THE WOOD MERCHANT
Nick Smart, Stirling Wood Yard
Nick lived in the house next to the wood yard all of his life until just recently. His father started the wood yard business just before the Second World War.
“I used to help dad out when I was a kid. I then began working properly in the wood yard when I turned 20. I’ve worked here for 42 years until retiring two years ago.” He still visits the new owners on a daily basis for a chat and a coffee.
Nick has seen many changes in the wood industry over the years. He used to be able to buy wood locally and Mallee roots were in good supply. Nowadays they are harder to source but red gum is still in ample supply.
“You meet all sorts of people in the wood yard. The job definitely keeps you fit. We had our own mill in NSW until six years ago and used to cart it ourselves to Stirling.”
Nowadays, Nick is enjoying his retirement. He grows some vines in Hahndorf, selling the grapes to Petaluma. “I might get to bottle some for myself this year, you never know.”