale truck created by the Hamersley family of Walkaway, including Shiree, Jorja, Will and Tabs Hamersley.
Camera IconA straw bale truck created by the Hamersley family of Walkaway, including Shiree, Jorja, Will and Tabs Hamersley. Credit: Justine Rowe

There’s plenty of Christmas cheer along the Nangetty-Walkaway Road, near Geraldton, this harvest.

One family has built a giant 10-metre truck using straw bales, wishing passers-by a Merry Christmas. Just metres on, across the road, another family has built a Santa Claus and Christmas tree display from hay.

The truck creation is the work of the Hamersley family and part of an annual effort to capture the spirit of Christmas in their tiny community.

The family’s efforts to spread Christmas cheer started five years ago when they displayed a stuffed Santa sitting on a round hay bale.

Their creations have become more elaborate each year, with a giant Christmas tree, header and tractor, all made from straw or hay, being displayed on their property.

Shiree Hamersley, who farms with husband Daryl, said it took about two weeks, on and off, to build the truck. The effort included son Hamish and workman Russell Ward carting 23 bales of straw to shape the truck from the family’s nearby properties.

The idea came from daughter, Tabs, and the whole family shaped and painted the truck and put in place old tyres, solar lamps for headlights and a road train sign.

“There’s a lot of truckies and farmers driving along that road and, after a very long harvest, it’s nice to put a smile on faces,” Mrs Hamersley said.

Hayley Levett holds son Jack, 1, while Dean and Rosie Levett look on amid their Santa and Christmas tree creation from hay bales.
Camera IconHayley Levett holds son Jack, 1, while Dean and Rosie Levett look on amid their Santa and Christmas tree creation from hay bales. Credit: Justine Rowe

Meanwhile, a neighbouring family, the Levetts, created a Santa Claus, Mrs Claus and Christmas tree from round hay bales.

Dean and Rosie Levett, son Tom and daughter-in-law Hayley created Santa and Mrs Claus each from two round bales of hay, as well as a Christmas tree from six bales. When Christmas is over, the hay will be fed to their cattle.

Dean Levett said they sourced the idea from Pinterest, while the inspiration came from the Hamersley family.

“The Hamersleys do this every year and it created a lot of fun in the community. That got me going, as anything that makes people happy has to be a good thing,” he said.

Last year, the Levetts made a teddy bear from hay bales.

Mr Levett said he expected a farm-based Christmas display would become an annual tradition for the family, and it would need to be bigger and better each year.

He said they had been happy with their harvest for 2016 and while it would not be complete for some time, they were running on schedule.

Mrs Hamersley said although they normally would have finished harvest by this time of year, the family would still be going until after Christmas.

Not only did the wet weather halt harvest at certain points, the local CBH bins were forced to temporarily close several times after reaching storage capacity, which also put a spanner in the works, Mrs Hamersley said.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails