Old news from Armidale and New England

Local news from newspaper archives

Posts Tagged ‘armidale

February 1874: Directions For Dipping With Arsenic To Kill Ticks

leave a comment »

The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Saturday, 14 February 1874

(To the Editors of the Armidale Express.)

Gentlemen — As I believe many sheep owners are willing to try dipping sheep with arsenic, the following directions may be some little guide.

Quantity required for every hundred lambs at weaning, 8 lbs. soft soap and 1 lb. arsenic.

The arsenic and soft soap should be mixed one month before required for use, with sufficient warm water to bring it to the consistency of molasses ; one quart of this to 10 gallons of water will be found the right strength for dipping. “The water in the tank should be warm, but not hot.” If it is the least unpleasantly warm in the men’s hands, it is far too warm for the sheep.

I am supposing the sheep to be dipped to be New England lambs at weaning, which is no doubt the best time for dipping (but I believe it would pay well to dip the lambs when the ewes are shorn).

In recommending dipping, I do not say that your sheep will become entirely free from ticks, but so free that the sheep will rest and thrive. (Never try dipping half a flock, leaving the other half undipped.) You require a water-tight wooden tank, 4 feet by 4 feet, and 2 feet 8 inches deep; on one side three battens or two pieces of stouter timber are nailed, and above them the draining board, which has a slight fall towards the tank, and battens nailed two inches apart to allow the dip or liquid to drain back to the tank. Plan of tank and draining board can be seen at the ‘Express’ office.

One 30 gallon iron boiler will warm sufficient water to dip 500 lambs per day, by five men—one to catch and bring the lamb to the tank, two at the tank, and two at the draining board. (They can also brand each pen before dipping.) With two tanks, two iron boilers, and six men, you can dip 700 per day without branding; the extra man keeps the water warm and tanks filled.

Although arsenic is a very fatal poison, there is no danger to the men employed in dipping, except they have cuts or scratches on them ; but be very careful that nothing drinks it. Cows or sheep would soon die, although it might not prove fatal to pigs or dogs.

It is very easy for the man who holds the lamb’s fore legs to keep its head from going under in the tank.

In England, we used to rub the sheep across the draining battens, but I have found that here it is best to squeeze as much out with the hand without rubbing the sheep across the battens.

—I am, yours truly, J. B. BLENCOWE.

Written by macalba

November 11, 2020 at 10:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

January 29, 1919: Plague Invades New South Wales.

leave a comment »

The Armidale Chronicle, Wednesday, 29 January, 1919

State Declared Infected.

Precautions for Armidale People.

The Board of Health has finally received that pneumonic influenza has obtained a footing in New South Wales. The State is to be declared infected. The cases upon which this decision is based are those of several soldiers who came from Melbourne. These are ill at Randwick Hospital.

Theatres, picture shows, and places of indoor resort in the metropolitan area are to be closed from today. There are now 47 cases in the Melbourne Hospital. Some are serious. There are more than 60 inmates in the Base Hospital in St. Kilda Road, Melbourne, some in a dangerous condition.

There were five deaths in Melbourne on Sunday. The disease has been in Melbourne since January 9.


Immediately there was danger of the influenza epidemic passing the quarantine barrier and spreading into the country districts, the Armidale City Council decided upon precautionary measures. These include the immediate procuration of a supply of vaccine for inoculation against Spanish influenza, from the Board of Public Health. The Town Hall will be used as a place for public vaccination. All inoculations will be FREE, if desired. As soon as the vaccine arrives, the depot will be opened at the Town Hall, between 3 and 6 p.m. The local doctors are giving their services, and the date of opening of the depot, and days upon which the doctors will be in attendance, will be notified as soon as the vaccine arrives.


The local authorities are desirous that panic should be avoided. They wish us to state that there is no cause for anything in the nature of hysteria or undue terror at present. All that should be done is to be sure that no precautionary measure is neglected. The utmost endeavour will be made in Armidale to check any outbreak in the event of the disease getting beyond the quarantine barrier.



The following article was obtained by the “Chronicle” from an authoritative medical source:—

Infectious diseases are caused by living micro-organisms, or microbes which, when introduced into the body, cause a series of phenomena to develop, the most important of which, due to the growth and multiplication of these organisms in the tissues of the blood of the affected person, is fever. Microbes are found everywhere in nature: in air, earth, water, food, and within and without our bodies. They operate in curious ways and in diverse places, conservatively and destructively, and are both the friend and the foe of man. They are the prime cause of all the infectious and contagious diseases of man and, the lower animals. They require to be magnified by the microscope from 800 to 1500 times before we can understand how they grow and what they are like. A fair average size of a microbe measures 1/20,000th part of an inch, and it has been calculated that four hundred millions of them might be comfortably accommodated side by side on one square inch of surface.

How Diseases Spread. It is by infective material that diseases spread. It may be borne by the air or carried upon clothing or other media. So long as they are in contact with moisture, microbes are held in retention and cannot be liberated into the atmosphere until the dampness is dispelled. Aerial diffusion is, therefore, only possible in the case of dried microbes or spores. Infective material cannot penetrate any interposing barrier, even of paper, and much less through walls and doors. The length of time after infective material has left the body of an infected person during which it is capable of doing mischief, is largely determined by its environment. Abundance of fresh air and sunlight quickly destroy it; absence of these tend to keep it alive—hence microbes are most plentiful in the dust of the darkest corners.

Some infectious diseases are more prevalent at certain seasons of the year. Influenza appears to be uninfluenced by seasons. It spreads with as much facility in Iceland as at the equator, and knows no boundaries. I have seen it stated to be coincident with a disease called Pink Eye in horses, which veterinary surgeons believe to be influenza in horses.

The incubation period of influenza is from one to four days. A person suffering from an infectious disease is infective in influenza for about ten days after all symptoms have disappeared.

The means by which infection may be transported are as follows: 1. By direct contact with the infective person, hence called contagion. 2. By contact with anything that has been in contact with the infective person, or which proceeds from the apartment in which he has been treated. 3. By intercommunication between infected animals and man. Transportation by insects as mosquitoes or flies. 5. In water and food. 6. By the air.

Visitation to the houses of the infective sick, or the wilful exposure of children to others who are suffering from a mild type of the disease; in the erroneous assumption that all children must sooner or later contract the disease, and the sooner it is over and of a mild type the better, is chiefly to blame for the spread of infectious disease. There is no guarantee that exposure to a mild type of the disease will be followed by an equally mild seizure in the exposed child, for it is a common experience that children even of the same family do not contract attacks of equal severity.

The clothing, school slates, books, and toys of the infective person may act as vehicles of infection. While the clothing may be disinfected, it is always safer to consign to the flames such books and toys as are admitted to the sick room.

Infective diseases can be.contracted by partaking of infected water or food. For germs to be air borne, they can only be carried in a dried condition.

Infective material enters the body through an abrasion on the skin, through being inhaled, by absorption through the digestive organs.

Fumigation. To fumigate the room after an illness, close the doors, windows, and fireplaces; and paste paper over all cracks. Put some sulphur in iron pans, allowing two pounds for every 1000 cubic feet of space. Set the pans in larger pans of water, and these on bricks so as not to burn the floor. Pour a little alcohol on the sulphur and light it, leave the room quickly and paste up the door like the others. Keep it closed for 24 hours, then open all doors and windows. The sulphur will fumigate more thoroughly if the walls and ceilings are moistened beforehand. Instead of sulphur, you may use formalin — you can burn candles of such in the room. To disinfect clothing, boiling in water for 20 minutes is one of the best methods of disinfection. It is wiser to destroy the mattress.

The microbes are grown in a culture tube; the tube is inserted in to an incubator and the microbes grow on this culture media. They are then washed off with a little salt solution into another tube and stirred well round. They are then heated so as to kill the microbes. The contents of the tube are then mixed with some other substance and we inject this vaccine, as it is called, and which consists of millions of dead organisms into a person who has not got the disease, in order to immunize him against the disease, or into a patient with the disease to enable him to form sufficient antitoxin to recover. It must be clearly understood that this cannot produce the disease or cause any permanent ill effect. It has been proved that this helps the patient to recover from the disease.

This disease is not the ordinary influenza, but an epidemic form of pneumonia. and a severe one at that, characterised by septic symptoms.

The Micrococcus Catarrhalis is the organism which gives rise to common colds. The Pneumococcus causes pneumonia, and the Streptococcus is the organism which you find in cases of blood poisoning. These organisms, together with the influenza bacillus, are responsible for the present epidemic.

The onset is sudden, a rigor is soon followed by a high fever, reddening and running from the eyes, pains and aches all over the body, and general prostration. The secretion from the nose, throat, and air passages form the sources of infection. There is the frequent complication of pneumonia.

Now if you want to be injected with the vaccine, you will have injected into you of: Mic Catarrhalis 25 millions, Pneumococcus 10 millions, Streptococcus 10 millions, a gram positive Diploc 10 millions; followed by another injection containing of: Mic Catarrhalis 125 millions, Pneumococcus 60 millions, Streptococcus 50 millions, a gram posit Diplococ 50 millions. And then you probably won’t contract the infection, or if you do, you get it in a modified form. After the injection you would feel a little uncomfortable, but not quite so uncomfortable as if you contracted the complaint.

Written by macalba

March 3, 2020 at 4:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

1879: A Tour From Armidale To The Chandler River.

leave a comment »

The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Fri 26 Sep 1879

After partaking of an early breakfast, I left Armidale, steering a N.E. course by Mr. Taylor’s farm, which I understand is likely to be the route for the permanent road to Gyrah and Rock Vale.

Three miles from Armidale is Tilbuster Creek, where the crossing is very uncertain, on account of the moving sand. A good Hotel or Accommodation House would pay well here. There are a great many farms a little to the North of this creek, but not in sight of the main road. Eight or nine miles further, and Thalgarrah Station, the property of Mr. Bigg, is reached, and I noticed that Mr. B. has erected a comfortable brick building since his purchase.

Three miles more, and we arrive at Pint Pot Creek, where a culvert is urgently needed, as this being the thoroughfare to the Stations—Rock Vale, Aberfoil, Kangaroo Hills, Alfreda, Lindhurst, Ward’s Mistake, Paddy’s Land, Oban, &c., and the traffic is considerable. The Coningdale and Chandler road branches off at this point from the Rock Vale road to the Eastward, passing by Mr. Mulligan’s selection, and, further on, Mr. A. McLennaghan’s. The soil about here is very rich, and well adapted for agricultural purposes. The sheep, on Mr. McLennaghan’s selection were in fine condition.

At Mr. Donald Finlayson’s residence, Foreglen, I saw some very good draught mares.

From Foreglen, through a well-grassed and lightly-timbered country, I arrived at Mr. Kenneth Finlayson’s, Coningdale, where I was most hospitably entertained. The Finlaysons were among the first who commenced sheep farming in this district, and now have a fine property, with nice residences, commanding a view of the Wollomumbi River and surrounding country. The wild dogs are troublesome, and play sad havoc, at times, amongst the sheep. At this season of the year, crossing the Wollomumbi River is not a very safe undertaking.

Half a mile further is Pointsfield, the selection of Mr. R. Finlayson, where, owing to the magnificent soil, lucerne, maize, &c., are grown to great perfection. The cultivation paddocks here have been subdivided and laid out under artificial grasses, consequently dairying operations are carried on all through the winter. Considering the wet and cold winter experienced this season, the stock looked remarkably well.

Mr. Roderick McLennan’s homestead at Killcoy is the next stopping place. Here a site for a Presbyterian Church has been granted, and a large sum is already promised for the building. The Rev. Thos. Johnstone at present officiates twice a quarter.

There is also a School halfway between Killcoy and Pointsfield, under the charge of Mr. and Mrs. Painter.

Continuing the road, you travel over a good pastoral land, of ironstone formation, with grass and water in abundance. The wattle tree, with its beautiful blossom and perfume, is a great relief, after perpetual gum. Kangaroos are very plentiful here, and eat more grass than the sheep.

Fairview is the next selection on the Chandler. Here the Chandler River is extremely dangerous to cross, on account of the shifting sand.

Camberdown, Mr. John Coventry’s, is next, but his stock have been removed to his station, Alfreda.

A mail comes this way once a week, on to Oban.

Before concluding, I must say a few words as to Free Selection. It is evident that, in spite of what is said to the contrary, Free Selection has been a decided success, and the Land Act of 1861 has conferred a lasting benefit on the country. Twelve years ago this district was a mere waste; now many respectable and well to-do people are settled here. The feeling between squatters and selectors here is of a very harmonious nature. And, as regards the Land Law. It is unwise, in compelling selectors to improve their land to the extent of £1 per acre, on what are often useless improvements. The selector denies that he obtains his land on easy terms. The squatter can buy at auction practically as much as he pleases for 25s. cash. The selector’s land costs him £2 per acre, viz.: 5s. cash, and the balance of 15s. in three years, with the option of allowing it to remain unpaid at 5 per cent.; and further, he is compelled “nolens volens” [whether unwillingly or willingly] to expend £1 per acre in improvements on his selection within three years, and make it his bona fide residence for that period. The selector has no security of pre-lease, with considerable chance of forfeiture, should he fail in any of the conditions of the Act. For farming purposes only, the terms are easy enough; but, as the bulk of selectors want to run stock as well, the limited area, with other conditions, make it the most expensive way of obtaining land. The squatter, on the other hand, can select the “tit bits” out of his run, chiefly by improvement purchases; the law being that, by improving to the extent of £1 per acre, he can buy it, if he likes; and also, by the absurd auction system, principally used to deprive the selector of his grazing right. But this knotty question has for years puzzled cleverer heads than mine, and is as far off now from being settled as ever. It is the old story of the man and the ass, who tried to please all, and pleased none !


Written by macalba

June 5, 2019 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

1918: Yesterday’s Great Celebrations.

leave a comment »

The Armidale Chronicle, Wednesday, 13 November 1918



The procession which preceded the celebration in the Park yesterday afternoon was remarkable in the his- tory of Armidale. It was the largest, as well as the most historic on record. Dense crowds lined the route and occupied every coign of vantage. The cheering was deafening. It is safe to say that every citizen took some part in the celebrations. Punctually to time the procession was started on its way by the Marshal (Capt. T. Webb). It was led by the City Band and patriotic tableaux and devices preponderated in its make-up. The Fire Brigade made a brave show with two lorries. A coffin, with the inscription, “To L with the Kaiser,” attracted a great deal of notice. It had been arranged by Mr. G. Piddington, undertaker. Every interest in the city was represented. The military and cadets, and children from all the schools and boys and girls from the colleges, marched, carrying flags, as did the Friendly Societies in regalia. The Red Cross workers and associated branches of women war-workers were cheered. The Junior Red Cross was similarly honored. The Pipe Band lent color and spirit to its part of the procession. Numerous decorated motor cars brought up the rear.

At the park the crowd was equally dense. The Mayor (Ald. Purkiss) presided.

After the singing of the hymn, “O, God our Help in Ages Past,” the Mayor read the following telegram from Mr. H. W. Lane, Member for Armidale, who had been called away that morning:—Congratulations for Liberty won. Peace assured. With sympathy to all who have suffered through the tragedy of this great war. He explained that that gathering had been arranged at a special meeting of the City Council the previous day. He congratulated the people of Armidale upon the orderly way in which they had conducted their “maffick,” despite their great excitement. He urged them, in spite of their victory, to retain their sympathy for the relatives of those who had made the supreme sacrifice, and to bear in mind also their duty to the men who would be returning. The Mayor read the terms of the armistice, his reading being punctuated with cheers, “If that is not unconditional surrender,” added the Mayor, “I don’t know what is.”

“Thank God,” declared Archdeacon Johnstone, “Prussianism is smashed.” But in the smashing of that Prussianism there had been sacrifices, and it was their duty to look after those men who were returning from the fight. He congratulated the people upon their orderly conduct, and also placed on record the splendid work done by the operators at the local telephone exchange.

Sergt. Campion was loudly cheered. At his request the audience stood in reverent silence in honor of the comrades who fell at Gallipoli. He appealed for support to the Returned Soldiers’ League, and urged both the League and the Rejected Volunteers’ Association to organise, so that they could kick for what was coming to them when the time came.

Cheers were given for the Red Cross when Mrs. Hickson rose to commence her address. She invited all the soldiers to attend a dinner that evening, given by the Red Cross, and also thanked the people of Armidale for the help given the Red Cross during four years of war. “But,” she added, “this work must not yet cease.”

Major Richardson, M.C., as the representative of the military, pleaded for consideration in any faults they might find with individual returned soldiers, and help for them in overcoming them.

Ald. W. Curtis, representing the Chamber of Commerce, was the next speaker, and made a very strong appeal to the people to be mindful of the duties that followed peace.

At this juncture the rain, which had been threatening for some time, arrived, and adjournment was made to the Town Hall. The large crowd were unable, however, to all find accommodation in the hall.

Other speakers were Rev. H. S. Buntine (Presbyterian), Chaplain-Major Orames (Salvation Army), Rev. H. Putland (Baptist), Rev. H. E. Andrews (Methodist), Mr. H. Rafferty (Rejected Volunteers’ Association), Staff-Sergeant-Major Johnson (Recruiting).

Mr. S. J. Kearney and Canon Forster were included in the list of speakers, but were unable to be present.

Written by macalba

November 12, 2018 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

1918: World’s Greatest War Over.

leave a comment »

The Armidale Chronicle, Wednesday, 13 November 1918


Ever since the premature announcement of peace last Friday, the world has been on the qui vive [on the alert]. It waited expectantly for the message that Germany, the last of the combination that menaced the liberty of the world, had surrendered. It was known that the memorable 72 hours allowed by Marshal Foch for the enemy, to accept or reject the terms of armistice delivered to the German Parliamentaires who visited the lines would expire at 11 o’clock on Monday morning. The difference between Sydney and Greenwich time made 9 o’clock on Monday night the fateful hour in New South Wales. All day on Monday there was an electric atmosphere in Armidale. The talk was of nothing else but peace. News of Germany’s internal troubles grew graver as the cables came to hand. State after State of the German Federation was reported to have joined the revolution. Republics were proclaimed here and there, and generally the indications were that the cast-iron autocracy of the Kaiser was crumbling. With the internal chaos added to the military situation, it was apparent that no course was open to Germany but surrender. It was the news of this that the whole world awaited. That it would come was a certainty; the exact minute was a matter for speculation.

How the News Came to Armidale.

The first intimation of the signing of the armistice was given to Armidale by the “Chronicle” message, which was delivered by arrangement to a representative of this paper a few minutes before 8 o’clock. The Mayor and a number of the principal citizens were present. The reading of the brief cablegram was greeted with uproarious cheering. The telephone was called into requisition, and in no time the news was from one boundary of the city to the other.

A Riot of Joy.

Within a minute or two of the receipt of the message by the “Chronicle,” the City Band appeared in Beardy-street, and the strains of the National Anthem blared forth. Soon pandemonium was set loose. All the streets were thronged with streams of people rushing towards Beardy-street. Men, women, and children helped to swell the crowds. Tottering, grey-bearded pensioners jostled the youthful and middle-aged. Sedate professional and business men threw dignity to the winds. Personal attire was a matter of small consideration. Ladies fled from their boudoirs, showing plainly that the excitement of the moment over-rode the details of the toilet. Hands were clasped in an ecstasy of joy. Castes, sects, politics, and everything that makes for dissension in normal times was swept aside by the irresistible tide of rejoicing. At any other time such deeds would have qualified the population to fill a lunatic asylum. The main street seemed to be filled with a crowd of savages executing a war dance. The half light provided by flares which commenced to burn, showed a weird spectacle. It reminded the onlooker who retained his faculties sufficiently to register any definite sense of observation, of the fantastic stories of novelists who describe savage rites. The strain of over four years of tension had snapped, and the spirits of the people rose with savage exultation by the release of the load that had borne them down. Those who have seen a steel hawser break and fly as its burden is taken off it will understand the behaviour of Armidalians on this historic night. Those who have stood by a powerful, heavily-loaded engine when the belt flew off will be able to imagine a simile while will describe the situation better than words. It was a riot, pure and simple, but a riot of joy, with no destructive impulse. No matter what the differences of opinion and action on any other subject, on this occasion there was unanimity. “Friendship divides grief, but multiplies joy.” Through the dark days of those four years of war we had shared our griefs. Friends have commiserated with other friends when the clergyman has arrived with the ominous tidings that a father, a husband, a brother, a son, or a sweetheart had fallen. Throughout the bad days when the German horde seemed invincible, we had been buoyed with the hope of just this day. The Germans had drunk to “Der Tag.” The day arrived—but not as they expected. Our boys had done their job. They had brought us victory. The fathers, mothers, sisters, and wives, who had given those men had fought the battle at home. Why should they not abandon themselves to rejoicing now that the struggle was over? The banging of tin-cans and the ringing of bells might seem ridiculous, were it not the only means that presented itself for the expression of the feeling within. The din and discord spoke of harmony. It told a story more moving to the spirit and more soothing to the senses than the immortal symphonies of the classic composers. Gratitude, relief, unity, and all the other characteristics that have sustained the Allies as one people during the war were symbolised by it.

Soon after the Brass Band the Pipers struck up their fighting music. The sounds of the two bands were added to each moment by the advent of anything that would make a row. Girls and women appeared with gongs, iron trays, buckets, tubs—anything that would give out a metallic sound. The motor garages were raided for petrol tins by an enterprising gang of boys. They belted the tins until their shape was no evidence of their original purpose. Too tired to hammer them they let them fall to the ground in sheer exhaustion. There was a scrum for their possession reminiscent of the football line-out. Those who could find no other outlet for their ebullition kicked the tins along the roadway. Bells clanged and whistles hooted. Church bells rang, but the noise of these and the whistles was simply an undertone heard at rare intervals as the nearer noises rose and fell. There were shouts and cheers from thousands of throats that wore themselves hoarse as time went on.

Soon the firemen appeared in uniform, marshalled by Captain Webb. The Brigade threw themselves into the celebration with the vim which always characterises them. Torches were brought, but these proved insufficient. Bags were then procured, and laid at intervals along Beardy-street. The firemen brought tins of benzine and fed the flares with a prodigality that would have brought them under the ban of the War Precautions Act at any other time. Who paid for it? That was an aspect of the question that worried nobody, but we have the Captain’s word that this little detail of the celebrations cost the firemen £3 10s. Motor cars coming into the street were rushed. Men and girls filled the seating accommodation, hung on to the running boards, and even sat astride the radiators. Crackers spluttered everywhere, rockets soared, and “bungers” boomed with explosion like artillery. Confetti was thrown in all directions. Wherever a banner or piece of bunting could be procured, the bearer of it headed a procession. Dozens of these contingents paraded the whole city. Sleep there was none, even if anybody had been so disposed. The City Band paraded every street of the city. There was scarcely a lane that was not included in their patrol.

The Mayor’s Address.

At about 10 o’clock a suggestion was made that the Mayor should address a few words to the crowd. The Mayor saw the hopelessness of the task, but the demand was so persistent that he felt compelled to make the attempt. He took up a position on the balcony of Tattersall’s Hotel, from which he looked down upon the biggest audience that it will ever be his lot to address in Armidale. Several times he attempted to speak, but the crowd, unaware of his intention, maintained its uproar. As a last resort he called the Band up on to the balcony. The National Anthem was played, and immediately the noise ceased and everybody came to attention. The Mayor led in cheering for the boys who had brought us victory, and all hope of speaking was lost. “The Marseillaise” and the “Star Spangled Banner” followed by the Band, after which the Mayor snatched the opportunity to address a brief congratulatory speech to the assemblage. The riot of shouting then broke out afresh.

Duration of the Celebrations.

It was considerably past mid-night before there was any abatement in the tumult of joy. People seemed reluctant to leave the streets, and it was only when they almost dropped from sheer exhaustion that they turned their steps homewards, shouting with hoarse voices as they went. Revellers continued to parade the streets until daylight.

At the Telephone Exchange.

The work done at the Armidale Telephone Exchange on Thursday night will stand as a record, both for the amount of business and the expedition with which it was handled. In about an hour after the arrival of the peace cable, no less than 1500 local calls were dealt with. Special arrangements had been made by the Postmaster (Mr. H. E. Williams) and the operators, for the contingency, and within five minutes of the receipt of the message every board was double-staffed, and the heavy business was dealt with without the slightest hitch. Yesterday morning was nearly as busy, 1000 calls being dealt with between 10 and 11 o’clock. Subscribers everywhere appreciate the splendid service given, and we have to thank the operators for their courtesy and promptitude. Thanks to the assistance rendered, we were able to inform, first all the outlying centres, and then the local subscribers, immediately the wire came to hand.

A Good Natured Crowd.

Special police precautions were soon put into effect after the arrival of the news, but although the guardians of law and order were quite vigilant to see that no damage was done by the more ebullient spirits, no extreme measures were required to keep the crowd within bounds. “They’re doing no harm,” was the comment of Superintendent Banks to our reporter, after he had completed a patrol to see that all was in order.

A solitary drunk, who had celebrated not wisely but too well, had to be taken into custody for his own protection. He was brought before the Police Magistrate yesterday morning, but in view of the exceptional circumstances he was rebuked and discharged. This was the only arrest during the whole of the celebrations.

Circus Tricks.

All kinds of antics were indulged in by the crowd to relieve their pent up enthusiasm. But during a night of medley tricks a man who paraded with a concertina and endeavored to do a cake-walk was conspicuous. Needless to say neither the music nor the dance were up to professional standard. But they had their effect in amusing the crowd and satisfying the conscience of the performer that he was “doing his bit.” Another patriot could not be convinced that he was unable to stand on his head, and it took an hour of persevering effort to convince him that his centre of gravity had shifted. Probably he had not allowed for “the load” which he had imbibed.

A group of horsewomen and men who dashed into the crowd on sweating horses showing signs of hard riding attracted considerable interest. It was learned that they had galloped in from Kelly’s Plains as soon as they heard the news. They raced about the street until the police gave them the hint to seek some more open space, on account of the danger to other people by their movements amongst the crowd.

Heard from Afar.

On previous occasions when the celebrations of lesser victories have been limited to bell-ringing and whistle-blowing, the noise has told residents ten miles from Armidale that something untoward was afoot. On Monday night, however, a resident whose property is 15 miles distant, assures us that he could hear the noise quite distinctly.

Meeting Abandoned.

At the time of receipt of the news the committee of the Literary Institute had just assembled for the business of the monthly meeting. It broke up in disorder, and upon reassembling about an hour afterwards the committee was in no mood for business. Instead, the Mayor, who was in the chair, moved a resolution that the committee place on record its thanksgiving for the good news that had come through that night, their appreciation of the good work done by the men who had represented us at the front and helped us on to victory.

Dr. Ritchie seconded the motion, which was carried with enthusiastic cheers. The meeting then adjourned.

Interrupted Examinations.

Mr. T. F. Mills, Hon. Secretary to the Supervisory Committee of the Leaving Certificate and Qualifying Certificate Examinations, received the following telegram from the Director of Education:—In the event of a public holiday being proclaimed for peace, leaving certificate examination must proceed according to time-table. Another urgent wire stated:—On account of holiday, suspend leaving certificate examinations to-morrow (Wednesday) ; put all succeeding duties one day ahead.

The excitement of the night before considerably upset the balance of the students, who were in no frame for answering examination questions. One boy was so disturbed that he found it impossible to proceed with his work, and abandoned the task.

A Happy Coincidence.

Rev. H. S. Buntine had good cause to feel happy on Thursday night. He had received a cable from his son at the front, Lieut. Murray Buntine, to say that he was well. Shortly after he entered the School of Arts the message stating that the armistice had been signed arrived.

The Morning After.

Yesterday morning people were able soberly to contemplate the far-reaching effect of the good news. There was not the boisterousness of the night before, but there was a continuation of the rejoicing in a quiet way. All business places were closed, but not till they had given out almost their entire stock of ribbon. Those fortunate enough to gain possession of this shared it with their friends until soon there was scarcely man, woman, or child who was not displaying favours. Flags waved everywhere. Nobody worked; to suggest the idea even was treasonable. The Band paraded in the morning.

This Is “The Day.”

The following proclamation was issued yesterday morning, under the hand of the Town Clerk (Mr. F. W. Milner), who organised the peace celebrations, under the direction of the Council:—This day (Tuesday) is a public holiday. The Council requests that all branches of the military, patriotic, educational, business, and political life of our city, together with all civil societies and organisations, and the general public, will form in procession, starting from the gasworks, Beardy-street, this glorious day, at 2.30 p.m. Captain Webb will be the marshal in charge. The procession will proceed to the Central Park for a monster patriotic meeting of joy and thanksgiving at 3 p.m. Three minute speeches. This is “the day.”

No more historic document has ever been, or probably ever will be published in Armidale, and no record of the proceedings would be complete without it. Hence our reason for publishing it, even though the celebrations to which it refers are over.

The Religious Aspect.

Throughout the whole of the rejoicings there was a fitting feeling of thankfulness to the Almighty apparent on all sides. All the churches gave their congregations the opportunity of offering thanks to God for the deliverance of the Allies, at special services.

Written by macalba

November 11, 2018 at 11:11 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

1883: The opening of the railway to Armidale (from Newcastle)

leave a comment »

The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Friday 2 Feb 1883

[Some interesting details about the construction of the rail link between Uralla and Armidale – albeit with some gratuitous editorial comment to begin with, and the stilted language of 135 years ago. GS.]

Ever since the train reached Uralla, and the New England public whetted their demonstrating appetite with the festivities upon that occasion, the interest in the official opening at Armidale has been increasing. People commenced to mark events as to take place before or after “the opening.” The Uralla opening was looked upon as a mere trifle—a sort of pistol shot giving notice of the boom of a cannon. Very many of the visitors to Uralla took the opportunity of making facetious remarks to the inhabitants of that town, twitting them concerning imperfections in the arrangements, and stating as an indisputable fact, in no modulated tone of voice, that that day would be the greatest Uralla would ever see. With regard to the faulty arrangements at Uralla, there was every reason why they should have been excused. It was not known officially until the day before the opening whether there would be any official opening whatever, and if so, when it would take place. A better excuse than that for any mistakes that might have been made could not be offered. As to whether the festivities at Uralla were in reality its death-knell, is a debatable question, but we have no belief in the extinction of Uralla. Being little more than a village, the impetus given to business, and the influx of population consequent upon the progress of the work upon the railway, was particularly noticeable and acceptable, and the depression necessarily attendant upon the withdrawal of the nomad population as marked and disagreeable. But because there is a stagnation of business and an absence of population, that is no reason why Uralla should die. The circumstances that brought Uralla into existence and fostered its growth have not been taken away; and if railway communication is going to kill Uralla then it must be a bad thing. Experience does not say and in all probability Uralla will advance with did without it.

We have thought it well at this time, when Armidale is filled to overflowing with people, and prospects seem most brilliant, to call attention to the position of Uralla, because there is a lesson to be learnt by so doing. The same influences that gave a stimulus to Uralla have been for some time at work in inflating Armidale, and as now Uralla wondering if it can exist, so will the croakers in Armidale soon be pointing to this town’s collapse. In a very few months Armidale will cease to be a terminus, and hundreds of a floating population will have moved further Northward. Temporary stagnation will ensue just as certainly as it has done at Uralla. Even the pessimists may hesitate to proclaim that Armidale will die, but they will allude despondingly to its future. Provided people are prepared for the inevitable period of depression during which Armidale will have to suffer a recovery, the croakers will do very little harm; but if, at the signs of failing strength, the inhabitants allow themselves to become alarmed for the result, harm will be done in the killing of public spirit and business enterprise, and the recovery will be retarded. It is well, therefore, that we should be prepared for coming events, and it will do us no harm to remember as we stand now upon a hill of prosperity that there is a somewhat steep descent in front before we commence ascending again a more gradual incline, leading, however, to a greater height.

“Carpe diem,” wrote Horace, and since, as far as we can judge, he got a fair amount of enjoyment out of life, we may, if we want to enjoy ourselves, pay some attention to what he says. There would be very little enjoyment in life if we were to speculate each day upon the possibilities of our breaking our necks the next. And Armidale at the present time seems very much of Horace’s opinion, and is seizing the opportunity of enjoying itself regardless of the morrow, which may be presumed to be capable of looking after itself. Everybody has been to much trouble for some time past in making preparations for enjoyment, and life is not so overstocked with fun that we can afford to mar joy in esse with alloy in posse. The first of February, the formal day of our rejoicing, is past, but our festival continues, not to be broken up until, some time during next week, we speed the parting guests and settle down to every-day life once more. Nearly every private house in the town is filled with guests, some of the city, civilised, others of the bush, bushy. The former smile with concealed amazement at the latter, who in turn grin with undisguised amusement at the former. Each regards the other as a peculiar development of humanity, congratulate themselves—for it is mutual— that they have got to see very little of each other, and, being in a good humour, pass on amused, and perhaps improved, In this meeting of fellow men of different bringing up—the throwing of them more intimately together, as it were, by railway communication […] much to be gained by each. Honesty, dullness, and a degree of coarseness are intimately associated with the man of the soil; quickness of intellect, shrewdness—sometimes near akin to knavery—and refinement, are the attributes of the man of cities, and it is to be regretted that, while the country folk soon learn to ape or adopt the vices of those of the city, the latter absorb but little of the blunt honesty of the bush. But by moralising we shall not turn the tide of so-called progress, and hoping that both bush and city have found pleasant diversion in the demonstration of Armidale’s rejoicing on the opening of the railway yesterday, we turn to the matter-of-fact narration of the proceedings.

It must be borne in mind that our demonstration of yesterday was not a celebration of the junction of the table-land with the plains. The contract of Messrs. Amos Bros., that terminated at Uralla, completed that task of engineering skill, and the people of Uralla, with justice, insisted upon being allowed a demonstration in honour of the event. Upon the arrival of the railway at Armidale we have demonstrated in celebration of railway communication with the capital of New England, the cathedral city of the North. The contract of Messrs. Amos Bros, was completed at a distance of 245 miles 42 chains from Newcastle, being a point a few chains this side of Uralla. From this point to Glen Innes the line is being constructed by Mr. David Proudfoot, and is now completed to Armidale. The railway station at Armidale is situated at 259 miles 77 chains from Newcastle, which gives the distance from Uralla to Armidale by rail as nearly as possible 14½ miles. There are no cuttings or embankments of any magnitude on the portion of Mr. Proudfoot’s contract now completed. The point at which the contract commenced is 3360 feet above the level of the sea, and the Armidale station 3312, Uralla being at a slightly greater elevation than Armidale. The 14 or 15 miles traversed are very level, and, although the gradients in places are as steep as 1 in 50, the greater portion of the line is comparatively level. The highest gradient in the whole of Mr. Proudfoot’s contract occurs just beyond the goods-shed at Armidale, on the way to Glen Innes, where it reaches 1 in 40. To return, however, to the extension opened yesterday, it is technically divided into 24 embankment and 24 cutting contracts. Embankment No. 1, commencing near Uralla, at 245 miles 2 chains, contains 33,000 cubic yards, and runs out at 245 miles 56 chains, in which occurs the bridge over the Great Northern Road. Cutting No. 1 contained 7000 cubic yards, largely composed of granite boulders. In cutting No. 5, which runs out at 247 miles 44 chains, the Great Northern Road is again crossed, and at this point the usual 15 feet gates are provided. A series of small cuttings and long, low embankments—the latter principally made up from side cuttings—are next traversed. In embankment No. 12, which runs out three 20-feet timber openings over Lambing Gully, and again in embankment No. 14, which runs out at 253 miles 59 chains, occurs a similar bridge, over Saumarez Creek. In embankment No. 15, at about 254 miles 40 chains, there is another bridge of three 10-feet timber openings over Perrott’s Creek. Cutting No. 17, near Roseneath, is the largest in the extension to Armidale, containing 28,000 cubic yards, and in this cutting there are to be seen the pretty, variegated coloured chalks which created some local interest at the time they were first discovered. At about 257 miles 50 chains the Gostwyck road is crossed, and a series of small cuttings and embankments leads to the cutting opposite the railway camp of 18,000 yards, from the centre of which there is a fall of 1 in 50, decreasing to 1 in 440 to the railway station at Armidale. In the whole 15 miles there are about 190,000 cubic yards of cutting, and 180,000 cubic yards of embankment. The cutting in which the station is situated is in reality the largest, as 30,000 cubic yards were removed from it, but, of course, it is of especial breadth. At all road crossings there are 15 feet gates, and to paddocks 10 feet gates. The culverts are principally 5-feet timber openings. The line runs into the town at the back of the Gaol Hill, at the Southern end, and crosses the Great Northern Road once more just before arriving at the station, which is situated, somewhat inconveniently, at the Western extremity of the town, about a mile from the Post Office or business centre.

The railway station buildings are some way from being finished, the goods-shed and engine-shed being in a mere skeleton condition. The main building will be finished in two or three months time, and is already so far complete that an idea can be formed of the handsome appearance the structure will soon present. At the commencement of the building operations the contractors were seriously delayed in consequence of the scarcity of bricks, and when that difficulty was overcome a further obstacle was found in the absolute impossibility of obtaining seasoned timber. The wet weather prevailing during the past few months has also delayed the work considerably. The contractors made every effort in their power to render the reception yesterday at the station successful. Each end of the platform was barred up, with a view of keeping off the crowd and preventing the recurrence of such a scene as was presented on the platform at Uralla on the arrival of the Ministerial train. The contractors further erected an arch at the entrance to the railway station ground, which was very prettily decorated with flags and evergreens. Along the route traversed by the procession triumphal arches were conspicuous by their absence, and we do not know that there is any need to lament over the fact. We understand the Committee had not the funds at their disposal to justify their indulging in any extravagancies of decoration, and they wisely, at an early stage, abandoned all ideas of triumphal arches. But at nearly all the comers of intersecting streets in the route of the procession were erected tall posts, from the tops of which were stretched lines carrying innumerable flags. This display, assisted by the efforts of certain of the more enterprising, or enthusiastic, of the private citizens, who displayed bunting, gave the town that festive appearance which it was only right it should assume. It was not thought right that the visitors to our city should be allowed to escape a glimpse of Beardy street, and the procession was accordingly taken down Jessie-street, and brought along our main business street as far as the Post Office corner, where it turned up the hill once more and round by the Town Hall to the temporary platform erected opposite the Church of England Cathedral.

There was some disappointment felt at the non-arrival of the Governor, and we believe that much is lost to the popularity of a Governor and the encouragement of loyal sentiments by the absence of regal representation on such occasions as that of yesterday. More good can be done in a short time to the cause of loyalty by a happy speech to a crowd predisposed to enjoyment, such as Sir Hercules Robinson knew so well how to deliver, than volumes the most careful logic can accomplish in fifty years. However, we presume the absence of his Excellency was unavoidable. Nor can it be said that we were liberally treated in the way of Ministers, but on that head we can well afford to be forgiving. In the first place, we have not the present Government to thank for our railway, and in the second place, the new Ministers have already earned the title of a Ministry of work, and they may well have hesitated before travelling over 300 miles for a holiday. A fair sprinkling of members of Parliament came up, and very many gentlemen of position from all parts of the country. The town was full last Saturday, but all through the present week visitors have been pouring in. Great difficulty was naturally found in procuring accommodation, and very high prices were demanded and gladly paid merely for a blanket and room to lie down. Up till Wednesday night, however, room was found somewhere for everybody. Hundreds of telegrams were received on Tuesday and Wednesday by private people in the town from friends asking them to procure accommodation for them in the hotels, and in every case a reply had to be sent saying that all hotel accommodation had been secured by Saturday night.

The rain that fell on Wednesday was most unwelcome. There has been abundance of rain of late, and around the railway station there is so much of that yellow clay that puddles into a cloggy bog, that it was feared that the station would have been almost unapproachable yesterday. Fortunately the rain cleared off before midnight, and Thursday morning breaking fine and bright, many anxious fears were dispelled. The town yesterday …ance from an early hour. Hundreds of people congregated in the streets, and old friends and acquaintances were continually dropping across each other, and exchanging mutual congratulations upon the kindness of the clerk of the weather. About noon the crowd commenced to move towards the railway station, and by one o’clock between 3000 and 4000 people were present. The platform at the station was kept exclusively for the use of the Committee, and although some people were very indignant at not being allowed to come on to the platform, it was necessary to be very strict and no exceptions could be made. Over 20 constables under Superintendent Orridge maintained excellent order. The bulk of the people were assembled upon the bank opposite the platform, and for some distance along the line on each ride of the station. Some telegrams received from along the line made those waiting aware that the train would not be far behind time, and at five minutes to two the engine smoke was visible on the top of the cutting. As is usually the case the carriage in which the Ministers were travelling was not brought to a standstill at the place where the Mayor and Aldermen were waiting. It was not very far distant, however, and after a few hasty rushes in the wrong direction, a juncture of the two parties was effected, and general handshaking was the order of the day. The Mayor addressed a few words of Welcome to the Ministers, Mr. Copeland and Mr. Farnell, and requested Mr. Copeland as Minister for Works to formally declared the line open.

Mr. Copeland said he had much pleasure in acceding to the Mayor’s request, and he hoped the line would bring all the benefits the inhabitants expected. He congratulated the district upon the completion of communication with a seaport so near as Newcastle. He declared the line formally open. The ensign was hoisted at the flagstaff, and the band struck up “God Save the Queen.” Three cheers were then given, and some shots were fired from a small piece of ordnance upon the opposite side of the fine. The Ministers and members of Parliament who came up were then taken through to the carriages waiting, and thanks to the exertions of Mr. Matters, the marshal, the procession was soon got into order. Five mounted constables headed the procession, followed by the Lambton Band playing a spirited march. Next came the Mayor’s carriage containing the Ministers, Messrs. Copeland and Farnell, and following that a long string of carriages amongst which were prominent three four-in-hand teams, all drawn by beautiful horses, which behaved with the decorum appurtenant to well-trained thoroughbreds. Following the buggies were the Friendly Societies succeeded by a few horsemen, and a good few on foot. The procession was fully half a mile long and was very successfully conducted. The route taken we have already mentioned, and the platform opposite the Cathedral was reached shortly after 2.30. About 50 ladies had assembled on the platform, and the Societies excellent guard around the structure. Mr. Copeland and Mr. Farnell with other distinguished visitors were conducted on to the platform by the Mayor, who then called upon the Council Clerk to read the address from the Council as follows:—

To the Honorable Henry Copeland, Esq., M.L.A., the Minister for Works.

We, the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Armidale, desire to express our welcome to you and your colleagues in office on the occasion of this official visit formally to open the Railway Extension from Uralla to Armidale. We feel confident that the opening of the railway to this important point will materially increase the prosperity of the whole of the Northern part of the colony. And we have no doubt that you will agree with us in saying that there is no surer road to the success of every interest than that of Railway Extension. We thank you and the other members of the Legislature for your kindness in, no doubt at some personal sacrifice, thus coming to rejoice with us on the arrival of quite a new era in the history of Armidale. We beg to subscribe ourselves your obedient servants, John Moore, Mayor, A. W. Simpson, Edmund Lonsdale, James Tysoe, John Harper, John Bliss, G. Holmes, William Drew, John Trim, Aldermen.

Mr. Copeland, in reply, said it afforded him the greatest satisfaction to convey to them his appreciation of the honour of his position, and he could scarcely find words to express his thanks for himself, his colleague, and the friends who accompanied him to this city of Armidale, one of the most beautiful in Australia, for the reception accorded them. This was a red letter day for Armidale, and no doubt it would mark an epoch in the history of New England. He congratulated the district and those present that they were now connected with the second best port in the colony by a journey of some 13 or 14 hours. He felt particularly the honour of occupying his present position, because some years ago he had taken an active part in bringing the railway to Armidale, instead of its going some miles to the West. (Hear, hear.) He was glad that it had been one of his first duties as Minister for Works to open the railway to Armidale. He trusted the opening of the railway would bring the amount of prosperity to the city that its best friends could possible imagine, and be hoped that before long they would be connected also with the city of Sydney. (Applause, and three cheers for Armidale.)

Mr. Joseph Scholes, Jun., then read the following address, which was most beautifully engrossed and illuminated, from the Oddfellows:—

The Hon. Henry Copeland, Minister for Works. Sir—We, the Oddfellows of this District, unite in according you a hearty welcome on your present visit for the purpose of opening an important Extension of Railway to this the City of the North.

We desire to express our loyalty to her Majesty the Queen, and confidence in the Government which you have the honour to represent.

The which we are now met, is to us a cause of great rejoicing as it will be the means of connecting this district with other important parts of the colony, and providing an outlet for the many products for which this district is justly celebrated, and places within easy reach, of the inhabitants of the plains a cool summer retreat in this salubrious climate.

We take this occasion to express our congratulations upon the prosperity of the colony, which we hope may continue, and afford means for extending railways in all directions, and thus develop the vast natural resources of the country and open it up for the settlement of a large population.

We are, hon. Sir, your obedient servants—signed on behalf of the Oddfellows of this district,—Joseph Scholes, Jun., Provincial Grand Master.

Mr. Copeland briefly responded. He said he had not the good fortune to be an Oddfellow himself, but many of his best friends were. He hoped the railway would bring prosperity to the Oddfellows and all other fellows.

The Mayor then called for three cheers for the Queen, which were heartily given and succeeded by other rounds of cheering for Mr. Copeland, Mr. Farnell, the other members of Parliament present, and the Mayor and Aldermen.

The Ministers were then escorted to the St. Kilda Hotel by the Mayor and the Police Magistrate, returning in about half an hour to the banquet room.

The banquet was held in the new Town Hall, the walls of which have now been built to their full height. The Committee made an arrangement with the contractor for this building some time back to lay down a pine floor and erect a temporary roof, to be covered with tarpaulins. At the time this contract was entered into it was thought that the opening would take place about the end of December, when the walls would not have been built to any great height. It was after wards found that the line could not be opened as soon as anticipated, but the contractor had then made all arrangements for roofing in, and the fault to be found in the result, if any, was that the roof was too low. By opening the tarpaulins at places in the sides, however, plenty of ventilation was afforded, and there was very little to complain of. The Hall is, for a country town, a very large one, measuring 75 feet by 45, and was very tastefully decorated. The posts which supported the roof were covered with coloured calico, and from the roof hung flags and evergreens in profusion. Chinese lanterns and lamps were hanging from above and fixed to the supports in all directions, but these were not required, it is needless to say, at the banquet. Upon the stage, which is situated at the North end, was the Lambton Band, and immediately below, raised about a foot from the floor, was the cross table, extending across the whole breadth of the Hall, in the centre of which, in the chair, sat the Mayor with the Hon. Henry Copeland, Hon. J. Richardson, Archdeacon Ross, Mr. Buchanan, Mr. John Williams, and Mr. Proctor, M.L.A., on his right, and the Hon. […] Farnell, Rev. Dean Mr.H. C. Dangar, Mr. Fosberry, and Mr. A. A. Dangar on his left. Running down the length of the Hall were ten other tables.

The banquet was served cold in the excellent style for which the City Catering Company have acquired a reputation, and there was abundance of food and wine all of the best description. About 300 gentlemen sat down to the banquet, and as the Hall was arranged to seat 375, there was plenty of room. After doing full justice to the viands, the Chairman proposed the Queen, which was received in the usual loyal manner, the band playing the National Anthem. The toast of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Royal Family was also welcomed with the usual enthusiasm, the band playing “God bless the Prince of Wales.”

Mr. Jas. Mackenzie then proposed the health of the Governor in a short speech, and this, too, was received with enthusiasm, and hearty cheers were given at the conclusion of the few bars given by band of “The fine old English gentleman.”

The Chairman then proposed the present Ministry. It was his impression that the Ministry would legislate with a view to benefiting the colony generally. He knew Mr. Farnell very well, as one of the Ministers, and he had confidence in Mr. Copeland. He had much pleasure in proposing the toast of the Ministry.

The toast haying been duly honoured, Mr. Copeland, who was received with prolonged cheering, said that although he was a junior representative of the Government to Mr. Farnell, who had been Premier and Minister for Lands in different Ministries for periods of 2 and 3 years, and therefore it might seem a sort of presumption for him to reply to this toast in stead of Mr. Farnell, yet in virtue of the office he how held as Minister for Works, it was his duty to respond on that occasion to that toast (applause), and he thanked them for the hearty manner in which it had been received. He would ask them to refer back for five or six years, and remember the occasion when he first appeared as a budding politician standing for the Northern Gold Fields, and this constituency of New England was the first he had the honour to represent. (Applause.) He would like to refer to his career during the last four or five years. Presumably they read the papers —not only the local papers, but the Sydney papers—and he would ask them had he during his political career, done any thing to disgrace them? (Cries of “No, no.”) He owed his political existence to New England, and he was—politically speaking—the child of New England (applause), until the last few weeks. It was he thought, to his credit, and it was some satisfaction to a man to say that no man in New England could say he had done other than his duty to the constituency and the country. (Applause.) He might have done some things which did not appear pleasing to the idiosyncrasies of all, but, on all occasions, he had considered the interests of the country and of New South Wales, But the object of the present meeting was the celebration of the opening of the railway to Armidale. which he had made for reference, in the train. But he would remind them that about seven years ago some money was voted with no more definite object than to make a railway to New England. About that time the Government, of which Mr. Farnell was a member, came into power, and Mr. Sutherland, the then Minister for Works, advised that the train should come to Armidale. The opposing interest of Inverell then came in, which they had to fight with, and he was not going to deny that Inverell was a most prolific district. But he joined Mr. Terry and fought for the Armidale people, not because he thought Inverell was not a fruitful district—for he knew the wealth of the Inverell district—but still it was not such a settled district as Armidale, and probably would never have been so much settled as it was had it not been for Armidale, and it was to a certain extent dependent upon Armidale. It was Mr. Farnell’s Government that successfully carried the railway to Armidale. But there was another battle that had to be fought. The Government of that day only secured the railway going along the surveyed route which went some miles to the West of Armidale. There was then another battle to be fought, and he, years ago, when up in this district advised the people not to rest content with the line passing some miles to the West of them, and pointed out the numerous disadvantages that would be entailed by such a course. Action was consequently taken, and Mr. Terry and he did their best and got the resolution amended, so as to bring the line to Armidale instead of going to the West of the city. (Applause.) In advocating the line he pointed out the amount of money that had been spent here, and showed that if the railway were not brought here much would be done to destroy Armidale. Where the railway was, there would be business and population, and increase in the value of land. (Applause.) In the days when he supported this railway he could not, of course, have foreseen the day when he should come here as the representative of an able, and, he believed, a strong Government, in an official capacity, and declare the line open for passenger and goods traffic, as he had done that day, but he was proud that such should have been the result. He was glad that he had retained their confidence, and appeared before them that day as Minister for Works. (Applause.) He did not think that any of those present that day fully realised the benefit that railway communication was about to confer upon them. As an illustration of the benefits—to bring it home to them— he was reminded by the Mayor that everything, the glass, Hie crockery, the eatables, and drinkables, which they saw before them, was all brought from Sydney, and that they were actually eating to-day what was cooked yesterday in Sydney. (Applause.) This district was now connected with Newcastle, and there was no longer any necessity for them to send all their produce to Sydney, since they could ship from Newcastle direct to England, and thus save much expense in carriage. And now the Sydney market would lie open to their fruit, their flour, and wheat, and this might fairly be considered as a red letter day for Armidale, and as the brightest day New England had yet seen. (Applause.) Ho could tell them that the Government of to-day would not be behindhand in carrying out the public works of the country, and would extend light railways into the interior as soon as possible. He was in favour of making light railways to such places as Willcannia and Cobar even once a week, and take to the people stores and bring back their produce, even if the line should be worked for a time at a loss. He might state that the railway returns for the year were about £350,000 in excess of the returns for the previous year. Every line in 1882 produced a larger revenue than in 1881. Even where extensions had been made to unsettled country—to mere gum trees—they were paying. (Applause.) He thanked them for the hearty reception given to the toast. (Cries of “What about the tramways?”) The tramways had nothing to do with Armidale, so far as he knew. (Laughter.) He intended to work for the interests of the whole country, and thought he would have the support of the people generally throughout the country. (Applause.)

There were cries for Mr. Farnell, who rose reluctantly after some clamour and said he thought Mr. Copeland had done ample justice to the toast. He rejoiced at the assemblage in the Hall of the largest number of people he had met at a meeting out of Sydney. He had always advocated the railway to Armidale before he represented this constituency, and had done so for the good of the colony. Sir Henry Parkes and some of his Government were the greatest manipulators of men ever born. The country had lately been appealed to and returned the present Ministry to office, saying that they would have a new Land Law, and as Minister for Lands he would do his best for the interests of the country. The speaker proceeded to denounce the former Government saying that their four years in office had been four years of Corruption, at which there was considerable uproar, and the speaker proceeded to propose the toast of the Pastoral, Agricultural, Mining, Mercantile, and Manufacturing interests of New England, which he did in a few appropriate words.

Mr. H. G. Dangar, in replying on behalf of the pastoral interests, said that he saw so many gentlemen around him intimately connected with the pastoral interests that he wondered why he should have been called upon to respond to that portion of the toast, but be supposed that in consequence of his father having been the discoverer of the district and his family having been identified with it so many years, the Committee had called upon him. (Applause.) If such were the case, he thanked the Committee for their courtesy, and for their remembrance of these facts. He was a squatter only in theory, but he would, at any rate, illustrate one of the virtues of dummyism by not saying more than was necessary on this occasion. (Laughter and applause.) But he thought he ought to allude to the discovery of New England, and in doing so would couple it with a name that had perhaps faded from their memories, but which should be chronicled on this occasion—that of “Gostwyck”—a man who was one of those who worked for the good of others, but he could not help thinking how much they were indebted to that man. Had it not been for him indeed he (Mr. Dangar) would not have the privilege of speaking to them that day. No man should regret that the flocks should recede before the wants of the people, and he, for one, did at not all regret it. (Applause.) He wished to express his intense satisfaction at the arrival of the iron horse. (Applause.) His thanks were due to them for the manner in which the toast had been received. The present subjected to a great amount of vituperation. For all that the pastoral interest had been the back bone and spinal marrow of the country—(applause)—and it would be a sorry day when they killed the goose that laid the golden eggs. (Renewed applause.) The present Government had undertaken such a task as they never dreamt of in adjusting the land law, and he did not envy them a task presenting difficulties enough to wreck half a dozen Governments; still he hoped they would make an honest effort, and he wished them God speed. He would like to go on, but the tune was limited, and perhaps he had better stop and not drift into what he wished to avoid—a political speech. (Applause.) He thanked them, especially for the manner in which they had received the toast of the pastoral interests and those joined with it. (Loud applause.)

Mr. George Faint responded for the Agricultural interests. He said he had been trying to make agriculture a success, and so far had succeeded (applause), as he had competed in many plaices and come out at the top of the poll. (Renewed applause.) He did not think the present Land Law was a liberal one for the poor man. (Applause.)

Mr. Cleghorn, in responding for the Mining interests, said that all would admit that Australia stood foremost in the world for mineral wealth, and New England prominent in New South Wales. Even up to the present time they had exported such minerals from N. S. Wales as would pay for the carriage, and now that they had railway communication they would be able to develop the large mineral resources of New South Wales.

At this stage of the proceedings much noise was caused by the removal of the seats and tables that had been vacated, and much that the rest of the speakers said was inaudible.

The Hon. John Richardson returned thanks on behalf of the Mercantile interests. He alluded to the benefits of settlement in New England. He was glad to see so many present, but would have liked to see his old friend Sir John Robertson amongst the number (applause), although he was not a member of the present Ministry.

Mr. Henry Roman proposed the toast of the Parliament of New South Wales, saying that although there might be weak spots in the Ministry, the Government was as a whole worthy of support. He had great pleasure in proposing the toast.

Mr. Goold, M.L.A., claimed their indulgence in responding to the toast, basing his claims as a junior member of the Legislature, He was glad to hear the terms of praise in which the proposer had alluded to the Government, as he was convinced the Government intended to do their duty. He was also glad to hear from Mr. Farnell that the Government intended to do everything which, in the opinion of the Government, would be for the benefit of the colony, and make it progress as it should do. He rejoiced as a Northern member at the completion of the railway here, and was glad that the Northern districts were so well represented in the Ministry. He hoped soon to see the railway completed from Newcastle to Sydney. (Applause.)

[Rest of scanned newsprint mostly unreadable].

Written by macalba

August 7, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,


leave a comment »

Illustrated Sydney News, Sat 4 Jun 1892

THIS is the capital of New England, and, in point of size, the largest, and perhaps the most important, town on the table land. It is connected with the metropolis by rail, the main northern line to Brisbane passing through it. This pleasant retreat has proved more attractive to tourists and others than is generally known. The city has been not inaptly termed the ‘Cathedral City’ owing to the number of fine churches within its limits. To these the citizens are not slow in calling one’s attention. There still remain many residents who delight in recounting their experiences connected with the early settlement of these parts. The first family to seek its fortunes here was that of Captain Dumaresque, who held land to the extent of fifty miles north and south of Armidale. They were shortly followed by others of the early pioneers, who, in their turn, allotted portions of land to themselves.

The first court house of the district – a bark gunyah – was situated near the present site of Solomon’s photo studio ; the second court house, of shingle, was erected on the site of the present one, the late Mr. Bradshaw being first chief constable. Owing to glowing reports spreading abroad, it was reasonable enough to find the tide of humanity flowing in this direction, and the embryo city soon began to assume some sort of shape. Land was put up in Sydney in half-acre allotments, and disposed of at £4 each. Signs of progress were appearing in every direction, all traces of native savagery vanished by degrees, and the town was laid out, streets arranged, and matters respecting the furtherance of the place discussed. To the late Captain Gorman was allotted the laying out of the streets, which, to the credit of Armidale, are well preserved and cared for to the present day. Of the sale of land there is a story to the effect that the land on which the present Tattersalls Hotel and some of the best business houses of the city stand, was parted with for an ‘old black horse,’ valued at about £10. Major Innes, then police magistrate at Port Macquarie, is credited with erecting the first store, managed by Mr. Patterson. This was afterwards sold to Mr. John Mather, who, in turn, sold out to the late Mr. John Moore. Of the religious denominations, the Rev. Mr. Trickham appeared for the Church of England, followed by the Roman Catholic body under the late Father McCarthy and the Presbyterians under the Rev. Mr. Morrison. The services were held in a bark gunyah on the present site of the Catholic College. In those delightful times the window panes of this gunyah were stuck in with flour paste, as no putty was obtainable, and the story is told of the late Father McCarthy’s visit to it one Sunday morning, when to his astonishment, he discovered the panes of glass strewn, out upon the ground in innumerable pieces; it turned out on enquiry that the gunyah had been attacked by soldier birds, who betrayed a weakness for stale pastry. Of the liquor sold in those times it is easy to understand how piles were made by the enterprising landlords when one had to pay as much as a sovereign for a bottle of well watered rum. These were apparently easy days to prosper in. The wages, up to the outbreak of the Rocky River goldfields, were not over enticing, as station superintendents were in receipt of the munificent sums of 8s. and 10s. per week. The rush served to alter things considerably ; the wielders of the pick and shovel soon set out in a mad torrent. Numbers were enriched, and ‘big blankets’ were knocked down wherever opportunity offered. Tradespeople benefited with the rest, and big profits were made in their different lines – grocery particularly – the “squatters’ sugar” selling at 1s. per pound. It was served out in big black lumps, and required the use of an axe to make it presentable. Such times are over now, and a thing of the past, for this city is now a delightfully progressive and attractive place, enjoying the kindest allusions from all sides.

Of the principal buildings it is needless, to say that they are in every way a credit to the people. The illustrations on the opposite page serve to show plainly enough the excellence of construction and finish. The city is laid out on a gradual slope, and within sight of the Great Dividing Range. The main street – Beardy Street – possesses the principal public and private buildings, and good accommodation can be had in several well-appointed hotels. At the south end of the town, and near the cathedrals, a fine park, beautifully planted with choice trees, serves to adorn this portion ; facing this, the New England Ladies’ College has been erected and enjoys one of the finest views to be had. This establishment was built by Mr. P. P. Bliss, and has proved attractive to lady students from all parts of the colony. It possesses a fine reception room, private sitting room for lady principals, class rooms, four music rooms, and bedrooms charmingly decorated by the students (prizes for the neatest and most tasteful being given). This college is capable of accommodating 120 resident pupils. The Ursuline Convent and Cathedral, a handsome semi-Gothic building, is situated almost opposite. Further to the west of the town, the Railway Station, together with residence and sheds, is situated, and connected with the town by busses, cabs, etc. Armidale possesses two newspapers, viz: the Express and Chronicle. The mines of Hillgrove, to which Armidale is greatly indebted for its recent advancement, are situated about twenty miles to the east, and it is to these mines that attention is anxiously turned. The farming is progressing, but not to any great extent. There are some fine sheep runs in the vicinity. The photographs from which our sketches are taken were kindly supplied to our artist by Mr. Solomons, of Armidale.

Written by macalba

July 13, 2018 at 5:36 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

Your Xmas Suit! (From 100 years ago today).

leave a comment »

The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Tuesday, December 4, 1917


OUR SUITS raise you beyond the pale of criticism
and leave your appearance open to nothing but
praise. Our Craftsmen are Men sifted from the ordin-
ary, who take a genuine pride in Making Men look
their best.
Savage's Suits are Class
Suits in Every Way.
Perfect in Quality, Design, Finish, and in meeting
your particular needs. We suggest the present as
the right time to become acquainted with our Fine
Quality Work.
There is something Superb about our Large Stock
of Materials. Come and realise it.
Make SAVAGE your Tailor ; then you are sure of
Clothes Superiority.

Written by macalba

December 4, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

Motor Car Smash.

with 2 comments

The Armidale Chronicle, Wednesday, April 29, 1914


A motor car came to grief on the Hillgrove road on Monday morning under circumstances which render the escape from serious injury by the passengers a matter for wonder. Early in the morning, Mr. A. Kiefer’s Napier car, driven by Mr. W. Smythe, set out for Hillgrove, with a full load of passengers. With the exception of Mr. Thos. Faint, of Long Point, Hillgrove, we were unable to obtain the names of the occupants. All went well until the first culvert after crossing the Commissioners’ Water, where the road takes a bend. For some reason hitherto unknown, the car failed to take the turn, and, continuing in a straight line, shot into a gully, over seven feet deep, the passengers being scattered in all directions. Strange to relate, the car did not overturn, but settled down as if it had been lifted bodily off the roadway. The near side wheels came to rest on the bank of the gully, and the off-side ones hung in air without any support. The front axle was twisted, the windscreen broken, the back axle and two wheels damaged. The passengers were considerably knocked about, and sustained some superficial injuries. It was reported that Mr. Faint had some ribs broken, but this has not been verified. The whole party was picked up by Mr. A. Kiefer and taken on to their destination by his Studebaker car.

When the car was inspected after the accident, it was found that the boot of one of the passengers must have caught in the car, for the heel of his boot was wrenched off, and remained in the car.

Written by macalba

November 23, 2017 at 6:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with ,

How to treat a flesh wound

leave a comment »

The Armidale Express and New England General Advertiser, Saturday 28 February 1874

Flesh Wounds.— Every person should understand how to treat a flesh wound, because one is liable to be placed in circumstances, away from surgical and veterinary aid, where he may save his own life, the life of a friend, or of a beast, simply by the exercise of a little common sense. In the first place, close the lips of the wound with the hand, and hold them firmly together to check the flow of blood until several stitches can be taken, and a bandage applied. Then bathe the wound for a long time in cold water. Should it be painful, a correspondent says, take a panful of burning coals and sprinkle upon them common brown sugar, and hold the wounded part in the smoke. In a few minutes the pain will be allayed, and recovery proceeds rapidly. In my case a rusty nail had made a bad wound in the bottom of my foot. The pain and nervous irritation was severe. This was all removed by holding it in the smoke for fifteen minutes, and I was able to resume my residing in comfort. We have often recommended it to others with like results. Last week one of my men had a finger nail torn out by a pair of ice tongs. It became very painful, as was to be expected. Held in sugar smoke for twenty minutes the pain ceased, and promised speedy recovery.

Written by macalba

November 22, 2017 at 8:39 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with

%d bloggers like this: