The Drurys of Glencoe
By the 1840s, the fertile land closest to the sea had been taken up. It needed a hardy breed to tackle the rugged country shelving from Pigeon House Mountain. Michael Drury hailed from London; his innate resource and Cockney adaptability helped him to pioneer at Glencoe.
Five generations of Drurys have owned land at Nelligen, Brooman, Green Mount, Happy Valley and Orange Grove. Most of them are tall, dark, wiry bushmen, and superb horsemen with a wry sense of humour. The fifth generation to live under the watchful eye of Pigeon House is Kevin and his wife Kath and their son Alan.
Kevin was born in 1940, well into the machine age. Until Sunday 28 September 1980, he ‘snigged’ with a bullock team the logs he cut on the mountain – the last working team on the South Coast. Ten magnificent beasts, obedient to his voice and the slight flick of his long-handled rawhide whip.
On that Sunday, Pigeon House was wreathed in the smoke of bushfires, the paddocks were bare of grass the only cattle feed was the lopped willow branches.
There had been working bullocks on the mountain for 140 years but on that Sunday the heavy yokes were stored in the shed and the bells hung up for the last time.