My 1996 RMW boots.


These boots were made for walking. They were bought at the same time we bought ‘Rivendell’ back in 1996. Rivendell was a property of over 110 acres. It held a large house and an old convict built slab timber hut. It was the slab timber hut that made us get the property. You could feel the history of it. Hard labour, no running water and no electricity. A family with 9 kids lived in it till the seventies when it was bought by a couple of artists who then also build the house and the farm infrastructure with holding pens, horse stables, a diary ( dairy πŸ˜‰ ) and lots of dams. The property had a 2km frontage to a river. This river used to roar after rain but became a trickle during droughts. We were told that a grave on our property held the remains of a baby that had drowned in the river during the 1920s while her mother was doing her washing. Each spring a few snow-bells used to pop up above this grave which was surrounded by an old rickety picket fence.

That’s how farming is in Australia, a fairly ruthless game not for the faint hearted or the get rich quick merchants. Wild dogs including dingoes used to go for the kill during lambing times and our neighbours used to put out baits to keep on top of those killers. It also got our Border Collie ‘Bella’, who during a walk along the fence line must have taken a baited chook head. She had enough time to bolt home, crawl underneath the veranda floor and died within minutes.


We never set out to do any farming. It was a semi-retirement move but with it came the restoration of the old hut into a holiday letting with a handy income. Of course, no move into the country could be undertaken without also getting sturdy boots and Drizabone coats.

Our Farm "Rivendell"

Our Farm “Rivendell”

We still have the drizabone coats and wear them during cold and windy weather. They are a cotton soaked in boiled linseed oil fashion item and an obligatory features in many films including The Man from the Snowy river. My RMW shoes are now over 18 years old. They are still wearable but only just. I wear them knowing they came before our three grandkids were born, before the 9/11, the Iraq war or other catastrophes I might have overlooked. The RMW boots cost a fortune but they do last!

Here they are.

photoRMW Boots (1996)


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33 Responses to “My 1996 RMW boots.”

  1. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Great story and I think those boots look ok to me. You must be very particular about everyday clothing or do you call them duds

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Those boots last a lifetime. They are very well made and don’t age. I wore them as farm boots, on the tractor, clearing weeds, slashing trees during bush-fire danger, but also to go out in. I have another pair I bought a few years ago. They will see me out, probably end up as a family heirloom and hotly fought over! ;).

      Liked by 2 people

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        Those boots can travel from one man to another and become a family treasure. I’m glad you have a second pair. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Helvi has a pair of RMW’s bought at a community market for $30.-. She is still over the moon with them. They were sold by a woman still bitter and upset about her ex husband who had bought them for her during better years. They reminded her of him so much, she had to get rid of them.
        Yes, shoes can tell stories that would make your ears tingle or even ring.

        Liked by 4 people

  2. M-R Says:

    They’ve seen some rough living alright, those RM Williams … But Gerard, I hereby notify you it is VERBOTEN to use phrases like “see me out”, OK ? Time enough for that when we’re in our 90s. I have spoken.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. gerard oosterman Says:

    Righto boss. Waz about me 2 litre shampoo, surely not verboten. It will last me out for another 50 years, Nein? Ich wurde dann ein hundred funfundzwanzig jaren sein. (umlauts!)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. rod Says:


    Liked by 1 person

  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    Has anyone thought of pulling me up on the diary? Horsestables and a ‘diary?’ A large diary spread on an acre or so, perhaps on which was writ the events of the day? It was so large the diary could milk the cows? Editor, editor, where are you?


  6. Andrew Says:

    110 acres is not much smaller than HK (poetic license). I have some brogues of a similar era. Not worn so much now but re-soled many times and held in great affection. Quality costs but is worth it


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      My 1996 pair have had numerous re-soles and heels. I take them out for a walk along the river still. Do you wear them on your photographic journeys? They have some sort of cushion inside supporting the feet. The softness of that support is still there., after all those years. I was a much young(er) man then.


  7. auntyuta Says:

    I love the pictures. Thanks for sharing. Who owns “Rivendell” now?


  8. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Great boots Geard! I like the rug too!


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Those boots are some item. Strong and almost indestructible. One of Australia’s best made product. They are a legend amongst the RMW boots aficionados and I get asked sometimes about their age.


  9. Curt Mekemson Says:

    Wow, if I had boots that old, I’d buy a trophy case for them. They look better than shoes I’ve had for six months. πŸ™‚ –Curt


  10. Big M Says:

    Gerard, I can empathise, I have a couple of pairs of genuine, Australian made shoes which are close to 20 and 30 years old. This is back when we could make such things in Australia. Now it seems almost impossible, who could imagine it? How does one make a shoe?

    I also have a pair of Australian made RM Williams jeans. can’t wear them IN, let alone wear them out! I guess if I’m ever on the bones of me arse, I’ll at last have shoes and pants!


  11. Patti Kuche Says:

    A good looking pair of old boots Gerard!


  12. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    Great boots, they look fine to me. I remember our first family skiing holidays – with homemade skis (my father would be bending wood in cooking pots on the stove!) and homemade clothes (canvas with heaven knows what daubed all over them to make them weather proof.


  13. sedwith Says:

    Still got my two pairs of Baxters -last ones made in Oz before the Goulburn based company moved off-shore to China. Circa 2003, cant match your date…the dog chewed up the earlier version!


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