In 1888, Frankie Aveyard’s grandfather, Francis William (Frank) Gibson, came from Finley in the NSW Riverina and took up a square mile (about 264 ha) block on part of Curra Station in the Trundle District.
Frank and his wife wife, Hannah (Little) had 6 children, 3 of whom died in infancy. The surviving children were Herb Gibson (Frankie’s father) and another brother and a sister.
After serving as a pilot with the Royal Flying Corp during World War 1, Herb bought a property known as Riversleigh at Forbes where he and his wife (Edith Cornett) brought up their 4 daughters, Frankie, Ninette, Patricia and Barbara.
Frank Gibson came to name the property, Plevna. It is thought inspiration for the name came from the Russia/Romania war in 1877-78 where there was a seige of Plevna.
Plevna Homestead -built 1928 with concrete hand mixed on the property. The house is of a Spanish design with a breeze way running through the centre of it, this is used as a green house. It is often referred to as “Plevna Castle” and possibly because of the towers visible on the western side, these are in fact water tanks. Like all old houses it requires work.
The Plevna landscape was heavily timbered with box, cypress pine, wilga, yarran, currajong and some myall. Clearing practices were laborious with trees being felled, stumps being burnt out and sticks being picked up by hand and fired. Chinese laborers were used in those times.
John Aveyard became involved with Plevna when he married Frankie in 1960 and went to manage the property for Frank Gibson. “He was a wonderful old man of 97 when he died in 1962, and, right up until his death, he maintained a keen interest in the sheep and the property”.(John Aveyard)
John Aveyard was born at Inverell. After leaving school, John worked as a jackaroo for the Australian Estates Co at Jemmalong and on Tyrie at Dandaloo.
John and Frankie have 4 children, Kate Murray, John (Boyd), Mathew and Bill.
As well as the livestock production, Plevna engaged in largescale cultivation for improved pasture rotation and grain cropping. Up until the 1980s Plevna grew from 1000 to 1200ha of wheat.
In 2005 John (Boyd) and Alex Aveyard took over the homestead portion of Plevna and the Merino Stud, through succession planning (2800acres). In 2011 Boyd and Alex purchased Waverley from Jack Grange increasing their operation by 1340 acres.