Old news from Armidale and New England

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New England National Park created.

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Friday 13 October 1933, The Sydney Morning Herald


ARMIDALE, Thursday.  

The first meeting of the recently gazetted
trustees of an area of more than 42,000 acres
between the tableland and the coast, was held
at Armidale. Bylaws were adopted, and the
area named the New England National Park.
The area embraces Point Lookout, regarded
as affording one of the finest panoramic views  
in the world. The park is 25 miles from Bel-
lingen, 48 from Armidale, 10 from Dorrigo,
30 from Macksville, 40 from Kempsey, and
55 from Grafton. Steps are being taken to
develop the area, and to provide means of ac-
cess to it.

Written by macalba

April 20, 2010 at 6:06 am

Tablelands to Coast railway proposals

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Wednesday 26 February 1902, The Sydney Morning Herald


The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public works met yesterday, Mr J McFarlane, M.L.A. (chairman), presiding. Further consideration was given to the expediency of constructing a line of railway from Glen Innes to Inverell.

Mr Henry Deane, Engineer-in-Chief, Railway Construction Branch, concluded his evidence. He thought that the land through which the proposed railway would pass should be given to the Government free, as the value of the adjoining land would be considerably enhanced. With few exceptions, he was in favour of the principle being applied to all new lines of railway, and this he believed was the view of the Railway Commissioners. The proposed alternative line from Guyra to Inverell would pass approximately through 18 miles of alienated land and 35 miles of Crown land, whereas from Glen Innes to Inverell the line would pass through about 39 miles of alienated land and 13 miles of Crown land.

The committee then opened an inquiry into the expediency of constructing a line of railway from Tenterfield to Casino. Mr. J. Davis, Under-Secretary, Department of Public Works, was the first witness called. He said that the line was first advocated in 1883, as the result of which a survey was carried out and an estimate prepared, showing that the cost of the work would be £1,680,053 for a distance of 87 miles. The latest estimate and description supplied by the Engineer-in-Chief for Railway Construction for this proposed line was as follows :— Length, 87 miles 1.50 chains ; estimated cost, £1,094,870 or £12,583 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

The proposed line would begin by a junction with the Great Northern Railway at 382 miles from Newcastle, and proceed in an east-north-east direction across the Main Dividing Range near 390 miles, and down the valley of the Cataract River, thence by a tortuous course about five miles north of the township of Drake, thence down to the Clarence River, which is crossed just above Tabulam. From Tabulam the line would proceed by Tabulam Rivulet and Black’s Camp Creek to the crossing of the Richmond Range, thence by Shannon Creek to the Richmond River, which would be crossed, and the township of Casino entered, the line ending at the western side of West-street at 469 miles 40 chains from Newcastle. The works would be very heavy with very little exception. The land to be taken would be largely alienated.

The Minister (Mr. O’Sullivan), continued Mr. Davis, in July last issued instructions for the Railway Commissioners to be asked to furnish a report on the Tenterfield-Casino railway in conjunction with the proposed line from South Grafton to Guyra. Mr. O’Sullivan also requested the Commissioners to express an opinion as to which was the better line in the interests of the public for connecting the tableland of New England with the North Coast districts. To enable the Commissioners to report, the estimates and maps of the different routes had to be supplied by the Works Department, but this could not he done until the middle of November, and the Minister being anxious to submit the Tenterfield to Casino route to Parliament, the Commissioners were only able, within the limited time, to report on that proposal without any reference to the other routes. Their report dated December 10, 1901, was as follows :—

“Cost of construction : Engineer-in-Chief’s estimated cost of construction exclusive of land and compensation, £1,094,870. Estimated annual cost : Interest on cost of construction at 3 7/8 per cent, £38,320 ; maintenance, and for traffic and locomotive expenses, £11,307-£49,627. Estimated annual traffic : Live stock and merchandise, £2000 ; passengers, parcels, and mails, £6580—£8580.

“The country through which this line would pass for a distance of 50 miles is not suitable for carrying an agricultural population, being of a very mountainous character. From the Upper Clarence to Tabulam, and thence to Casino, a distance of 35 miles, while the country is better, it is in the hands of large freeholders, and at present used for grazing purposes. The only centre of population is at Drake, where mining is carried out to a limited extent, the intrinsic value of the minerals raised being estimated last year at £12,243. This locality is now served by rail by the existing line at Tenterfield, distant 35 miles.

“It will be observed that while the net visible traffic is estimated at £8530 per annum, the working expenses for a daily service are estimated at £11,307 and interest on capital at £38,320, a total of £49,627 per annum. It will therefore be apparent that there would require to be an immense and altogether improbable development to meet these united charges. In the circumstances the Commissioners are unable to recommend the favourable consideration of this proposal.”

The following estimates and descriptions, continued Mr Davis, had been supplied by the Engineer-in-Chief for Railway Construction of the other routes to be inquired into :—

1. Glen Innes to South Grafton, via Mann River. Length, of line 115 miles 58 chains ; estimated cost £1,812,903, or £15,666 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

This line commences by a junction with the Great Northern railway at 321 miles from Newcastle about three miles south of Glen Innes station, and proceeding easterly it crosses Beardy Water and the Mann River and commences the ascent of the Red Range passing through the northern portion of the town of Kingsgate. The line would end at South Grafton on the south side of the Clarence River at 436 miles from Newcastle. The works are generally heavy and include several tunnels and large bridges. The ruling grade is 1 in 50 both with and against the load. The sharpest curve is 10 chains radius.

Most of the land of the Glen Innes and South Grafton end of the line is alienated, but nearly all in the central portion of the line is still Crown land.

2. Glen Innes to South Grafton, via Buccarumbi. — Length, 128 miles 52 chains. Estimated cost, £1,715,053 or £13,331 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

The works would be practically the same as on the previous route.

3. Guyra to South Grafton, via Coffs Harbour.— Length 184 miles 17 chains. Estimated cost £1,696,826 or £9,211 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

The works are heavy and include a number of tunnels and the rack descent form the tableland. The steepest grades are 1 in 60 on the ordinary line, and 1 in 14 on the rack portion. The sharpest curves are 18 chains on the ordinary portion of the line and 9 chains on the rack descent. The land at the commencement and end of the line is largely alienated, but very little on the central portion thereof has been sold.

4. Guyra to South Grafton direct.—Length, 156 miles 78 chains. Estimated cost, £1,726,677, or £11,000 per mile, exclusive of land and compensation.

The works are generally heavy, and include several tunnels. The ruling gradient is 1 in 40 both with and against the load. The sharpest curve is 10 chains radius. The land at the commencement and end of the line is nearly all alienated, but very little in the centre of the line has been sold.”

Mr Davis said that a vote of £2,000,000 for the South Grafton to Glen Innes railway was taken on the 1884 loans, of which a balance of £1,985,700 remained.

The committee at this stage adjourned until 2 p.m. on Thursday, when Mr. H. Deane will be examined in respect to this proposed line.

Written by macalba

April 12, 2010 at 8:05 pm

Glen Innes to Grafton highway contruction

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Tuesday 8 August 1950, The Sydney Morning Herald


Heavy and modern mech-
anical equipment, like this
diesel shovel, has made pos-  
sible construction of a highway
over 100 miles of mountainous
country between Glen Innes
and Grafton.

Work on the new highway is
well advanced, and when com-
plete will provide a heavy traffic
route from Glen Innes to a new
deep sea port, which is under
construction at Iluka on the Clar-
ence River.

The new highway will shorten
the heavy haulage distance be-
tween Glen Innes and the nearest
deep sea port by 200 miles.

North west traffic will have ac-
cess to the port by the existing
highway which connects Inverell
with Glen Innes.

Government approval has been
given for the construction of a
railway line connecting Inverell
with Glen Innes.

Written by macalba

April 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

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New England highlights

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Tuesday 30 October 1894, The Sydney Morning Herald


The land board dealt with a number of cases on
Saturday. The chairman congratulated Mr.
Matthews upon his appointment to the board.

Heavy thunderstorms were experienced last
week. The weather is fine, with hot days and
cool nights. The crops are making great head-

General satisfaction is expressed at the accept-
ance of the tender for the mail from Bellingen to
Tyringham, which will afford the Dorrigo settlers
means of postal communication.


The present is probably one of the most prolific
seasons we have been blessed with in this district
for many years. Last week 2in. of rain fell.

Vegetation is in abundance, while stock of all
descriptions are looking sleek and fat. The crops,
oaten and wheaten, give every prospect of a boun-
tiful harvest. Many of our farmers are at present
engaged in getting their corn and potato
crops in.

The hospital ball last week was a great success
Over 120 people sat down to supper, and £35 clear
was made by the venture.

The Rev. W. Milne Curran, from the Technical
College, delivered three lectures here which were
numerously attended each night. The lecturer
was listened to with intense interest and profound
attention. There were many ladies present on
each occasion, who evinced the greatest interest.

During the past fortnight about 3000 acres of
land have been taken up at the local land


The Rev. A. Dallas has been appointed to the
South Grafton Parish, Church of England.

Mr. J. P. Eagles, manager of the Grafton
branch of the E. S. and A. Bank, has been ap-
pointed to the head office, Sydney, and will be
succeeded by Mr. Toon, from Victoria.

Mr. R. R. Hickson, Chief Commissioner for
Roads, and Mr. W. L. Vernon Government Ar-
chitect, arrived here on Saturday on an official
tour through the north-west districts.

Disease has again appeared in the potato crop.


Numbers of farmers are experimenting with the
sugar-beet seed supplied by the Department of
Agriculture. If the district is proved suitable a
large area is expected to be planted next year.

It is proposed to close the A. J. S. Bank branch
at Frederickton at the end of the present month.

A jawbone and several other remains of a
human being have been picked up on the beach
near Crescent Head. They are supposed to be the
remains of a person shipwrecked some years ago.
Old bolts and rings belonging to a ship have also
been found.

The A. J. S. Bank has offered to release £200 on
fixed deposit belonging to the Macleay District
Hospital. This will help the financial difficulty
of the hospital for the present.


The contractors who have completed works for
the municipal council on the main roads within the
municipality are complaining of delay in their
payment, said to be caused by the Government
withholding money from the municipality. The
delay has now exceeded several weeks. The muni-
cipal authorities state that the fault does not rest
with them.


By a concert given last evening in the Victoria
Theatre, in aid of the funds of the Newcastle
Hospital and the Newcastle Benevolent Society,
£61 was realised.

As a result of the fracas on Saturday and
yesterday in Newcastle and Stockton between
non-unionists and unionists, Denis Maloney was
fined 5s, but a large number of summonses have  
been issued from each side.

Written by macalba

March 9, 2010 at 6:40 am


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Friday 21 June 1901, The Sydney Morning Herald

GLEN INNES. Thursday.

Larry Madden, the driver of the mail coach from Grafton, met with a serious accident yesterday evening. He was within a few miles of Glen Innes, when the coach capsized and fell on top of him, pinning him to the ground. He was out all night in the snow, and was not discovered until daylight this morning, when he was brought to town. He received serious injuries to his head and body and suffered a great deal from exposure.

Written by macalba

March 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm

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