from: The Weekly Times Melbourne 04 January 1930, page 6
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.
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.
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
(Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)