Old news from Armidale and New England

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The Shearers’ Trouble In New England

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Saturday 24 November 1888, The Maitland Mercury & Hunter River General Advertiser

A Walcha correspondent telegraphs to the Herald :- I wish to inform the Government and the public through your columns of the state of lawlessness that at present exists in the town and district of Walcha. On Tuesday night last, between 10 and 11 o’clock, about 20 men, with blackened faces, attacked Mr. E. Boulton’s Bergen-op-Zoom Station, three miles west of Walcha, and carried away the shearers, five in number, who were at work on the station. On the following night, about the same hour, the station of Messrs. Ross Bros., Greylands, about 14 miles north of Walcha, was attacked by 17 men with their faces blackened, who carried off all the shearers, who there also number five. The men signed the station agreement and had been some days at work. These rioters’ operations and others, which at present I refrain from mentioning, are, it is believed, directed from a camp of some 300 unemployed men, situated a few hundred yards from the town of Walcha. No arrests have yet been made, owing to the difficulty of obtaining evidence. Muluerindi (Mr. Scott’s), Ohio (Mr. Nivison’s) Orandumbie (Mr. Fletcher’s), and Emu Creek (Mr. Gill’s), are now shearing. Each station has an armed policeman, who remains on the station, and sleeps in the shearers’ quarters with the men ; and three of the four above named proprietors also sleep armed in their shearers’ huts. Nothing could exceed the vigilance, promptitude, and care of the police, but their numbers, four now increased to seven, are quite too small to make them masters of the situation, which they must now at once be made, or worse will come of it. There is the strongest necessity for saving these misguided men from committing further outrage. Their delegate’s words are that he will “fight it out to the bitter end.”

Written by macalba

March 29, 2011 at 8:07 pm

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