In 1998, Verna Ellis wrote: My earliest memories of the Wodonga Saleyards refreshment rooms were soon after the rooms were opened, when I would ride my bike seven miles from my parents' home at Baranduda to wait on tables for Mrs Lowden, the first manageress.
On weekly cattle market days, held every Tuesday, we would begin at 5.30am with fires to be lit, plum puddings mixed and tied in cloths, soup on to cook, roasting dishes ready for the butcher when he delivered the meat and everything in readiness for the first breakfasts.
Gippsland and Northern's men from Tallangatta were usually the first in. They had standing orders.
Men who had worked around the yards from daybreak would come in too, some for cooked breakfast (steak, sausages or bacon with eggs plus toast).
As there were no electric toasters, the toast was made at the wood stove in the kitchen and there were many offers to make their own toast, especially in the winter months when fingers were frozen from the outside work.
At the busiest time, it was not unusual for one person to be making toast at the stove in the kitchen and another making toast at the open fire in the dining room.
Over that open fire, hung a large cast iron fountain containing boiling water for cups of tea and nearby a table with cups and saucers, teaspoons, tea and coffee and milk - everything ready for fast service.
Apart from the wood stove in the kitchen, there was an open fire place where a large cast iron boiler held the two large plum puddings that had to be kept boiling at all times.
If they went off the boil the water would get in and spoil the puddings, so constant fire stoking was always at the back of our minds.
Also in the kitchen was a kerosene stove with an oven suitable for heating the steak and kidney pies which had been made the day before.
The soup was cooked on the wood stove then moved across to the kerosene stove to keep hot.
All else was cooked on the wood stove, all vegies were freshly grown, nothing frozen as there is today.
The stove had two ovens to roast the meat and the baked potatoes.