On 12 September 1885 the Australian Town and County Journal, (p536) described Manildra:
This little village is situated midway between Orange and Parkes, on the Orange and Parkes road on the Mandagery Creek.
Three general stores, one butcher’s shop, two blacksmiths, one saw mill, a shoemaker’s shop, and two public houses.
One English place of worship, one Wesleyan, and one Roman Catholic, a progress committee, Good Templars’ debating club, and two public schools.
Is everything that could be desired for the preservation of good health and the fertility is highly adapted for agriculture. There is a fine opening for a flour mill.
The second annual ploughing match was held on 1st instant, in Mr J. Townsend’s paddock. There were about 400 on the ground and a large field of competitors. The All Comers’ Single Furrow Match was won by Geo. Whiley, with a McKenzie plough; second, P. Feffran, Fish plough; J. Whiley. third, Fish plough. The Second class Single Furrow Match was won by E. Smith, with a Fish plough. The Third class District Prize Match for Youths was won by W.G. Wren, Sewart plough; E. Allen second, with a McKenzie plough.
The All Comers’ Double Farrow Match was won by J. Townsend, with a McKenzie plough. No second prize was awarded.
The Fifth class Double Farrow Match was won by J. Wren Jnr., with a McKenzie plough. No second prize was awarded.
The Sixth class straightest Furrow Match was won by P. Heffernan; R. Coulter, second. R. Coulter was likewise the recipient of a special prize (silver cup) for best work done on the ground by a district ploughman.
Draught stallion parades
There were eight noble-looking draught stallions paraded on the ground, of which Mr Isaac Bates’ Tasman took first prize; Mr E. Windus’ Sir Colin, pink ribbon. The prize for the draught mares was won by H.J. Townsend. The decision of the judges appeared to have given general satisfaction. The prizes were duly paid over in the evening at the Junction Hotel, and several toasts were drunk highly complimenting the committee on the success of the day’s event.
Riach, Colin 1981, Let’s share a yarn or two: reminiscences of the Manildra/Gregra area, Robyn Livermore, Manildra N.S.W.