Old news from Armidale and New England

Local news from newspaper archives

Black Mountain wrecked

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Friday 29 October 1948, The Canberra Times


TAMWORTH, Thursday.

The village of Black Mountain, eight miles from Guyra, was devastated by a cyclone which struck it late this afternoon. The storm lasted for 10 minutes and caused widespread damage to homes and buildings, cut telephone lines and isolated the village.

First news of the storm was received when the Black Mountain postmaster (Mr. J. Jones) reached Guyra on a bicycle. He said there had been at least two casualties but, as far as he knew, no one had been killed.

A relief party left Guyra for Black Mountain with food and blankets tonight.

Early reports indicated that 23 houses were severely, damaged. The Church of England, constructed of wood, was blown down. The roofs of the railway station and goods shed were torn off and hurled for hundreds of yards.

Mr. Jones said that one of the injured, Mr. Howard McLeod, was in bed at his home when he was struck by a rafter which fell from the battered roof.

Sparks from the open fire in the room in McLeod’s house ignited his bedding.

McLeod is an invalid, confined to his bed. His mother extinguished the fire.

The damage to the railway station is expected to cause some delay to the northern train services.

Portion of the post office was damaged, the chimney and part of the roof being badly affected.

Some branch road have been blocked by falling trees.

A. Menzies, builder, of Black Mountain, has estimated the damage at about £30,000.

The railway station and goods shed are practically wrecked.

Mr. Cyril Menzies, grocer, of Armidale, said it was amazing that no one was killed. He had completed a run to Black Mountain a few minutes before the storm broke about 5 p.m.

He described it as terrific, cyclonic whirlwind. He stopped in a cutting, otherwise his van might have been blown over.

After waiting about 10 to 15 minutes he drove back to the village and he will never forget the sight that met him. Battered buildings were everywhere.

There were about 50 homes in the village and not one escaped damage. Some were totally destroyed. At least 25 families, who had lost their homes, are being given shelter by neighbours.

Mr. Arthur Williams lost his home, garage and car. A huge tree crashed over the garage and crushed the building and car to pulp.

There was not much rain, but a lot of hail – as big as duck eggs – he added. The cyclone cut a swathe, about half a mile wide, stripped trees of their leaves and left them standing like bare poles.

Written by macalba

August 13, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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One Response

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  1. i lived as a child at black mountain and find it spooky

    wendy sanders

    December 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm

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