WEIGHTY MATTERS: There's a stack of stories around the historic set of scales in the Brooms Head store, which has weighed fishers' catches for decades.
WEIGHTY MATTERS: There's a stack of stories around the historic set of scales in the Brooms Head store, which has weighed fishers' catches for decades. Steve Otten

Photographer weighs up story in old scales

BROOMS Head photographer Steve Otton reckons he knows a good story when he sees one and when he spotted the ancient Salter suspended scales in the local store, he wondered what tales they had to tell.

"Local anglers have been coming in here for years to weigh their catches and I thought they could have told a lot of fascinating stories," he said.

Failing the Salter Suspended Weigher No. 235/9 coming to life and filling Mr Otton in on its history, he would love people who have a story to tell to get in contact with him.

"As soon as saw them, I thought what a beautiful old bit of equipment," he said.

"The fact they were old and not digital was what attracted me to them.

"If they had been modern and digital I wouldn't have even looked at them."

Mr Otton said he didn't know how old the scales were, but would try to contact former owners of the store to find out more of their history.

"The scales are pretty dirty, but you can see there is information on them," he said.

"There's a little plaque, probably from the place they were brought from, Coastal Scales & Registers, with phone numbers.

 

A close up of the scales. Note the phone numbers for local companies without the 66 prefix that came into force more than 20 years ago.
A close up of the scales. Note the phone numbers for local companies without the 66 prefix that came into force more than 20 years ago. Steve Otten

"The numbers are in the old format before we had the double 6 added to the front of the phone numbers.

"It looks like the supplier had outlets on the Gold Coast and in Lismore."

According to its website the Salter company was still trading and producing weighing equipment for every from babies to heavy vehicles.

It was established in the early 1900s in Australia and has branched out across the country since those early days.

Through its current workforce, Salter totals over 500 years experience in the weighing industry, in addition to many years experience in the general engineering and electronics industries.

Mr Otton said he would love to hear stories from people who had tales to tell about the fish they had weighed on the scales in the shop.

"Fisherman always have so many stories to tell and a lot of them get better and better as the years go by," he said.

"I want to put together a story about those scales and what fish they had weighed over all those years.

Mr Otton said the best way to send stories would be to contact him on email at stephenotton@bigpond.com.



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