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Sparra from Yarra

Sparra’s horse-drawn caravan is parked next to the pub at Whorouly, a tiny town on the Ovens River, just off the ‘Snow Road’ and a few minutes’ drive from Myrtleford in Victoria. Sparra, whose real name is Ray Weygood, passes this way each summer on his travels around northern Victoria. Known as ‘Sparra from Yarra’, he lives in Yarrawonga, where the Murray River cuts the border between Victoria and New South Wales and forms Lake Mulwala.

Ray Weygood a.k.a. 'Sparra from Yarra'

In the summer months he is more likely to be found travelling slowly down the backroads of northern Victoria in his horse-drawn caravan. Sparra built the caravan about ten years ago and had it painted by the Yarrawonga Arts Group. Kitted out with a twin-system air conditioner, Sparra carries just about everything he needs on board.

I’ve got a bed and I’ve got a twin system air-conditioner in it and I’ve got a satellite television and I’ve got a fridge and all these appliances run off solar, a panel up on the roof with two big batteries under the cart and a George Foreman grill and a toaster and an electric jug and so I don’t need power or anything like that.

Travelling up to 3,000 kilometres in a summer, Sparra sets out from Yarrawonga and follows the local shows and music festivals throughout Victoria and lower New South Wales: ‘Well this trip will be about 500 kilometres, about 3,000 kilometres a year, I suppose, because I go to Rushworth, to Balranald. I go to Echuca... about 3,000 kilometres in a year.’

Interview with 'Sparra from Yarra'

Today I interviewed Sparra from Yarra while sitting on the front veranda of the Whorouly Pub (www.whoroulyhotel.com). Sparra is a wonderful person and I was lucky to be able to catch up with him, and his gypsy caravan, for an interview. I left the pub many hours later with a gift from Sparra, a Tumut broom. The Tumut Broom Factory (tumutbroomfactory.com) has been making handmade millet brooms since 1946!

Keep checking back here on the blog, I’ll post a chapter teaser on Sparra from Yarra soon.

Sparra and one of his Clydesdale horses

Sparra's gypsy wagon

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