Old news from Armidale and New England

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Kempsey to Armidale – Kemp’s new line

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Monday 7 December 1857, The Sydney Morning Herald

THE MACLEAY LINE OF ROAD. – On Monday last we were pleased at receiving a visit from Mr. William Smith, of the Macleay River, the pioneer in opening Kemp’s new line for wheel-traffic. On that day, the 23rd instant, Mr. Smith entered Armidale, with two drays, carrying over one ton each ; and, having unloaded, despatched them on their return before evening. Mr. Smith informed us that the marked line, which he followed pretty closely, and had to clear before him, is about 100 miles in length from Kempsey to Armidale, and that he imagined it might be made shorter by 5 or 10 miles. Neither a bow nor a yoke was broken on the way, there was not a single capsize, and feed and water were found in abundance. Mr. Smith has assured us that the expenditure of the proposed £1500 would make a good road of the line, as no bridging is required, and none of the creeks crossed on the way contained nine inches of water. The track is declared a sound one, and Mr. Smith, who is evidently a practical man of great experience and indomitable perseverance, is of opinion that only one side cutting will be necessary. The worst part is stated to be between Little Harry’s and Hall’s station, but from the former point to the edge of the table-land the road is good. We understand that at the present time there are no fewer than thirteen vessels trading between Kempsey and Sydney, and that so far from the water on the bar being very shallow, as is often represented, the Prospector, which draws 6 feet 6 inches when loaded with 2500 bushels of maize, finds no difficulty in crossing it. Another of the traders takes 3000 bushels as a cargo, and will consequently have a deeper draught. A few months ago we chronicled the arrival of drays, on two occasions, from the Macleay, by the old Jeogalla line. New we have the pleasure of stating that a second line has been proved practicable. We strongly recommend co-operation with the Macleay people in this matter. They are entitled to more than thanks from the New England residents; and while we give Mr. Smith great credit for his successful trip, we deeply regret that Mr. Kemp, the discoverer of the new line, should have met a premature death in his exertions to further the cause, and that he was not spared to see his predictions fully verified.

Written by macalba

October 28, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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