Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Trove Tuesday - Not what I expected!

I thought I'd visit Trove to see what I could find out something about the street on which I live. I expected articles about potholes, maintenance and perhaps some history. If you read to the bottom of this post you'll see how I was surprised.

I discovered that our road was opened in 1895  and there were great celebrations in the local area.

"Hornsby-Galston Road.


Saturday last was a gala day at Galston, the well-known prolific fruit-growing centre, situated about six miles from Hornsby, the occasion being the opening, of a new road between the two places by the Minister for Works. Mr. Young left the Redfem Railway Station at 9 a.m., and was joined at Hornsby by Messrs. Garrard (Minister for Education and Industry), and Mr. E. M. Clarke, M.L.A. The members of the local progress committee, con- sisting of Messrs. A. Higgins, W. Higgins, T. Salmon, Geo. Higgins, J. Fitzgerald, and M. Haydon, seized the opportunity to interview the Minister with respect to local requirements, notably the imperative necessity for an overway bridge across the main and North Shore railway lines, some-what nearer the railway station than the one at present in existence, and the removal of a large quantity of decaying rubbish that had been shot close to the engine shed. The Minister for Railways having promised to bring both matters under the notice of the commis- sioners, the party adjourned to the local hotel for refreshments prior to leaving over the new road to Galston.

The road winds along through pretty scenery rising to a height of 400 feet, which is the highest point, and from whence a splendid view of the hill and dale, with the Blue Mountains as an imposing background, is to be obtained. On arrival at Berowra Creek, near the end of the new road, luncheon was par- taken of Mr. H. Hudson occupied the chair, and among other residents of the district were Messrs. B. Crossland, C.Lovely, J. W. Wilkins, and J. Ungler. 

After the usual loyal toasts were disposed of the chairman proposed the health of the Ministry and Parliament, and ex- pressed his conviction that the present Government were doing their best to ad-vance the interests of the colony, and that the Parliament was as honest a one as they could have. The Minister for Works, in re- plying to the toast, said the Government had perfect faith in the future of the colony, and regretted the pes-simistic views of public affairs that were taken by a large number of people. If they had confidence in themselves and in their resources, they would soon belanded on the high road to prosperity. The Government as freetraders recognisedthe duty of helping the producers to get their goods to market, to promote easytransit, to lessen the cost of living and bring the markets of the world within as easy reach as possible of the producers. The opening of that road was a step in that direction, and it would prove an advantage and a convenience to a dis trict which, he understood, contained some of the finest soil in the country. TheMinister for Education having also briefly returned thanks, Mr. G. M. Clark replied on behalf of the Parliament. Prosperity to the district was proposed by Mr. D. Davis and responded to by Messrs. Ungher, Hutchinson, and A. Higgins, and the healths of Mr. W. Smith, divisional engineer, and Mr. Hope (the officers whosuperintended the construction of the road), the press, and the chairman were also honored. 

The party, after inspecting several orchards in the vicinity, returned to town by way of Parramatta. The cost of the road was £4800, and in its construc-tion 40,000 cubic yards of rock were excavated, the work being partly by the " butty gang" system, and partly by con- tract at a cost of 4½d to 7d per cubic yard. The work has been very substantially executed, and includes numerous retaining walls, small bridges, and culverts. The distance saved to the fruitgrowers in getting their produce to the railway is about fourteen miles, and that shouldmake a considerable difference in their profits."
1895 'Hornsby-Galston Road.', Evening News (Sydney, NSW : 1869 - 1931), 4 March, p. 7, viewed 23 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108074916

The first post that appeared in my results list was not at all what I expected. It was a poem about Galston Road. Today vehicles on the road can be noisy but if one wanders away from the road one can experience the natural delights described in these verses. I enjoy this environment each day and as I sit at my desk I can hear the magpies and  see those "tall dreaming gums against the sky"

1919 'GALSTON ROAD.', Sydney Mail (NSW : 1912 - 1938), 29 January, p. 28, viewed 23 October, 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article159657390
A further search of Trove for Gladys Pattison returned a healthy list of links to poems published in various newspapers between 1918 and 1928.

Trees along Galston Road


Alex Daw said...

How lovely that you can see the Blue Mountains from where you are. I was only saying to my husband the other day how lucky we are to live where we do...in the foothills of Mt Coot-tha. At night you can lie in bed and believe you are the only house in the valley, it is so quiet. Crazy given that we are in the middle of suburbia. I do love our bush here in Australia very much. Just sometimes I wish it wasn't quite so hot though.

Fran Kitto said...

Jill, Another interesting find. I love how they go into so much detail in old newspapers. So much better than the "sound bite" type writing we get with much of today's Internet news. I wonder what future Family Historians will think of our times when they try to research. Fran


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