Children’s Day Axedale 1916

From: Bendigo Independant, Saturday 11 November 1916, page 2

CHILDREN’S DAY
WEDNESDAY NEXT
Wednesday, November 15, has been set apart as Children’s Day, and the Sunday schools of the district will take advantage of the public holiday to hold their annual picnics. some schools thought that, considering the present war crisis, it was inadvisable to hold picnics, but the majority considered that it could serve no good purpose by depriving the children of the day they look for annually.

The following is a list of picnics to be held:
RAVENSWOOD. The Forest Street Methodist Sunday School will hold their annual picnic at Ravenswood, on Wednesday next, The train leaves Bendigo at 10.25. The fares are — Adults,. Is 6d; children under 16 Is. Hot water and milk will be provided free. At Ravenswood on Wednesday next the annual picnic of the Wilson Street Sunday School will take place. Fares are— Adults, tram and train, 2s, train only, is 6d; children under 16, is 3d. Hot water and milk will be provided free.
The St. Matthew’s Sunday School, Long Gully, will hold their annual picnic to Ravenswood on Wednesday next. Special trams will leave the Manchester loop Long Gully, at about 9.15 a.m., and a special train will convey picnickers to Ravenswood, leaving at 10 a.m. Hot water will be provided free. The fares are — Adults, 2s; children under 16, is 3d including tram and train.
The Golden Square Methodist Sunday School will also celebrate their annual picnic at Ravenswood on Wednesday next Fares are 1s 6d and 1s. The time table will appear in Monday’s issue.

AXEDALE.
The annual united picnic of the Forest street. Quarry Hill and Galvin street Congregational Sunday Schools will be held at Axedale on Wednesday next. The committee has made every arrangement possible to provide for the comfort and enjoyment of its patrons and with fine weather a most pleasant day should be spent. The train will leave Bendigo at 9.25 a.m., returning from Axedale at 7 pm., and the fares are, adults 2s, children 1s. Tickets are now obtainable at Bolton Bros., Mitchell street. A plentiful supply of hot water will be available free of charge.
St. John’s Presbyterian Sunday School Picnic will be held at Axedale on Wednesday next. A special train will leave Bendigo at 10.15 a.m., and Axedale on the r turn journey at 7.50 p.m. St. Paul’s Picnic to Axedale will be held on Wednesday next, Children’s Day. The outing promises to be very popular, as besides St. Paul’s, St. John Presb terian. Congregational, All Saints, Holy Trinity and Strickland Road have chosen Axedale for their picnic. Stalls will be conducted in aid of the Red Cross Fund. Tea, hot water and milk will be free. Tickets may be obtained from Mr. J. Leaney, Williamson street, or the Cambridge Press, Market Square. The fares for All Saints’ annual picnic to Axedale on Wednesday next are: — Adults, 2s; children 1s. The time of dparture has not yet been fixed.

 

CHILDREN’S DAY (1916, November 11). The Bendigo Independent (Vic. : 1891 – 1918), p. 2. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article219800248

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Axedale – General Report 1877

from The Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette, 18 March 1877, page 5

AXEDALE
FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENT
Friday
The hotels and business places here are doing a rather brisk trade at present, on account of the large number of extra stomachs – the owners of which are at work on the railway – that require to be filled and satisfied with liquids and solids, chiefly the former, I am sorry to say.

The railway is progressing here, but not so satisfactorily to the contractor, as he might expect, it being very difficult to obtain steady men. They have started driving the piles of the bridge of 99 arches, each 20 feet span, over the Campaspe, and are cutting through the hill on the Rodney side of the river adjoining Mr. Heffernan’s estate.

The hill is composed principally of bluestone, which has to be blasted, and it appears strange that, with an immense quantity of such material at hand, the bridge should rest upon wooden tiles. It is impossible to deny that at the end of twenty or twenty-five years, the bridge will have become unsafe, whereas the bluestone would have stood for generations. It certainly seems a “penny wise and pound foolish’ policy.

A new policeman is about to appear on the scene here, that office having been satisfactorily but temporarily filled by Mr. Myers. The newcomer, poor fellow – l beg your pardon, ladies -had to enter the bonds of wedlock before he could accept position, as the station can only be occupied by married men. The happy pair will spend their honeymoon here, so we wish them a pleasant one.

There is a  local industry being carried on here, which is capable of being largely developed, namely the bluestone quarry, the proprietor of which, Mr. J.Ingham, deserves credit for the perserving manner in which he has worked the quarry under discouraging circumstances.

He has raised some immense blocks of stone, one some time back measuring 16ft 6 in. by 12ft by 2ft. There is one at present lying in the quarry measuring 9 by 6 by 2 feet, which is without a flaw, and when struck, rings like a bell. There are many more of the same size and quality in sight.

Mr. Ingham, has purchased the engine and stone sawing machine which were used for cutting the stone at the new public buildlings at Sandhurst, and he, therefore, in future intends to supply stone in the finished state.

When the railway is completed he intends to have a tramway connected with the line above Mr. Heffernan’s estate, from the quarry, it having been surveyed and found possible. He will then be able to deliver the stone with expedition, in any quantity, and at a cheap rate, to any part of the colonies.

The stone is harder, and of better quality than that found, at Malmsbury, and there is an inexhaustible supply sufficient, as Mr. Ingham, tersely puts it, ‘to build a city’.

The rain which fell last Monday was very much required by the farmers, but hardly sufficient fell to enable them to carry on ploughing operations. The cry is still for more.

Axedale. (1887, March 18). Kerang Times and Swan Hill Gazette (Vic. : 1877 – 1889), p. 5. Retrieved September 9, 2020, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article65599343

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

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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)

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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

 

Axedale Tornado 1930

from: The Weekly Times Melbourne 04 January 1930, page 6

Axedale Tornado

TORNADO SWEEPS TOWNSHIPS

Axedale and Knowsley Suffer

 

Swooping along on a two mile front late in the afternoon of December 25, a terrific tornado caused extensive damage. The townships which suffered most were Knowsley, where not a building escaped damage, and Axedale.

The storm passed Bendigo more than 15 miles to the south, and levelled many trees and much fencing. All railway and post office telegraph lines are down between Heathcote and Bendigo, Axedale being the furthest station which can be picked up.

Reports stated that uprooted trees blocked the roadway and probably the railway line between Derrinal and Axedale. Gangs have been sent to inspect the railway line and restore the telegraph service. Bendigo hardly felt the blow.

Homes Unroofed
The tornado was one of the most severe experienced in the Bendigo district. So far, no word has been received of loss of life. The severest section of the storm was from the fringe of the Wellsford Forest across Axe Creek to Axedaie and then on to Longlea.

The tornado had a width of two miles and took only about three minutes to pass over. It was followed by heavy rain averaging an inch.

When the storm left the forest, it first struck the home of Mr William Hawkins 4 1/2 miles from Axedale, on the banks of Axe Creek. Most of the house was unroofed, and damage was done to the outbuildings and fencing About a mile nearer Axedale the homestead of Messrs. Hawkins Bros was also struck by the storm, and fiverooms of the seven roomed house were unroofed. Extensive damage was caused to the outbuildings.

Similar damage was caused at other farms at Axedale. Mr D. Cochrane, who had been building a new home, had erected a large garage, workshop and shed. This and his house were badly twisted, and portions were blown away. Part of the house was lifted from its foundations.

Main Roads Blocked
Between this place and the Axedale township, many trees were blown down, and the main Bendigo Road was blocked. The roof of an unococupied house was torn off.

Mr J. Clyne’s house was damaged, and the properties of Messrs W. Weston, J. Ryan and W. S. Millington suffered. The roof of Mr H. Doyle’s house was lifted bodily and parts were scattered in all directions.

A valuable trotting horse, the property of Mr John Brundle, became frightened and took shelter in a corner, where a tree fell on it. It was rescued unhurt.

The storm next travelled to the Marydale Estate, owned by Mr F. Keighraan. The wool shed was wrecked and much fencing was destroyed.

Church Destroyed
When the motor train from Wallan arrived in Bendigo 30 minutes late today, the staff reported that Knowsley had appeared to get the fury of the storm Not a single place in the old township remained Intact.

The Roman Catholic Church, -a weatherboard building, and a private house were razed to the ground.

The goods shed at the station and the the railway caretaker’s house were unroofed. The verandah and roof of May’s store were torn off and a motor garage in the town suffered badly.

All along the railway line, trees and telegraph poles had been torn up and. strewn over the line. Gangs of men worked ail night to clear the line, Mrs. Hunter, Mr. Harop and Mrs .J. Evans, at Knowsley, were heavy losers by the storm

http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article223898791

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

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