Thursday, 6 April 2017

Where does Gippsland start?

I grew up in Cora Lynn and went to school at Pakenham Consolidated School and Koo-Wee-Rup High, so I consider I grew up in West Gippsland, which in my mind started a bit west of Pakenham and finished a bit east of Warragul, after that you get into the La Trobe Valley.  South Gippsland, on the other hand started around Loch or wherever the hills started after leaving the flat plains of the Koo-Wee-Rup Swamp and the Lang Lang area. Koo-Wee-Rup and Lang Lang were thus not part of Gippsland at all, according to my opinion, not sure where I thought they belonged, but I associate South Gippsland with steep hills. So I thought I would find some sources of information, with varying levels of authority, to tell us where the western boundary of Gippsland is. Incidently, Gippsland was named in honour of Sir George Gipps, Governor of New South Wales from 1838 to 1846.

The book In the wake of the Pack Tracks published by the Berwick Pakenham Historical Society says that Bowman's Hotel established in the early 1850s on the Cardinia Creek and the Gippsland Road,  at what is now Beaconsfield, was also known as the Gippsland Hotel because Cardinia Creek was the border between the Port Phillip District and Gippsland. When the Bunyip River was later proclaimed the boundary the hotel name was changed. It is now known as the Central Hotel. So this source puts the Gippsland Border at the Cardinia Creek and later the Bunyip River.

Charles Daley, in his book The story of Gippsland (published by Whitcombe & Tombs P/L in 1960)  has this to say about the western boundary 'the boundary on the west was the Alps and a line drawn southward to Anderson's Inlet, in proximity to the Bunyip River. Approximately this last boundary would be the present county of Mornington as the limit westward'  You can see a map of the County of Mornington, here, on the State Library of Victoria website. So if the Bunyip River is the border, then it puts all of the Casey Cardinia region outside of Gippsland.

Mr Daley has a chapter on the Gippsland Shires and Boroughs Development Association, formed in 1912 with the object of furthering the progress of Gippsland and Mornington County and both the Berwick Shire and the Cranbourne Shire are members as are the Fern Tree Gully Shire and Dandenong Shire (both of which have part of their area in the County of Mornington).  Dandenong used to promote itself as the 'gateway to Gippsland' and the history of the Casey Cardinia region is historically linked to Dandenong as it was  a service town to the a region.

A 1866 map of Gippsland, you can view it here,  has the old township of Bunyeep on the Bunyip River as the Gippsland border. So it does seem that there is a consensus (amongst some)  that the Bunyip River is the western border.

I have been doing a lot of research into soldiers in the local area for our blog Casey Cardinia Commemorating the Great War and it is interesting to see who used Gippsland as an address. As you might  expect some soldiers from Beaconsfield, Officer, Pakenham and all stops down the railway line to Bunyip used their hometown plus Gippsland as part of their address as did men from Cora Lynn, Iona  and Koo-Wee-Rup. Less expected was the information that  Sydney Eversley Ferres (SN - Service Number 194) had his address as Emerald, Gippsland as did Thomas Walker (SN 872) whose address is Macclesfield, near Emerald, Gippsland.  Robert Hill (SN 1591) and Francis Joseph Seymour (SN 2391) both have Hallam's Road, Gippsland as their address (Hallam's Road is now called Hallam)  Narre Warren and Narre Warren North are also listed as Gippsland on enrolment papers.  I am surprised that Emerald, Hallam,  Narre Warren or Narre Warren North would be considered Gippsland, but some people thought so 100 years ago.

Back to my dilemma as to where South Gipplsland starts - William Lester  Lyons (SN 655) has his address listed on his enrolment paper as Cranbourne, Gippsland and yet Arthur Bell (SN 6956) is Cranbourne, South Gippsland. There are also have examples of Clyde, Yanathan, Tooradin and Lang Lang being listed as both Gippsland and South Gippsland and one example of Dalmore being called South Gippsland.

To add to the mix there are also references to North Gippsland in the enlistment papers of soldiers - these men mostly come from Heyfield, Maffra, Fernbank region but there is  a photograph held at the State Library of Victoria called Bunnip Hotel, North Gippsland taken by Fred Kruger in the 1880s. This Hotel established by David Connor, around 1867, was on the Bunyip River and the Gippsland Road (Princes Highway) - not what I would consider to be Bunyip North, but some-one did.


Bunnip Hotel, North Gippsland c. 1880s  Photographer: Fred Kruger.
State Library of Victoria Image H41138/11


In April 1965, the Pakenham Gazette reported on the upcoming football season and the West Gippsland League included the following teams - Bunyip, Catani, Cora Lynn, Drouin, Garfield, Lang Lang, Longwarry, Koo-Wee-Rup, Nar Nar Goon,  Pakenham and Yarragon. In my mind a fairly logical range of towns to represent West Gippsland. Yet the South-West Gippsland League had the following teams - Beaconsfield, Berwick, Cranbourne, Doveton, Lyndhurst-Hampton Park, Keysborough, Narre Warren, Officer, Rythdale-Cardinia and  Tooradin-Dalmore - a far less logical name for the League as even though some of these towns could perhaps claim to be West Gippsland, they aren't even remotely South Gippsland. 

The Victorian Places website says that you could define Gippsland by water catchment areas -  From east to west the catchments comprise East Gippsland, Snowy, Tambo, Mitchell, Thomson, Latrobe, South Gippsland and Bunyip. The last one, the Bunyip catchment, consists of several streams that flow into Western Port Bay, as well as the Dandenong Creek which enters Port Phillip Bay at Carrum. With the Dandenong Creek omitted, the balance of the Bunyip catchment (ie eastwards of Cardinia Creek) includes most of Gippsland West. So now we are basically back to our original boundary, the Cardinia Creek, that we started with when we spoke about the location of the Gippsland Hotel at Beaconsfield on the Cardinia Creek.

In summary - with all this evidence coming from various sources, some authorative and some less authorative, I'm happy to go with the Cardinia Creek as the (unofficial) boundary of Gippsland.   Firstly, it was the original boundary and secondly, the fact that on a social level, many people in the Casey Cardinia region have identified as belonging to Gippsland - even if it was for something as 'trivial' as sport or on  a more serious basis, they had it recorded as their address on their World War One enlistment papers.  

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Mornington Farmers' Society or the Berwick & District Agricultural & Horticultural Society

The Berwick and District Agricultural & Horticultural Society hold an annual show at Akoonah Park in Berwick.  The Show can trace its origins back to the first event organised by the predecessor of the Berwick and District Agricultural & Horticultural Society, the Mornington Farmers' Society in 1857. The name  Berwick and District Agricultural & Horticultural Society was adopted by the Mornington Farmers' Society at the Annual General Meeting held July 25, 1918.

Here is a short history of the evolution of the Show Society. In July 1848  the Moonee Ponds Farmers' Society was established. The aims of the Society  were to encourage  a spirit of emulation amongst agriculturalists and makers and importers of agricultural implements by offering prizes to be competed for annually - for the best samples of grain and other agricultural  produce; for the best stock for agricultural, grazing and dairying purposes and for the best agricultural implements, also by offering prizes to be competed for at annual ploughing matches and for the encouragement of district farming societies. (Source: Early Days of Berwick, which has a very comprehensive chapter on the Mornington Farmers' Society and the  Berwick & District Agricultural & Horticultural Society)

The Moonee Ponds Farmers' Society wasted no time and held their first ploughing on July 28, 1848. You can read  a report in The Argus about this event here. On August 18 1848 a meeting was held and the named of the Society was changed to the Port Phillip Farmers' Society. You can read about this. once again in The Argus, here. The Port Phillip Farmers' Society had three branches - Gisborne, Bacchus Marsh and the Mornington branch, which was established in October 1856. It was named Mornington from the County of Mornington. For land administrative purposes Victoria was divided into Counties and the Mornington County took in the Mornington Peninsula, Bass Coast region, Phillip Island, Cranbourne Narre Warren and east to Bunyip and  parts of Emerald and Gembrook.

We will return to Early Days of Berwick to find out how the Mornington branch was established -  At a meeting at Bowman's Hotel on the Cardinia Creek in 1856, for the purpose of forming a  District Roads Board, Mr Alexander Patterson brought forward a proposal to form a district Pastoral and Agricultural Society as a branch of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society, of which he was a district member. The idea was heartily approved by the meeting and about twenty enrolled as members. Shortly afterwards, on 6th October 1856,  a meeting was held in Dandenong, when it was resolved that a Society be established and named the Mornington Farmers' Society in accord with the title of the central society. It was further resolved that there should  be  a committee of nine member and the following were elected by ballot: Dr James Smith Adams, Dr James Bathe, Messrs Abraham Gardiner, Isaac Keys, William Lyall, Alexander Patterson, Charles Rossiter, Thomas Walton and John Wedge. Mr Patterson was elected Secretary and Treasurer.

The Mornington Farmers' Society held their first Ploughing match on Wednesday May 30, 1857 at 'Mr Walton's Farm near Dandenong' - this was Thomas Walton, who came to what is now called Narre Warren in 1852 and built Holly Green - his farm is now occupied by the Fountain Gate Shopping Centre. The Early Days of Berwick has the location of this first ploughing match taking place at Cranbourne, but this report, below, from The Argus contradicts this (this not to denigrate the research published in the  Early Days of Berwick which was first published in 1948 -  we now have a huge range of resources available to us on-line that were unheard of in 1948) The second ploughing match was held at Cranbourne, you can read about it here.



The Argus May 2, 1857 You can see the full article on Trove, 
here http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7148950 and I have transcribed it, below. 



MORNINGTON PLOUGHING MATCH
The first district ploughing match of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society, in the county of Mornington, took place according to advertisement on Wednesday last at Mr. Walton's farm, near Dandenong.
The ground selected proved to be admirably adapted for the match, and all the arrangements made by Alexander Patterson, Esq., a member of the society residing in the neighbourhood, were calculated to give entire satisfaction to the competitors and spectators assembled ou the occasion. 
Messrs. Thomas Miller and William Dewar attended as
judges from the central society. Mr. Charles Forrester, who had been appointed to act with them as the local judge, preferred entering the lists as a competitor, and as will be  seen from the awards subjoined, succeeded in  carrying off a second prize, thus practically showing that his appointment by the Committee
 was a judicious one.
The number of entries at the hour for starting amounted to twelve, viz.,-seven horses and five bullock teams. The quantity of ground allotted to each competitor was half an acre, and, in the majority of instances, the work was completed in excellent style. The judges expressed themselves highly pleased with the ploughing in both classes, and their decisions gave entire satisfaction to all parties interested.

The awards were as follows :
Class 1, Ploughing with Horses.
First Prize- A Gold Medal awarded to Mr. A. Patterson -ploughman John Gellie.
Second Prize -First Silver Medal, awarded to
Messsrs. J. and P. Brisbane - ploughman James Rutherford. '

Class 2, Ploughing with Bullocks.
First Prize - Gold Medal, awarded to Mr. John Mills - plough held by himself.
Second Prize - First Silver Medal, awarded to Mr. Charles Forroster - plough held by himself.
Mr. James Buchanan's ploughing highly commended.

Best Team of Mares or Geldings at work in the field - 
First Silver Medal, awarded to Mr  Isaac Keys for a pair of very superior mares.
Best team of Bullocks, at work in the field. 
First silver medal, awarded to Messrs. J. and P. Brisbane.

Although, from various causes, the number of competitors was not quite so large as expected, still, as a commencement, the meeting was a most satisfactory one.. The attendance of spectators throughout the day was numerous, and comprised all the agriculturists of note in the locality. Their previous
support of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society has been most cordial,while the spirit evinced regarding the match, coupled with the successful result of the day's proceedings, speaks favourably as to the desire for agricultural improvement existing in this rapidly rising district.

After the termination of the match, the gentlemen present sat down to a dinner, hospitably provided by Mr. Walton, and eventually separated, with the determination to support next year's ploughing match with increased spirit.

You can read about the 1858 ploughing match, here. It was held on the property of the Reverend Alexander Duff at Cranbourne.

Mornington Farmers' Society - ploughing match at Cranbourne in 1858

In another post we looked at the establishment of the Mornington Farmers' Society, which in 1918 became the Berwick and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society. This is an account of their second annual ploughing match held at 'the property of the Reverend Alexander Duff in the township of Cranbourne'  Reverend Duff owned most of the block bordered by Russell, Bakewell, Cameron and Childers Street - the site is now occupied by Cranbourne Primary School.

The following report was published in The Argus  on June 9, 1858 -  you can read the full article here on Trove,  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7295876 I have transcribed the article below.

PLOUGHING MATCH.

MORNINGTON BRANCH OF THE PORT PHILLIP FARMERS' SOCIETY.

The second annual ploughing match of the Mornington branch of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society took place, according to appointment, on the property of the Rev. Alex. Duff, in the township of Cranbourne, on Friday last, and was in every respect a successful gathering of the friends of agricultural progress in that district.

The number of teams and ploughs assembled on the ground amounted to 15; viz., eight horse and seven bullock ploughs, being three in excess of last year ; and it is but justice to state, that in the display on this occasion a very decided improvement was evinced, both as to the quality of the teams and the care and skill of the workmen contesting for the prizes.


On the completion of the work allotted to the various competitors, the Judges, Messrs  Dick, Wade and Leckie, proceeded to their inspection, and handed in their awards, as follows :


PLOUGHING WITH HORSES 

First prize - Gold medal, or £6 - To John Tait, ploughman to Mr. Creighton.
Second prize - £3-To Nicholas Fowler, ploughman to Messrs C. and T. Rossiter.
Third prize - £2, or first silver medal-To George Wooff, ploughman to Mr. Cameron.

PLOUGHING WITH BULLOCKS

First prize - Gold medal, or £6 - To James Buchanan ; plough hold by himself.
Second Prize - £3 - To James Darnach, ploughman to Messrs Brisbane,
Third Prize - £2, or first silver medal - To Thomas Mitchell, ploughman to Mr. R. Patterson.

BEST TEAM OF MARES AND GELDINGS AT WORK IN THE FIELD

First Prize - First silver medal -To Messrs. C. and T. Rossiter.
Second Prize - Second silver medal-¡To Messrs Creighton.

BEST TEAM OF BULLOCKS.

First Prize - First silver medal – Mr M. M’Lelland
Second Prize-Second silver medal-Mr. J. Buchanan

Most of the leading gentry and agriculturists of the district, together with a sprinkling of the fair sex, visited the field during the progress of the match, and in the evening were hospitably entertained by the worthy proprietor.


The vice chair was occupied by A. Patterson, Esq., to whose exertions in the capacity of hon. secretary the success of the society Is in a great measure to be attributed. A variety of excellent speeches followed, in the course of which frequent allusions were made to the fact of the grain-growers of the district taking some of the principal prizes, in competition with those of Adelaide and Victoria, at the late show of the Port Phillip Farmers' Society, and all present expressed their satisfaction at the results of the second annual ploughinig match of the " Mornington Branch."


You can read about the first ploughing match held at Mr Walton's farm at Narre Warren, here.

Monday, 27 February 2017

Victorian Places website

One of my favourite websites is the Victorian  Places website  http://www.victorianplaces.com.au/
We'll use the website's own words to tell you what it is all about This is a website containing the history of all the places in Victoria (Australia) that have now or once had a population over 200 at any time since the establishment of Victoria as a British colony. The project is a joint initiative of Monash University and the University of Queensland.



It's  a great website, and one of the coolest things about it is the homepage with a green Melbourne tram - the pictures in the window scroll through and the search box is the route number sign on the top right - it's a fabulous example of graphic design. 

What you find for each town is a history, any significant events, the development of the town from country town to suburb (applicable),  an entry on the town  from the 1903 Australian Handbook, population statistics,  some photos and a 'further reading' list. It'a a great resource if you want a concise history of a town that you have an interest in for family or local history purposes.

Reading the excerpts from the Australian Handbook is also interesting as it gives a snap shot of the town in 1903, even though it is a bit sad that many of these towns were better served with public transport and  services such as banks than they today. I have picked three towns from the City of Casey and three from the Cardinia Shire (and in the interests of historical municipal fairness they are also three towns from the Shire of Cranbourne and three from the Shire of Berwick) to highlight the Australian Handbook entry








Victorian Places, a great website, you can find it here   http://www.victorianplaces.com.au

Monday, 13 February 2017

Sperry New Holland Factory at Cranbourne


The Sperry New Holland building at Cranbourne, c. 1992

Sperry New Holland commenced operations in Victoria at Dandenong in 1955. They manufactured agricultural equipment including hay balers and hay bale elevators.  In 1980, they purchased a 46 hectare site (around ten times the size of their Dandenong operations) in Cranbourne-Berwick Road, Cranbourne. They built a 2 hectare factory and it opened around 1982. Initially there were over 400 people employed  but a recession hit within 18 months and there were redundancies and layoffs. In 1985 the Company was taken over by the Ford Motor Company, but continued producing machinery and also made parts for car manufacturers. 

The factory had its own spur line from the main South Gippsland Railway line, The spur line went into what is now the The Shed, a skate board facility,  so  I presume it was used a for despatch. If you are interested in railway infrastructure then there are some photographs of the old line on the Vicsig.net website, here.

The Ford  New Holland factory closed down around 1992  as  operations were shifted to New South Wales and sadly,  workers were made redundant. The entire site was sold to the Cranbourne Shire for five million dollars. The Casey Cardinia Library Corporation moved into the Administration building in 1996 and the main factory building is now the Terry Vickerman Indoor Sports Centre.

Terry Vickerman was the Cranbourne Shire Chief Executive for 22 years until he retired in December 1994, after the Council amalgamations. He was responsible for the purchase of the building, which was not without its critics. The Shire of Cranbourne Ratepayers and Residents Association threatened to stand candidates against the sitting councillors who had voted for the purchase - the gist of the complaints against the purchase were that the Council had not provided enough information on the transaction and that residents outside of the Cranbourne township would have to pay for the site but would obtain no benefit from it.


Cranbourne Sun March 16, 1992. It's  a scan of a photocopy, so it's  a fairly ordinary image, but if you click on the photo you can enlarge it and read it.

It depended on who you asked if the cost of the site at five million dollars was reasonable or not.  It does appear that many ratepayers were unhappy with not only the initial purchase price but with the money required to convert it to its new purpose - an estimated ten million dollars. However, according to a report in Hansard on May 3, 1994, the local member Gary Rowe (Liberal member for the Legislative Assembly seat of Cranbourne from 1992 to 2002) considered that the five million dollars was a  'bargain basement ' price.


Hansard May 3, 1994. Access Mr Rowe's full speech here

Either way, 25 years on, whether the five million dollars purchase price was a waste of tax payers money or  a bargain the site and its associated buildings are now a real asset to not only the Cranbourne community but further afield - there is the Cranbourne Library, the incredibly busy Casey Indoor Leisure Complex (Terry Vickerman Centre),  The Shed Skatepark, The Factory Rehearsal Centre for the Arts, the Casey RACE (Casey Recreation and Aquatic Centre) and the  Balla Balla Centre.



We found this envelope the other day in a cupboard in a store room at Cranbourne Library - it was the key cupboard,  all the keys are still there -  but we souvenired this for the Archive, as it has the Sperry New Holland logo and the Cranbourne address!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Hallam late 1950s.

These photographs were taken in the late 1950s and were donated to our Archive by Jim Alexander, a former Councillor for the City of Berwick. They show Hallam, before suburbanization when it was still mainly rural.


This is thought to have been taken in  1957 and is labelled 'From Frawley Road, looking north'


Same view as above from Frawley Road but looking north to north west, also most likely 1957.


Phil Key's new house, looking from Frawley Road, 1958. The house is now on the corner of Kilberry Crescent and Cressonierre Court, even though these streets were built later as I have a 1963 aerial photograph and the land hadn't been subdivided, so this house originally had  a driveway off Frawley Road. According to Google Earth, the house is still there. 


As above, construction of Phil Key's house in 1958.


This is Phil Key's house, looking south to south east, 1958. The white farm house, behind Mr Key's house,  is described as Frawley's house. In the top right hand corner of the photo is a two storey building, most likely the Hallam Hotel.


Labelled as 'Near Frawley road, looking north to north east'  1957


Labelled as 'Looking towards Frawley Road, 1958'

Monday, 23 January 2017

'When there were Stations' website

I have written about railways on quite  a few occasions in this blog, because I have an interest in railways from a social history point of view - the role they played in the development of towns, the freedom they gave to the local people to move about the State (or even interstate) in the days before nearly everyone owned a motor car. The other thing I like about railways is well before on-line shopping became almost the norm the whole world could be delivered to you from mail order catalogues to your local railway station - take a look at some of the old Weekly Times on Trove - and anyone from jewellers to Department stores to agricultural implement makers would send you a printed catalogue to order from.  Goods are no longer delivered to our local railway stations - most are unstaffed and the railway buildings replaced by a few open shelters but before these stations, and parcel sheds, goods sheds and Station houses disappeared forever Dave Phillips and others took lots of photos of old stations and you can see them on the  When there were Stations website  http://www.stationspast.net/

Here are some of the great local photos from When there were Stations


Bunyip Railway Station taken December 11, 1989. Photographer: Dave Phillips



Garfield Parcels shed taken January 29, 1989. Photographer: Frank Jones.


Tynong Goods Shed taken October 7, 1987. Photographer: Dave Phillips.

There are also photographs of Nar Nar Goon, Officer and Beaconsfield from the Gippsland line from the Casey Cardinia region.


Lang Lang Station, taken January 21 1990. Photographer: Dave Phillips.


Tooradin Station House, taken August 21, 1990. Photographer: Dave Phillips.

There are also photographs of Koo-Wee-Rup and Cranbourne from the South Gippsland line from the Casey Cardinia region.