Old news from Armidale and New England

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Posts Tagged ‘dorrigo

Inverell – Guyra railway

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The Tamworth Daily Observer (NSW : 1911 – 1916), Tuesday 21 March 1911

The Chief Commissioner for Railways, examined by the Decentralisation Commission, says the best route for railway communication between the North-West and a port north of Trial Bay would be from Inverell through Guyra and Guy Fawkes, to join at Dorrigo railway, which has already been sanctioned between Dorrigo and Glenreagh; and that the proposed line from the neighborhood of Walcha to Woodside on the North Coast line would give the best communication with Port Stephens.

Written by macalba

May 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

Mr. R. E. Snow Dies In Sydney

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Wednesday 1 December 1954, The Canberra Times

The death of Mr. Robert Eli Snow, formerly of Canberra, occurred suddenly at Wahroonga Sanitorium yesterday.

Mr. Snow, who was 77, was one one the pioneer businessmen of Canberra. and was the founder of Snows, drapers and mercers at Civic Centre.

Mr. Snow was born at Hillgrove, in the New England district, in 1877. At the age of 16 he entered business at Armidale, and later followed dairying in the Dorrigo area.

About 1923 he entered the drapery business at Yass, transferring to a small shop at Kingston in Canberra’s earliest years.

When the first building was completed at Civic Centre, he established the present premises, carrying on business there until last year, when he retired, and took up residence in Sydney.

Mr. Snow was a prominent member of the Canberra City Bowling Club and for many years was a member of the Canberra Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Snow’s father was a Cornish miner who came to Hillgrove during the period of gold development. Mr. Snow retained a strong interest in his birthplace, and in later years had interests in a mining syndicate to revive Bakers Creek mine at Hillgrove. He is survived by his widow, two sons, Robert and John, and a daughter, Gloria (Mrs. McGlade), and two stepchildren, Alman and Syd.

Written by macalba

March 22, 2011 at 8:08 pm

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Dorrigo telephones

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Wednesday 12 August 1908, The Sydney Morning Herald

The Postal authorities intimate, in connection with the letter signed by Mr. G. S. Briner, M.L.A., which appeared in our columns of the 30th ultimo, respecting the establishment of telephonic communication between Bellingen and Dorrigo, that a tender was accepted on the 27th Idem for the erection of a telephone line from Bellingen to North Dorrigo, via Never Never and Dorrigo, and instructions have been issued for the work to be put in hand immediately the necessary contract deposit is paid.

Written by macalba

October 30, 2010 at 8:03 pm

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Floods On North Coast Threaten To Isolate Several Towns

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Saturday 27 August 1949, The Sydney Morning Herald

Several towns on the lower North Coast and northern tablelands are in danger of being cut off by floods following torrential rain.

Local floodings have occurred in the Coffs Harbour, Armidale, and Port Macquarie areas, where heavy falls of snow are also reported.

Low-lying areas of Kempsey are a sea of water, and before morning it is expected that most of the town, including the main streets, will be under water.

All residents in low-lying areas of the town are leaving their homes and thousands of head of cattle are being moved to higher ground.

There were distressing scenes last night as these residents began to move their furniture and belongings in blinding rain and intense cold.

Part of the railway line between Uralla and Kelly Plains is under water and railway officials say that if the rain continues to-day all railway traffic on the line will stop.

Trains affected are those to Moree, Tamworth, Brisbane via Wallangarra, and Glen Innes.

A “Herald” pilot who flew over the northern tablelands yesterday said the country between Uralla and Armidale was badly flooded.

The country north of Armidale was thickly covered in snow up as far as Ben Lomond.

“Ben Lomond must have had a two-foot layer of snow,” he said.

“Yesterday’s fall of snow in this area was the heaviest I have seen on the northern tablelands.

“Because of bad visibility I did not see Armidale at all when I flew over it.

“All the creeks south of Armidale are running bankers and have spread out across the fields forming giant lakes.”


Last night the Weather Bureau issued a flood warning for the North Coast, and a storm warning to shipping off the N.S.W. coast.

Further heavy rain during the night and early to-day (Saturday) was expected to cause flooding in some areas between the Bellinger and Manning Rivers.

Rough to very rough seas were expected east and north of Sydney.

The Deputy Director of Posts and Telegraphs, Mr. S. F. Kellock, said last night that snowstorms and heavy rain had wrecked the main northern tablelands trunk line on both sides of Guyra.

Only four trunk lines of the normal 27 to Brisbane were working. Armidale last night reported the heaviest floods.

The local gas works are flooded and all gas supplies have stopped.

All roads leading into Armidale are blocked by heavy snow and floodwaters.

Police evacuated six families from low-lying parts of the town yesterday.

They rescued one woman who was stranded with her three-months-old baby in water knee-deep.

Police said last night that if rain continued to-day more than 50 families would have to leave their homes.

Dumaresq Creek broke its banks yesterday morning and late last night an area of half-mile radius was under water.


Up till 10.30 last night 12 inches of rain had fallen in Kempsey.

All creeks below Bellbrook are running bankers, and bridges are covered. The road north and south of Kempsey is cut.

High winds and rain are reported from all parts of the Macleay to-night, and rain is still falling.

Buses and ambulances have been stationed between West and Central Kempsey.

It is expected that the river will break near the railway bridge in the early hours of the morning, thus cutting all communications between Central Kempsey and West Kempsey.

Beisldown River, which flows through Dorrigo, is 5ft 3in over its banks. Police say this is the highest level for 23 years.

Thousands of pounds’ worth of crops have been destroyed in the Dorrigo district.

The Bellinger River has broken its banks in many parts and has risen from its normal depth of four feet to twenty feet. About 6 inches of rain fell yesterday.

Police have evacuated 12 families from low-lying areas.

They said the town itself was not threatened, but if the river rose any further about 200 people would have to leave their homes along the river’s banks.

Following are reports from the affected areas:


NAMBUCCA, Friday. – Record floods arc expected on parts of the Nambucca River following average falls of about 10 inches of rain during the last 24 hours.

This evening the upriver towns of Bowraville and Taylor’s Arm were isolated by road.

Taylor’s Arm, at the town of Taylor’s Arm, was 40 feet above normal at 5.30 p.m. and still rising fast.

The Bowra River at Bowraville at 8 p.m. was up 27 feet and rising at the rate of one foot an hour.


COFF’S HARBOUR, Friday. -Struck by a cyclonic disturbance which hit the harbour early this morning, nine fishing launches and two valuable yachts were washed ashore, at Coffs Harbour.

One launch was smashed to pieces on the jetty and is a complete loss.

The launches are part of the Coff’s Harbour deep-sea fishing fleet and are valued at approximately £25,000. The yachts are privately owned and are believed to be valued at £30,000.

Fishing gear and launch fittings valued at thousands of pounds have been lost.


KEMPSEY, Friday.-The Macleay River at Bellbrook is within two feet of the record 1946 flood mark.

In that year the river broke its banks and caused damage estimated at £100,000. In some quarters it is feared that losses in the present flood will be even greater.

The 45ft Seventh Day Adventist launch Leleo was swept ashore early this morning, about a mile from Crescent Head on the north side.

The crew of three white men and five natives is safe. The boat is being buffeted by heavy seas.

BELLINGEN, Friday. – Following torrential rain, the river is rising at Bellingen, and there is now over 20ft of flood water.

Homes are menaced at East Bellingen, and some people have been evacuated.

Bellingen is cut off from Dorrigo, the river being 5ft above the Thora Bridge.

The only traffic to north of Bellingen is by rowing-boat. The only bridge is 15ft under water.

ARMIDALE, Friday. – Armidale is suffering its worst flood for half a century.

Since rain began to fall about 11 o’clock on Wednesday night, nearly seven inches have been registered.

At midday big flakes of snow fell.

Written by macalba

September 25, 2010 at 8:06 pm

The Dorrigo

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Monday 24 September 1906, The Sydney Morning Herald

BELLINGEN. – Large numbers of intending selectors from all parts of the Commonwealth have been up to inspect the Dorrigo, and the stream of landseekers continues active. Many of those who have seen the land have given expression to great disappointment and their intention not to touch it. Up to the present under 20 applications have been lodged, in which all but seven blocks have been included. Wednesday next is the last day for lodging applications for this ballot. A number of farms have changed hands on the Bellinger, at good prices, principally to people attracted to the Dorrigo.

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August 21, 2010 at 8:06 pm

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Unknown Crown Lands

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Thursday 4 August 1910, The Sydney Morning Herald

The letter of a correspondent in our “On the Land” columns to-day calls attention to the existence of good quality but apparently little-known Crown land. It lies in the vicinity of Tyringham, between Dorrigo and Armidale, tempts discussion of an old subject. That is, the supply of Crown lands which are available for settlement if intending settlers only knew where to look for them. We do not suggest that the Minister for Lands should go out into the highways and byways with a bell, calling out full and illuminating particulars of every area of land his department stands ready to dispose of; but nevertheless we do think that some improvement might be made on the department’s methods of securing publicity. We admit that there has been improvement of late years in this respect, and are aware that particulars are regularly published of areas available for settlement. These are posted in public places in most centres of population. To anyone with a gift for comprehending the abstract, the department’s land bulletins doubtless will afford a considerable amount of information. But, unfortunately, everybody who wants land is not so gifted, and as a consequence the official posters do not reach their public. Thus, while the information may be made available, it is not presented in a form which those who run may read. The department, in short, does not seem to understand the psychology of advertising. Take as an example the locality to which our correspondent makes reference. Doubtless this has been noted in some of the official posters, but not in such a way as to catch the attention of the reader and present to his mind something like a concrete idea of the land and the district.

A private agent with land to sell would not have contented himself with essential figures of areas and distances, and the class of soil and timber, but would have laid emphasis on the existence of a cheese factory and a school, would have mentioned the contiguity to the Dorrigo and Guy Fawkes, and probably have introduced a good deal of local colour – in short, he would have aimed at such a description as would at once inform and impress the reader of his advertisement. It might be undesirable that the department should emulate the imaginative quality of some of the advertising which is to the credit of private land dealers, but without taking oven the smallest liberty with the facts we think it should be possible to speak to more purpose. In many parts of the coastal division – in the Upper Richmond and Clarence districts in particular – excellent Crown land has been, and still is, open for settlement, but has not been sought after to the extent that it might, because of the failure of the department to give it a realistic advertisement. Again, up on the plateau stretching away from Gosford to near Wollombi is an area of some 150,000 acres of Crown land which, though uninviting to the eye, has been proved by experience to be very valuable for certain varieties of fruit, and which, if opened up by the short line of railway which has been so freely discussed by correspondents recently, would support a very considerable population. But the departmental information about it is dead. The instances could be multiplied manifold. Without a doubt the Lands Department should put a little more life into its methods in this respect.

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August 12, 2010 at 8:04 pm

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Land available for selection at Tyringham

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Thursday 4 August 1910, The Sydney Morning Herald

Mr. E. F. Hughes, Dunoon, Richmond River, writes:- Having just returned from a trip to Tyringham, I wish to inform intending selectors that there is some beautiful cedar, rosewood, and stinging nettle scrub land, also good grass country, available for selection at £1 per acre. There is abundance of water. I know a selector who has only been on his selection one year, and he has about 30 acres of rye-grass a foot high. The soil is red and black, as good as anything on either the Clarence or Richmond. There is a school only two miles away, also a cheese plant in the middle of the available land. There is also a hotel four miles away and a boarding house three miles. The corn and potato crop in this locality is very good this season, with no blight. The said land is near the Armidale, Grafton, Dorrigo road, only 18 miles from the latter town. There is a township surveyed on the roadside. The climate is absolutely the best In Now South Wales, with an abundant rainfall. Having seen the land myself, I am in the position to speak about it, and will be only too pleased to give any intending selector every information I can about it.

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August 11, 2010 at 8:02 pm

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Dingoes killed

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Saturday 17 November 1934, The Sydney Morning Herald


Mr. Arthur Mate, a young farmer of Dome Mount, poisoned two huge dingoes during the week. One measured 5ft, 3in from the tip of the tail to the nose, and the other just over 5ft. Mate saw the dogs chasing some young cattle about the farm and next day discovered they had killed a well-grown yearling heifer which they had partly eaten. He says there is another big dog in the vicinity, the king of the pack which haunts the gorges surrounding the plateau. He has seen it on several occasions, and considers that it would measure more than six feet.

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July 31, 2010 at 8:05 pm

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Coff’s Harbour: Railway and port

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Tuesday 3 April 1945, The Sydney Morning Herald

Coff’s Harbour Plan

Coff’s Harbour should be converted into a deep sea port and made the terminus of an east-west railway, according to Coff’s Harbour and District Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber has issued a statement to show that the two projects are inseparable and essential to the proper development of the north of New South Wales. The complete rail and port scheme is estimated to cost £5 million.

The chamber speaks for what is potentially a complete economic unit comprising eight shires and including the coastal strip from Macksville to Woolgoolga, the Dorrigo, the tablelands, and the western slopes – 40,000 square miles, with a population of 77,000.

Last year the 1,600 square miles of coastal strip produced:-Butter, £479,808; bananas, £300,000; tomatoes, £100,000; beans and peas, £12,000. Since 1912 the unimproved capital value of Dorrigo Shire has doubled. In 1910 there were only 18 timber mills operating in the whole district. To-day there are, 109; yet the resources of the area have scarcely been tapped. Dorrigo plateau alone produces 25 million cubic feet of timber a year. Beyond Dorrigo a vast area is cut off from markets by prohibitive transport costs.


These forests, water power, mineral wealth, and the rich soil of Ebor and Guyra, remain undeveloped, while the great wool industry of New England needs direct rail communication and port storage facilities at Coff’s Harbour.

After a Parliamentary Works Committee had recommended that the best means of communication between the tablelands and the coast were a railway from Coff’s Harbour through Dorrigo to Guyra a bill was passed to authorise work on that project in 1929.

The Chamber of Commerce maintains that this project could be continued as a post-war work.

Dealing with claims of Coff’s Harbour to recognition as a deep-sea port, the chamber points out that when a plan for a port at Coff’s Harbour with a depth of 40ft of water, to cost £439,000, was prepared, the Under- secretary for Public Works, Mr. Hanna, said the smaller scheme proposed actually formed portion of the work necessary for a deep-sea port, although the smaller scheme was considered adequate for many years to come.

£900,000 SPENT

The total tonnage from Coff’s Harbour in 1939 was 64,781 tons. Nearly £900,000 has already been spent on the port.

The Chamber of Commerce advocates completion of the rail connection to Guyra, thence to Inverell and Ashford, with a 25 miles branch line to Billy’s Creek, as the first part of a scheme. The second part provides for a triple basin at Coff’s Harbour, the central basin being the present harbour, deepened to provide anchor age, and equipped with facilities to discharge and load very large vessels. Coastal vessels could be anchored in the northern basin while large ships would lie in the southern basin, which would also protect the central basin from southerlies. All three harbour entrances would lie 1,000ft wide.

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July 28, 2010 at 8:05 pm

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Dangerous mountain road

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Saturday 28 January 1939, The Sydney Morning Herald

LOWANNA, Friday.

Workmen on the Coramba-Dorrigo mountain road have been compelled to cease operations indefinitely because large rocks are constantly rolling out of the wet clay and on to the road.

For the last few months the road, which is narrow and winding, has been in the hands of the Main Roads Board. The surface is being widened and repaired, and wherever possible dangerous turns are being taken off.

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July 12, 2010 at 6:03 am

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