The Proposed Heathcote Railway

from: The Bendigo Advertiser, Tuesday 06 September 1881, page 3

THE PROPOSED HEATHCOTE RAILWAY

A public meeting was held at Mr. P. Drake’s Hotel, Axedale, last evening, in connection with the proposed railway from Sandhurst to Seymour, via Axedale, Heathcote, and Costerfield. There were about thirty persons present the president of the Strathfieldsaye Shire Council, Mr A. Bruhn, occupying the chair.

Mr W, S. Cahill, by whom the meeting was convened, explained its objects. he said that the Sandhurst people had taken the matter up very warmly, and they should therefore co-operate with them in endeavoring to obtain a railway through the district. The advantages that would accrue to the district by the construction of a line would be very great.

The Chairman thought they should move heart and soul to have a railway constructed from Sandhurst to Heathcote. Sandhurst would be greatly benefited by the line, not alone on account of Heathcote being a mining district with which it was closely connected, but on account of the farmers situated between the Campaspe and the Goulburn, who would make Sandhurst a head centre. (Hear, hear.)

The railway would complete a link between the Murray line and the North-Eastern line, and passengers would have easier access to Sydney by that means, instead of going round by way of Melbourne. Axedale, as a grain producing district, and a district famed for its dairy produce, would reap considerable benefit from the railway, which would tend to its advancement in many ways. He, therefore, trusted that that they would give the matter favourable consideration.

Mr T. Craike thought the first step they should take should be to form themselves into a branch league. The leading citizens of Sandhurst had taken a very active part in the movement which had called them together that evening. They were all aware of the advantages which would accrue by the construction of the line, which would strike off near Sandhurst and pass on to Heathcote through Axedale.

Mr Ingham, a gentleman with whom they were all acquainted, but who was now in England, had told them that if a railway was constructed to Sandhurst he could compete with the Melbourne trade for the supply of bluestone for building, channelling, and other purposes to all parts of the colony. In bluestone alone there would be an immense traffic on the line.

From Axedale to Heathcote there was a large tract of fertile country, and near Heathcote there were quarries of limestone and marble. These quarries had remained unworked, owing to the cost of carriage to Sandhurst. The marble quarries would form an extensive industry, which could only be developed by means of railway communication. The timber which could be supplied by means of a railway to Sandhurst for mining and building purposes could not be equalled in the colony. It had become a difficult matter in Sandhurst of late to procure suitable timber for mining, which had taken immense strides.

It was, therefore, necessary that good timber should be supplied at cheap rates, and the proposed railway would prove very useful in this respect. As Sandhurst progressed the country districts progressed likewise, and a great deal of the success of the country people depended on the success of Sandhurst. (Applause.) He concluded by moving “That this meeting form themselves into a branch league, for the purpose of cooperating with the central league in Sandhurst in their endeavor to further railway extension to Heathcote and Seymour.”

Mr. J. D. Bywater, member of the Mclvor Shire Council, seconded the motion. He referred to the resources of the district that would be opened up by the railway, and instanced the large amount of traffic that would take place in firewood, bluestone, sawn timber, grain, dairy produce, etc. He said the bluestone of the Campaspe exceeded anything that could be obtained in the colony. In connection with sawn timber there were two sawmills situated in the parish of Knowsley West, and one in the parish of Crosby. Each of these mills, when at work sent about 8,000 superficial feet of timber to the Sandhurst market for mining purposes.

The farm produce of the parishes of Axedale, Weston, Muskerry, Knowsley West, Knowsley East, and Crosby would all be sent to the Sandhurst market by means of the railway. From a calculation he had made, he found that in the parishes he had meutioned there were about 8,600 acres under cultivation.

As the proprietor of a threshing machine, he had had a good chance of knowing the acreage of grain producing land of the district. Milk was produced in large quantities in Axedale and forwarded to Sandhurst, much labor and expense being at present entailed in the carriage, which a railway would obviate. He was of opinion that the Government would be acting wisely by constructing the line, as there would not be a more payable line in the colony. (Applause.)

The motion was then put to the meeting and carried unanimously.

Mr Stephen Burke was appointed secretary to the league. .

The following committee was elected tor the purpose of acting in conjunction with the Sandhurst league: Messrs. J.D.. Bywater, T. Strachan, T. O’Rourke, T. Craike, W. S. Cahill, A. Bruhn, M. Burns, J. White, T. Donnellan, .J. Burke, S Burke, D. Mill, and J. Martin, with power to add to their number.

Mr Craike explained to the meeting the action taken by the Sandhurst league, and suggested that a delegate should be appointed to represent the Axedale branch league, on the occasion of the deputation from Sandhurst, waiting on the Minister of Railways.

Mr Bywater said it was the intention of the Mclvor Council to interview Mr Bent on Wednesday week, provided he could make it convenient to receive them on that day. They proposed to ask for a railway to Heathcote, to be included in the next schedule, but they did not bind themselves to any of the proposed routes. He understood that deputations from Costerfield, Tooborac, and other places, intended interviewing the Minister of Railways on Friday next.

In answer to a question, Mr Bywater said the Mclvor Council were in favor of having a survey made from Lancefield to Heathcote, as promised by Mr Patterson when Minister of Railways.

Mr Cahill read a letter from Mr Crooke, secretary of the Heathcote and Broadford Railway League, in which it was stated that. a deputation was to wait on Mr Bent next Friday at 1.30, and advocate a line from Sandhurst via Heathcote and Costerfield to Seymour.

Mr Bywater was appointed to represent the Axedule league on the deputation from Sandhurst.

The meeting then closed with a vote of thanks to the chairman.

APA citationTHE PROPOSED HEATHCOTE RAILWAY. (1881, September 6). Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 – 1918), p. 3. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88617963

*Please note Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading

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Derrinal Railway Station Accident Update – Inquest

A recent post about an Accident at Derrinal Railway stated that the injured person was an engine driver named Howe. This was soon found to be incorrect information. The person who died in this accident was Robert Storey. Below are details of the accident from the Magisterial Inquiry.from: The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 8 November 1900.

From: McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 08 November 1900, page 2

 

 

Magisterial Inquiry
A magisterial inquiry touching the death of Robert Storey, whose lamentable death we referred to in our last issue, was held by Jas. Crowle, Esq, J.P., at the Black Swan Hotel, on Wednesday the 31st ult., when the following depositions were taken, Mr J. A. C. Firth being present on behalf of Mrs Storey, the widow of deceased:

Elizabeth Storey, sworn, deposed, I am the wife of the deceased Robert Storey. Last saw my husband alive on the 30th October at 11 a.m., when he left home on horseback to go to Ellesmere. He said he would be back home about 11 p.m. if he were coming. Identify the body as that of my husband. The horse he was riding is quiet and not given to bolting, the ohildren often riding it about the town. I reside in High Street, Heathcote .

John Duncan, sworn, deposed, I am a farmer. Saw the body of Robert Storey last night at the Black Swan Hotel about 12 o’clock, midnight. Saw him alive, breathing for a few seconds at about 10 o’clock.
Was sitting near my father’s place having a smoke about 10 p.m., when I heard a horse galloping along the main road, evidently about half a mile away, and a man calling out ” woa ” as fast as he could repeat it. The horse was going towards Heathcote. From the man calling out, I concluded he had no control over the horse, Heard him singing out until 1 heard a crash. He must have travelled a mile at racing pace from the time I first heard the galloping until the crash occurred.
After the crash I ran up to the station house and called out for Mr Bowman. Mr Bowman was in bed and got up and asked what was the matter. Told him what I had heard. Accompanied by Mr Bowman I searched the road but found nothing on it, and we were both going homewards when Mr Bowman called me from the station yard to come to him. We found deceased lying on the ground lying partly on his face. Mr Bowman turned his (deceased’s) face around, and I lit a match and we looked at deceased, The deceased was then alive but unconscious. He was bruised and had blood on his face.
Mr Bowman tried to catch his own horse to go for a doctor, while I remained with the injured man. Mr Farley then went for the doctor. Remained with deceased till the doctor came. In my opinion he only lived for two or three minutes after we found him. In my opinion the horse was absolutely beyond control.

To Mr Firth: Mrs Bowman has charge of the Derrinal Station, where the accident occurred. It was a dark night. Sometimes the northern gate is closed at night, and sometimes it is left open. Have seen all three gates open at night, and some times all closed. The body was about fifteen yards from a telegraph post. There is a wire stay supporting this post. There is a track leading from the north to the south gate, passing near the above stay.

Daniel Thomas Bowman, sworn stated, and a railway employee residing at Derrinal railway station. On the night of the 30th inst., about 10 p.m., someone knocked at my door, and John Duncan, of Derrinal, told me he thought a serious accident had happened, Duncan and I went across to the main, road to find out what had happened.
We searched the roads both ways for a distance of a quarter of a mile and found nothing. I said to Duncan the crash might have been into one of the wood heaps.I said to Duncan, you go along the road while I go through the station. yard. I had not gone fifty yards when I came upon a man lying on the ground. I called Duncan. We went up to the man, who was lying face downwards and I turned the man on his side and found he was alive.
I said to Duncan to stay here and I’ll get my pony and go for the doctor. Could not catch my pony and my wife’s sister went to ask Mr Thos, Farley’s assistance. Mr Farley caught the horse ridden by deceased, in the station yard, and want to Heathcote for Dr Reid. Stayed till the doctor came.

To Mr Firth: Believe there is a rule that the station gates are to be shut at a certain hour. The heaps of wood mentioned are in the station yard. Ellen Bowman, sworn,said, am station mistress at Derrinal station. On the night of the 30th October about 10 p.m., I heard a horse galloping past very fast. Mr John Duncan soon after came to the door and asked for my husband.
My husband got out of bed and went with Mr Duncan to see what had happened. Stood on the platform and heard my husband call “Jack.” My husband ran back and told me there was a man lying on the ground dead or dying, and told me to go to the injured man, and I did so, taking water and a towel with me. My husband went to catch his horse to go for the doctor, and my sister went for Mr Theos. Farley. Don’t think he lived more than half an hour from the time of the accident.

To Mr Firth; Sometimes I send the children to close the gates at night, and sometimes I do not. The woodcarters often open the gates at night after we close them. The north gate was open this morning when we got up. Know that there is a departmental rule that all station gates are to be closed at a certain hour at night, but I do not know whether or not the rule applies to my station. Did not give directions to anyone to close the gates on the evening when the accident occurred, nor did I close them myself.

George Marr Reid, sworn, deposed, am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Heathcote. On the evening of the 30th October, about 11.30 p.m, I was summoned to attend a man said to have been thrown from his horse at the Derrinal railway station. Immediately drove to, the scene of the accident, and found the body of a man, whom I recognised as Robert Storey, of Heathcote, !ying on the ground inside the Derrinal station yard.
On examination, I found that life had been extinct for. at least an hour, as rigor mortis was well advanced. Advised that the body be removed to the Black Swan Hotel. which was done on the 31st inst. about 8.30 p.m. Made a superficial examination of the deceased, Robert Storey, lying at the Black Swan Hotel.
Discovered evidence of fracture of the spine about the 8td or 4th cervical vertebra. There was a large contusion on the left shoulder, extensive abrasions on the left side of the face, and three or four lacerated wounds on the back of right hand and fingers. No fracture of the skull evident. No fracture of bones of extremities. rigor mortis and hypostatic lividity fully established.
In my opinion accordingly the cause of death was the fracture of the cervical spine, with injury to the spinal cord, causing paralysis of respiration. The injury above mentioned was evidently caused by a fall from his horse.

To Mr Firth: Have examined the scene of the accident by daylight. The body was near a telegraph post supported by a wire stay, which I noticed was quite loose today. Saw some horse-hair, evidently from the mane, lying on the ground between the position where the body had been and the telegraph post. Noticed a bright mark on the wire about two feet above the ground, as if some hard substance had come in contact with it forcibly.
It is my opinion that the horse stumbled by striking the wire and unseated his rider (the deceased.) A verdict was given to the effect that the deceased met his death from injuries accidentally received by being thrown from the horse he was riding

Magisterial Inquiry.” The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918) 8 November 1900: 2. Web. 24 Jul 2020 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90211644&gt;.

Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)

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Gold in the Axedale District

Gold Found at Axedale

From: the McIvor times and Rodney Advertiser, Thursday 25 June 1896, Page 2

GOLD IN THE AXEDALE DISTRICT
A very important discovery, states the Bendigo Independant of Monday last, was made in the Axedale district a few days ago. A resident named Winzar, whilst out looking for some cows that had strayed, stumbled on an outcrop of quartz. It looked so promising, that he broke a few specimens and took them home with him.
These, when dollied gave such a good prospect, that the discoverer kept the matter quiet till he was able to peg out the most likely piece of ground. When.the find became known the place was rushed; and on last Saturday morning, miner’s right claims were .taken up for a distance of two or three on either side of Mr Wiinzar’s claim..
Mr W. Nolan, manager of Daley and Weston’s claim at Ellesmere, pegged out one of the claims, and from a surface show, obtained a very good dish prospect. About 40 men are now engaged on the line. The rush is between Hunt’s Line and the Sugarloaf Range at a point about a mile and a half due west [unreadable words] in all probability has been made on one of the reefs running, through the Ellesmere field.

Source:
No Title (1896, June 25). The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved July 7, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90150918

(Punctuation and paragraphs  have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)

©2020 copyright. All rights reserved axedalethenandnow.com

Event: Kids In The Park

Recently, a crowd of excited children gathered at the Axedale Community Park for ‘Kids In The Park – Space Day’. Lots of fun was had and energy burnt off on what was the last day of the school holidays.

The event was organised by Sonya Browne on behalf on local community group Axedale Our Town Our Future (AOTOF).

The fun included a jumping castle, arts and crafts, face painting and story time. Children were invited to come dressed in their favourite space costume with prizes for best costumes.

*Thanks to Sonya Browne for photos

Axedale Cemetary

The Axedale Cemetery is situated on 9 acres, on the corner of McIvor Highway and Cemetery Road in a bush setting, surrounded by gum trees. The first unconfirmed burial was George Bywaters in 1865.

The Axedale Cemetery, unusually, is actually, two separate cemeteries side by side. There is the Protestant or public cemetery and alongside it the Roman Catholic Cemetery. This is a private cemetery administered by the Catholic Church of Bendigo. The Catholic cemetery is surrounded by an eye catching bluestone wall.

Axedale Catholic Cemetery entrance

Surrounding bluestone wall

Axedale Public Cemetery

Follow for further posts of obituaries and burials at Axedale Public Cemetery and Axedale Catholic Cemetery

A dastardly act in Axedale 1893

from Bendigo Advertiser Saturday April 1, 1893, page 5

HOW BUSH FIRES ARE CAUSED.

A DASTARDLY ACT.

What is evidently a most despicable and malicious act was perpetrated at Axedale on Wednesday evening, the victim being Mr. N. Ingham, the well-known quarry proprietor and hotel keeper of that place.  On Tuesday after noon an elderly man named Charles Seward, a laborer, arrived by train in Axedale, having been engaged at the Government labor bureau in Melbourne, by Mr. P. J. Cooney, the teacher at the Campaspe East State School, to work for him for 8s per week. On Tuesday evening he camped on the river bank under the bridge at Axedale, and on Wednesday he did some odd jobs for Mr. Ingham, who, however, was dissatisfied with the manner in which the man performed his work.

They had a settlement, and Mr. Ingham told the fellow to move on. Seward asked for a glass of beer, but the request was refused. The man left the hotel muttering vengeance against the landlord. He took his swag and tramped off along the road to Toolleen.

A young man, named Johnson, a woodcarter in the employ of Mr. Minter, was driving a horse and load of wood into Axedale, when he discovered that he had lost a couple of wedges. He walked back along the road and suddenly came on Seward, whom he alleges he saw set fire to a fence in three different places. As soon as Seward saw that he was discovered,he remarked to Johnson, ” You saw me lighting my pipe, didn’t you?” Johnson replied that that excuse was ” too thin, ” as he had seen the man deliberately fire the fence, which belongs to Mr. Ingham.

Seward remarked that if Johnson said a word about the matter he would blow his brain out. He then walked off along the road towards Toolleen. The alarm was raised, and several persons attracted by the smoke hurried to the spot, and by their united efforts subdued the flames, but not before nearly half a mile of fencing and a quantity of grass had been destroyed.

Mounted constable Haydon, who is in charge of the police station at Axedale, was away on duty at the Wild Duck Creek during the day, and on his return home in the evening the matter was reported to him by Mr. Ingham.

The constable at once set off in chase of the offender, and nearing Toolleen, which is about 15 miles distant from Axedale, he noticed a man camping by the roadside. From the description that had been furnished him by Mr. Ingham, the constable arrested the fellow, and on bringing him back to the police station he was fully identified.

He was then locked up on a charge of wilfully and maliciously setting fire to the property. It was a fortunate circumstance that there was not any wind blowing at the time or the adjoining properties of Messrs. Heffernan, Cahill, Brown and others right down to the Clare Inn would probably have been destroyed.

The accused was brought into Bendigo on Thursday by Constable Baydon and, during the afternoon. Mr. J. R. Hoskins, J.P., attended at the Town Hall and remanded the accused, who denied the charge, until Thursday next.

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article88966222

 

Pirates in Axedale

On the last Friday of the recent school holidays, excited little pirates converged on Axedale Community Park for the Axedale Community Pirate Party.

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Organiser Sonya Browne said the event which was sponsored by Axedale Our Town Our Future was a huge success. Children had fun on the pirate jumping castle and were even able to walk the plank like a true pirate.

The Axedale Community is well know for their support of local events, and this one was no exception. This was a free event which was an added bonus for families at the end of the school holidays.

Sale of St. Pauls Anglican Church Axedale

The following article was on The Bendigo Advertiser website on 12 July 2017. Could be the start of a huge combined effort by the Axedale community:

A progress association president says it is “now or never” for community action to keep an Axedale church from being sold into private hands.

The St Paul’s Anglican Church congregation last met in 2015 and the Anglican Diocese of Bendigo wants it rezoned and sold.

This Thursday the Axedale Our Town Our Future committee will consider stepping in to rally support to keep it in community hands.

The church was build in 1913. In recent times the congregation had diminished until it consisted of just two families, the diocese’ general manager Naomi Fountain said.

Two years ago the diocese and its Axedale Parish made the decision to stop services at the church, which Mrs Fountain described as “heartbreaking”.

 img_1986

“We are very much a rural diocese (and) we work very hard in rural parishes to maintain a sense of community and ministry,”  she said.

Mrs Fountain said work had begun to rezone the property for residential use, though plans for a sales date was some time away.

AOTOF president Jennifer Jones said the turnout at a recent public information session showed there was some interest within the community for the church to remain a public institution.

She stressed any action to keep the building open to the public was still in early days, but could involve community groups purchasing it and surrounding land.

It was unclear how much support any plan would have if it was taken to the wider community, though Mrs Fountain said once the property was on the market the diocese would be open to community groups’ interest.

A community purchase would not come without what Ms Jones described as a “huge effort”.

A community committee would most likely be needed to drive fundraisers, grant applications and other work needed to raise money and coordinate any campaign.

Nor were there yet any concrete examples of what the building and grounds would be used for.

“My personal opinion is that it could become a community house or a small community hub,” Ms Jones said.

She said a recent survey had shown a need for space to house the area’s community groups.

“Axedale is growing. There’s lots of young families coming here,” Ms Jones said.

More Axedale Public Hall memories

from Axedale Antics, Issue 146, September 2008

Axedale Public Hall

IMG_5308

“Last month’s article in praise of the Axedale Public Hall inspired a couple of locals to contact the Antics and pass on a few memories. We welcome this feedback and hope that more of you will be inspired to add your own snippets of information to our fund of local knowledge.

Apparently, in it’s hey day, the Axedale Hall had the reputation of having the best dance floor anywhere in the district and people came from far and wide to do the Pride of Erin, the Barn Dance, Maxina, Charmaine, Evening Three Step, Modern Waltz and the Foxtrot, among other old time dances.

The hall custodians prepared the floor by scattering wax flakes or crystals and then ‘bagging’ the floor. Sometimes a box, covered in hessian or carpet was used and often small children helped the operation by riding on the bags or on top of the box, to add a bit of weight. The Dunlop family have been closely associated with the hall and Roy Dunlop was the regular M.C. or Master of Ceremonies. Peter and Kate Dunlop continue this involvement; Peter being the Secretary of the Hall Committee.

Music for the dancing was usually just provided by the piano and drums, and Maisie Evans and Win Byrne were regular pianists with Les Giri on the drums. Power for the dances, balls, and other entertainments was provided by a generator powered by an old Fordson tractor, which on occasions was notoriously difficult to start.  There was a house on the corner of McIvor Highway and Mitchell Street, where the barbecue now stands, and the tractor was kept there, at the ready. Before it’s demolition, the house was the residence of the two Misses Ryan.

Although it is hard for us to imagine life without electricity, it only came to Axedale in December 1955, and country life was beginning to change. Young people were beginning to be known as ‘teenagers’.  Some of them were even getting their own cars at 18 years of age, (although at Bendigo Teachers College in 1955, only 3 out of 200 had a car).

Rock and Roll music became popular. Shock horror, Elvis Presley ousted Johnny Ray (of ‘Crying’ Fame) and Bill Haley and The Comets burst onto the scene in the film “Rock Around The Clock’.

The first drive-in picture theatre opened in 1956 and competed with The Lyric, The Plaza, and The Princess, which were the existing Bendigo picture theatres at that time.

Dances were held at the YMCA and St. Killian’s on Saturday nights, and once a year a grand presentation ball was held in the Bendigo Town Hall, where each student was presented to the Mayor of Bendigo

November 1956 saw the arrival of TV, in time for the Melbourne Olympic Games, and even the liquor licences were changing.  We said goodbye to the ‘6 o’clock swill’ and social life changed.  Young people were mobile, dinner dances became popular, and by the time I returned to this district in 1965, the hall was used infrequently and carried a burden of debt.

Sometimes a new resident comes to a town, views the scene from a new perspective, and decides to make a difference. Such a person was Senior Constable A.E. (Ted) Godkin, who came to Axedale from Nagambie in 1967.

Ted could probably be described as a ‘sportsnut’.  He was a champion lawn bowler and was immediately snapped up as a Pennant player by a top Bendigo club.  He soon observed that Axedale had no sporting facilities at all apart from a sadly neglected public reserve, covered in 10ft high thistles, and a flat area where a couple of granite posts were the only remains of a tennis court.  Then there was this beautiful hall, which stood like a white elephant, rarely used, and almost a liability to the community who still had to finish paying for it.

Having played an indoor version of the game of bowls in earlier days, Ted could envisage a regular competition which would provide recreation for people of all ages and an income stream to the Hall Committee.  He lost no time in borrowing the necessary bowls, mats and measuring equipment, and spread the word around the district.

I’ll never forget the first bowls night.  The Axedale people sat on one side of the hall while the Knowsley people sat on the other, because they didn’t really know each other at all well.   The “Blowinskis” those of us who were new to the district, sat across the front while Ted explained the finer points.

It took off like wildfire.  We managed for a while with borrowed equipment but soon were able to purchase new mats and sets of bias bowls.  Indoor bowls was played two  nights each week, Wednesday and Saturday, and it wasn’t long before Tournaments and Championships were on the agenda.  We were able to fit seven mats in the hall, so it was not uncommon to have more than 100 participants.  With a regular rental income, the Hall Committee soon covered the existing debt and went from strength to strength.

An extremely hard working Hall Committee Ladies Auxiliary ( a plaque in the hall commemorates a lifetime of service by Mon Colvin, 23 years as Secretary) ran an annual casserole luncheon, three debutante balls and formed a Euchre club.

Best of all, we got to know our neighbours and made lasting friendships.  The Axedale Indoor Bowling Club functioned for more than 30 years until the cost of public liability insurance became prohibitive but in future issues we will explain how the sporting facilities we enjoy today sprang from the foundation

**written by Axedale resident, Lorraine Gunn