WHEN the pig industry was in its heyday, stock agents did a brisk trade from two concrete huts at the Swan Hill saleyards.
Former agent Peter Coady recalls a lot of cash changed hands in those offices on pig sale days - much of it undocumented to avoid attracting attention from the tax man.
Peter said his agency, Lewis Coady, had one of the eight offices, but used it mainly to store marking paint and sticks for use on sale days.
There was electricity, but no phones and the women who operated the dining room would use a loudspeaker to tell agents when they received a call on the communal phone.
At its peak, when every grain farmer had pigs and the district's dairy industry was flourishing, Mr Coady said 3000 pigs would sell through the Swan Hill yards every fortnight.
"Pigs and calves were a big part of our business," Peter said.
"In those days an eight-week-old pig would make $30 to $50 and a good bacon pig $100 to $120. The basic wage was about $30 a week."
The last pig sales were held in the early 1990s, about the time the huts were abandoned.
Mergers and takeovers have since reduced the number of agencies from nine to three, and they all have their own permanent offices in town.
In the meantime, the huts have fallen into disrepair.
Saleyard staff use several sheds for storing chemicals or paint for marking cattle, but the others are empty, except for a deep carpet of pigeon droppings and several bird carcasses.
A fortnight ago Swan Hill Rural City Council agreed to demolish the 52-year-old huts and build a 6m by 6m storage shed.
This would allow for the construction of six to eight new holding pens - with a capacity of up to 150 cattle - along with modifications to existing pens and walkways.
A report to the council said there had been a significant increase in cattle through-put during the past two years, with sales in the past six months running at 2200 to 2500 head.