22Nov/20

Little Desert Trip – 2017

28th September to 1st October 2017

Ian Blainey reports:

Thursday 28th 2017

We arrived at Serviceton late Wednesday afternoon and set up camp. Thursday morning, we accompanied Alan on some pre-trip planning, which started with a coffee at a little bakery in Bordertown. From there, we headed out to the Olivalle Estate Olive Farm at Telopea Downs to make arrangements for a guided tour.
After lunch, we started to work our way towards the Rocky Lamattina & Sons carrot farm, again to arrange a tour time. Along the way, we checked out a couple of wildflower locations. Following a couple of weeks of rain, we found a good variety of native flowers, particularly native orchids.
These included Donkey, various Spider and a number of coloured Sun orchids.

Also we were lucky enough to see an
echidna at fairly close quarters.

Before returning to Serviceton, we called in to the Frances pub to ensure arrangements for Saturday afternoon were in place.
On arriving back at Serviceton, we found quite a few other people had arrived and set up. Later that evening, one of the other travellers produced a couple of radio controlled models. One was a truck prime mover and the other was a fully operational front end loader.


It was interesting to note that the loader was fully functional, including lights and hydraulics. A demonstration showed it could move earth.

Friday 29th 2017

On Friday morning, we initially headed into Bordertown for a caffeine and cake hit.
On leaving Bordertown, we headed east on the highway, then turned north on to the Serviceton – North Telopea Downs Road.


When we arrived at the Olivalle Estate Olive Farm, we were greeted by the Manager, who gave us an excellent guided tour of the orchards and their
processing plant.
This tour unfortunately dispelled any romantic notions I had of traditional olive farming methods.

The trees are planted in rows at precise distances apart. They are pruned to ensure automatic harvesting equipment can run up and down the rows to maximise the collection of olives.


This machinery is based on grape harvesting equipment and slightly modified by the Manager to suit the olive crop.
Our tour then took us to the mixing area where the underground water supply is treated to remove unwanted materials, especially salt. It is then enhanced with fertilisers and minerals.
Bulk chemicals are placed into mixing vats and then diluted to a usable concentration. It is then dosed into the water supply and fed to the trees as required. After washing, the olives are pressed in bright shiny stainless steel tanks and then filtered.
The extra virgin oil is then stored in 20,000 litre tanks. The bulk of the oil is then on sold to larger companies, such as Cobram Estates. They also bottle their oil for local sales outlets under the Olivalle Estate label.
After lunch on a hill overlooking the estate, we headed south towards Kaniva. We crossed the highway and drove down the Kaniva – Edenhope Road to the Lamattina carrot farm.
This is one of two, 6,000 hectare properties, which supply major supermarkets, such as Woolworths.
The carrot seeds are imported from France and sown at the rate of one million seeds per hectare.
Rows are prepared using GPS and laser equipment and, prior to planting the seeds, grasses are grown in adjacent rows to reduce erosion by wind and to protect the carrot tops as they develop.


The seeds are sown using specialised equipment at a defined distance apart.
Carrots are grown in one out of every three years. In the other years, crops are grown which can be ploughed back to replace nutrients and goodness to the soil.
One of the largest pest problems they encounter are feral deer.
Once the carrots are harvested, they are placed into trucks and transported to the company’s processing plant.
Here they are cleaned then spray chilled before being packed and forwarded to the supermarket distribution centres.
They aim to have the carrots in these distribution centres within twenty four hours of picking.

At completion of the tour, we returned to camp for Happy Hour

Saturday 30th 2017

On the previous days, we had established that, despite the recent cooler weather and rain, there had been enough sun to bring out a large variety of wildflowers and orchids.
In a number of places along some of the tracks, there were just carpets of colour. So today we were to check these out.
Some diehard football fans elected to stay at camp and head to the Frances Hotel later to watch the AFL Grand Final.
The remainder of the group headed to Kaniva for the usual morning dose of caffeine before heading into the Desert.
Suitably refreshed, we headed down Yanipy Road, into Three Chain Road and on to Miram South Road. Along the way, we stopped to look at and photograph wildflowers along the roadside.

During this drive, we also found a couple of little spots where we could have a bit of fun in four wheel drive.
After lunch, a few more footy fans left the convoy and headed off to the Frances Hotel. The rest of us headed down Edenhope Road and on to East West Track.
Here we split into two groups, as some of us wanted to tackle the Mt Moffat Track. The others followed Alan out of the desert on an “easy short cut”.
We knew this area would be a bit damp in places and were not disappointed.

A little damp shortcut

Several interesting bog holes were negotiated satisfactorily.
Greg found a very soft patch and needed to work a little harder to get back on to a sound surface.

A little further on, we appeared to run out of track, as it headed into the fringe of a swamp. Johan was kind enough to get out, take his shoes and socks off and walk the track so we could satisfy ourselves it was okay to negotiate.


Two alarmed ducks managed to startle Johan, who moved faster than the ducks as they took off.


We negotiated a stretch of water around eighty metres long and up to fifty centimetres deep.
From here it was an easy drive into Frances to watch the end of the footy, before sitting down to a nice dinner at the hotel.

Sunday 1st October 2017

Sunday morning we headed down Serviceton South Road and on to Mt Moffat Track looking at wildflowers. After a walk to Mt Moffat, we continued down Elliots Track and found more wildflowers.

looking at wildflowers


While we were here, we were lucky enough to have a pair of Red Tail Black
Cockatoos fly overhead.

While we were here, we were lucky enough to have a pair of Red Tail Black
Cockatoos fly overhead. A short stop at Moree Reserve on the Tallegeira Track followed, after which we drove back to camp.
Some had started to pack up and head home, while others were able to have a quiet afternoon before departure on Monday morning.
Many thanks to Alan for sharing his extensive knowledge of this area and
again making for a very enjoyable Little Desert long weekend.

18Nov/20

Newsletters

Here is our most recent Monthly Newsletter.   The newsletter is published in PDF and files can occasionally be large.

Jackaroo-Club-Newsletter-Nov-2020

01May/20

Redcastle Cemetery Records – Update – Feb 2020

Following additional information being received the listing was updated in Feb 2020. It is now being republished in an improved format.

This information has been extracted from the “Index to Bendigo Region Cemeteries – Series 1, Northern Districts“, as compiled by the Bendigo branch of the Australian Institute of Genealogical Studies, and also from Redcastle Cemetery records held by the Heathcote Office of the City of Greater Bendigo.

Information extracted from the “Index” in May 2003 by Michael Martin, Jackaroo Club of Victoria, using a microfiche copy as held in the State Library of Victoria (Catalogue reference GMF 94 / Box 8). Parents’ names and other supplemental information kindly supplied by Lois Comeadow of Noble Park, extracted information cross-referenced to the Heathcote records in August 2003 and found to be correct.

This listing is not necessarily comprehensive, but should include most persons buried at Redcastle. The comments are mostly my own interpretation, and are not necessarily correct. Note re Parents: in many cases, one or both parents’ names are on the list and are probably also buried at Redcastle, but it is often difficult to establish direct relationships.

At the time, I painstakingly checked the cemetery records for the relevant time period, held in the State Library, and I also visited the City of Greater Bendigo’s office in Heathcote.  In that office they have records of who was buried at Redcastle, and I was allowed to peruse these.  (What they don’t have is a map of the graves.)

The records from Heathcote tallied almost exactly with what I had already obtained from the State Library, but in neither case did I find the names Schmidt or Willard, so some further evidence would be good.  If the death certificate states the place of burial then perhaps Anne Turner could either scan it or photograph it, and send it to us?  Then I would be happy to update the list. 

Michael Martin

Listing – Redcastle Cemetery Records

Name Date Buried Age Marked Grave? Parents’ names (if known) Comments
BABIDGE, Elizabeth Ellen27/08/18751 year 2 monthsWilliam Babidge & Martha Gray
BAKER, Julius27/02/189433Killed in mining accident
BARKER, Edward16/07/187670YesRichard Barker & Elizabeth Lesswall>New headstone, inscribed: “Bert,
BARKER, Eliza27/03/186757YesJames Lesswell(?) and ??>Fred & Jack Barker – February 2000″
BARKER, Frederica Rose Laura03/06/18761 year 11 days?? and Laura Barker
BARKER, Laura Eliza25/12/18735 monthsJames Barker & Amelia Windebank
BARNDEN, James10/10/186433James Barnden and ??
BENNY, Francis24/01/188668
BERTENSHAW, Hannah17/07/187232
BIANCHI, William07/10/18873 weeksAngelo Bianchi & Ellen HustonDate could be 1877
BISCHOFF, Elizabeth Ann26/08/187612 years 6 monthsWilliam Bischoff & Sarah Ann Gray>Probably
BISCHOFF, Regina26/10/18721 yearWilhelm Bischoff & Sarah Ann Gray>sisters
BURGESS, John01/05/18666 weeksJohn Burgess & Mary Doolan
CHAMBER, J or I06/07/194785
CHAMBERLAIN, Charles03/02/190786
CHAMBERLAIN, David17/09/18749 daysCharles Chamberlain & Catherine Carle
CHAMBERLAIN, David George26/07/194787Charles Chamberlain and Emily ??Most recent date
CHAPMAN, Louise Sarah13/01/18623 monthsJames Edward Chapman & Sarah Pert
CLARKE, David12/04/187316 monthsSon of John and ??(?)
CLARKE, Emily19/06/193584Yes“Beloved wife” of Frederick Clarke
CLARKE, Frederick02/04/191062YesJohn Clarke & Mary Ann HollingsworthSee Mary Ann Clarke
CLARKE, John07/11/188165John Clarke and Mary Ann SaltDiscovered first gold in area
CLARKE, Mary Ann24/07/186542YesJ Holingsworth and Ann ??Nee Hol(l)ingsworth
CLARKE, Walter07/06/18612 yearsJohn Clarke & Phoebe Louisa Morgan
COLLINS, Hannah14/01/186615 days?? and Hannah Collins>Hanna/Anna?
COLLINS, James26/06/186415 days?? and Anna Maria Collins>Could be same mother
COLLINS, John28/10/190075Peter Collins and ??
CREELY, Matthew28/11/189371Henry Creely & Mary Neal
DAVIES, Flora Theodore23/05/18688 monthsWilliam Davies and Margaret Grey
DRAPER, Catherine16/12/189517 monthsAlexander Draper and Louisa Gleeson
DUNCKLEY, Charles04/01/187968Surname could be DUNKLEY
ELLIS, Anne12/12/186124James Hennessey and Bridget ??
FOLVIG, Charles Olsen09/12/18827 monthsMagnus Folvig & Mary Jane Massey
FOLVIG, Emily Louisa02/10/18805 yearsMagnus Folvig & Mary Jane Massey
FOWLER, Eliza12/09/188138Martin Fowler and Abigail ??
FOY, James25/09/192793YesDavid Foy and Mary ??
GAFFNEY, Margaret19/10/18701 dayThomas Gaffney & Margaret Morgan
GERONOVITCH, Antonio16/05/188053Luke Geronevich & Maria Seegovitch
GERONOVITCH, Christina08/03/186510 weeksAntonio Gerovinitch(sic) & Mary Bottrill See Mary Geronovitch
GERONOVITCH, Mary17/03/191581?? Bottrill and ??(Note multiple spellings of Gero…)
GIBSON, Edward14/09/187038
GILL, Robert30/04/187551
GLEESON, Irene27/06/19068 monthsPatrick Gleeson and Emma Harris>These have to be
GLEESON, Mary Ann01/02/189632Patrick Gleeson and Mary Egan>different Patrick Gleesons.
GLEESON, Mary Ann19/02/189653O’hagan Francis Egan & Anne MurritaAka Mary Egan?
GLEESON, Patrick24/10/189164Daniel Gleeson and Cath O’Shea
GREEN, James23/06/187750
HAMILTON, Jane Manson26/01/18691 yearYesWalter Scott Hamilton & Mary Catherine Hickey>”Infant twin daughters”
HAMILTON, Mary Catherine26/01/18691 yearYesWalter Scott Hamilton & Mary Catherine Hickey>on headstone.
HAMILTON, Mary01/07/191173Yes?? Hickey and ??>>Parents of
HAMILTON, Walter Scott25/07/191781YesPeter Hamilton and Mary Ann Manson>>above twins.
HAWKING, William16/04/187457
HAWKING, William James16/03/18735 weeksEdward Hawking and Elizabeth Jones
HEATHER, Eda08/08/187515 daysCharles Frederick Heath & Kate StarSurname should be HEATH
HIRD, Annie04/10/191343YesWilliam Tice and Chris Crawford
HIRD, Edward12/04/189659Yes?? and Mary Barter
HIRD, Edward James13/07/192759Edward Hird and Mary Theresa Braters
HURST, Nicholas06/04/188057
KELLY, James25/08/18733 yearsJohn Kelly and Catherine Creely
KNIGHT, Phillip09/03/186944John Knight and Susan Wagland
LONSDALE, Eliza Margaret25/08/18706 daysCharles Lonsdale and Sarah Allen
LONSDALE, Emma Leah21/12/189737YesPhillip Knight and Ellen Pippin
LONSDALE, Hannah11/01/18777 monthsWilliam Joseph Lonsdale & Jessie Marie KnightSister to Leah Emma Knight
LONSDALE, Jessie Maria16/05/187624YesPhillip Knight and Ellen Pippin
LONSDALE, Leah Emma02/10/186716 daysWilliam Joseph Lonsdale & Jessie Maria KnightSister to Hannah Knight
LONSDALE, William J.?? 192886YesWilliam Joseph Lonsdale and Eliza Atkinson
LOWE, Elizabeth Ann25/05/186812 monthsWilliam Lowe amd Mary ??
MERRYFULL, James17/05/18801 yearWilliam Henry Merryfull and Eliza Robinson
MITCHELL, ????/??/1892infant
MITCHELL, Alice03/05/190543William Davey Mitchell & Sarah Arnold
MITCHELL, Bertha Veronica24/05/18918 monthsStephen Henry Mitchell and Mary HowardSee Mary Mitchell
MITCHELL, Ella Florence??/??/18841 month
MITCHELL, Frederick Henry28/01/18971 year 7 monthsFred Mitchell and Hart Thompson
MITCHELL, Mabel??/??/1890??Uncertain – probably buried at Redcastle
MITCHELL, Mary24/07/189242Ch Howard and Christina Graham
MITCHELL, Sarah Jane??/??/1880child
MITCHELL, Sarah Jane14/09/18732 years 6 monthsStephen Mitchell and Mary Ann HowardSee Mary Mitchell
MITCHELL, Stephen Henry06/09/190062Joseph Mitchell and Jane Gribble
MITCHELL, Stephen Henry30/01/190232Stephen Mitchell and Mary HowardSee Mary Mitchell
MITCHELL, William24/04/19059 daysWilliam Moses Mitchell and Alice DaveySee Alice Mitchell
MITCHELL, William Moses06/08/191565John Mitchell and ??
MORAN, Bertie01/10/187510 daysGeorge Moran and Isabella SutherlandSee Isabella Moran
MORAN, Bessie Rachel12/04/189724YesGeorge Moran and Isabella Sutherland
MORAN, Charles James03/06/189226YesGeorge Moran and Isabella Sutherland
MORAN, George21/04/191184Yes
MORAN, Isabella03/09/189565YesJames Sutherland and Helen Grieve
MORAN, William13/08/191152YesGeorge Moran and Isabella Sutherland
MORRIS, ??04/12/18806 hours?? and Sarah Morriss
MORRIS, Charlotte30/01/18631 yearHenry Morris and Selina Griffiths
MORRIS, Sarah18/12/188022William ?? and Ann ??
MUNSTER, Louis Daniel29/04/186138Paul Munster and Magna ??
McKEE, Eleanor07/02/189152YesJohn Bates and Eleanor ??>Headstone also includes Clara E.
McKEE, James17/08/190267YesJames McKee and Mary Orr>McKee, died 14/12/1894, aged 22.
McKEE, Clara E14/12/189422YesAndrew Pook and Elizabeth O’GradyDied following childbirth
McKEE, Eva Isabella??/??/18912 daysJames and Eleanor McKeeInterred with parents
NEAL, Ivy Eveline24/01/18986 weeksWilliam Neal and Sarah Neal
NEILSON, Alexander22/10/189357Daniel Neilson and Mary Alexander
NEILSON, Isabel Bessie23/06/189910 weeksWilliam Neilson and Susannah Cath Morgan
NEILSON, Marion Elizabeth04/01/191452Antonio Geronovich and Mary Bottrill
NEILSON, Mary28/12/186610 monthsAlexander Neilson and Elizabeth Graham
NEILSON, William Charles27/11/191323William Neilson and Susan Moran
O’TOOLE, James30/09/187750John O’Toole and Catherine O’BrienDied after falling down a mine shaft
PEARMAN, James10/04/186988James Pearman and Ann ??
POLKINGHORNE, William Northey 21/09/186818 monthsWilliam Henry Polkinghorne & Nancy Ann Allen
POOK, Andrew17/03/18761 year 13 daysAndrew Pook and Elizabeth O’GradySee Elizabeth Pook
POOK, Elizabeth Jane22/05/190253William O’Grady and Mary ??Andrew’s mother
PROCTOR, Charles27/05/190778Thomas Proctor and Mary ??
PUSTON, John11/04/187552C/be John Preston, parents unknown.
QUIRK, Andrew14/09/18987 weeksPatrick Quirk and Mary Jane Pook
RALPH, Harrison23/03/18612 yearsHarrison Ralph and Ann Cox
REED, Emily29/01/187211 monthsJohn Reed and Catherine Profser
REID, John Milne19/12/187544James Reid and Ann Walker
RICHARDSON, Sarah Frances31/07/18612 yrs I monthHenry Richardson and Jane ??
ROBERTS, John01/10/189167William Roberts and Ellen Griffiths
ROBERTSON, James Daniel06/09/186428James Robertson and Mary McDonaldCut own throat – suicide
ROFSER, William07/11/188657Morgan Rosser and Abigail TamplinSurname should be ROSSER
RUFSEL, Jane06/04/18638 monthsWilliam Russell and Bridget RogersSurname should be RUSSELL
SCHMIDT (WILLARD), Emma Clara10/07/187921William and Rosina WillardDied from Rheumatic Fever
SMITH, George16/09/186235Blown up in a mine explosion
SULLIVAN, Agnes01/01/186139James Ashcroft and Margaret ??Died of DTs. Oldest date
TAYLOR, Robert William18/09/188232Noah Taylor and Hannah Marten
THOMSON, Annie19/05/190136William Thomson and Elizabeth BarkerAnnie died of “severe dropsy”, and took her child with her.
THOMSON, ??19/05/1901Stillborn
THOMSON, David William18/03/18778 monthsWilliam Thomson and Elizabeth Barker
THOMSON, Eliza19/08/18632 monthsWilliam Thomson and Elizabeth Barker
THOMSON, Elizabeth04/07/187637Edward and Eliza Lesswall
THOMSON, Hugh30/08/18639 daysHugh Morton Thomson & Julia Payne Mann
THOMSON, Percy Mann15/10/18675 yearsHugh Morton Thomson & Julia Payne Mann
TICE, Alexander Crockett25/02/187013 monthsWilliam Tice and Christina Crockett
TICE, Christina06/11/189142Alexander Crockett and Annie Robb
TICE, William09/07/189550
TYLER, Ada Charlotte03/10/18736 monthsJohn Tyler and Frances Mills
WALSH, William30/08/187347Kenneth Walsh and Mary Cluney
WHITFIELD, Edna May15/03/19153 yearsCharles Whitfield and Martha Hart Kemp
WINTER, Alfred01/03/187323
YE GEEN, ??21/02/187949(From China)Killed when thrown from a cart
YOUNG, Margaret Ann24/03/18616 monthsRobert Young and Hannah Brough
10Jan/19
BCF Taylors Lakes

February 2019 meeting of the Jackaroo 4WD Club

The February 2019 meeting of the Jackaroo 4WD Club of Victoria will be on this coming Wednesday, February 20th.

The meeting is a special and WILL NOT be held at our Fairfield clubrooms but rather at the BCF Store in Watergardens, which is located here.

Our meeting will start at 7.30 pm, as usual, but feel free to arrive early to browse the store.

It should be a great night with guest speakers.

01Jan/17

Len Beadell Highways Trip 1-Part 1

Participants:

Barry & Linda McElhenny (Trip Leaders)
Ian & Ann Marr
Cleve Warring & Jenny Hajncl
Peter Bailey
Lucie, Ken & Gemma
Leigh Wagstaff & Christine Mayer

Linda McElhenny reports:

27th June 8.28am 8 degrees

Lovely dark cloudy morning – not good for travelling. Oh well, we are heading for warmer weather.

Barry decided to check the Tvan brakes after we had driven for about one hour. All good.  On our way to Walpeup, our first stopover, we had a few stops for further checks on the brakes. Yet when we arrived at 3.00pm, the passenger side was red hot, even the rim.   Barry waited until the tyre and hub had cooled down, then checked and readjusted the brakes.

We were camped in a little local park with a toilet block, shower and laundry facilities for $9.00 per night. We put our money in the locked box on the wall of the amenities block and noticed it appeared to be empty although there were three other campers there when we arrived and more came later.  Just before dark, a lovely lady came over and said that she was the camp supervisor. We told her that we had put our money in the box and that if she looked, that would be all that was there. She said not to worry.

28th June 9.15am 8 degrees

We are off to Hallett today to meet up with Ian, Ann, Cleve and Jenny.

During the day we had a few stops to check the brakes. Barry decided to find a concrete pad to dismantle the brakes fully and start from scratch again. We spotted a large wheat silo on the other side of the railway line and, yes, it had a concrete pad.  To make sure we didn’t leave any grease, etc on the concrete, we put a tarp down. After all, this is a place where grain is stored.

Luckily the sun was out by now, but the wind was still very chilly. We must have been there about 15 minutes, when a HiLux ute came zooming down the road and went over to a small building opposite where we were.  As there were signs everywhere that “Trespassers would be prosecuted”, we thought we might be asked to leave. What do you do when you have your Tvan jacked up and the wheel off?

The ute finally drove off. I bet he was watching us from the corner of the building.

What’s with these brakes

Barry cleaned down everything yet again and re-greased all that was necessary. He even put in a new bearing, even though the other one was new. With the wheel back on and everything cleaned up, we were on our way again.

By the time we reached Hallett, it was dark. We received a warm welcome from Ian, Ann, Cleve and Jenny, who were just building the camp fire.  We set up camp, had dinner and the men then had another look at the brake. All were at a loss as to what was wrong.  Peter had left after us, but managed to make up time and joined us at Hallett a good hour after us.

We sat around a lovely camp fire, which was to be the first of many. As we sat there and it started to get quite cold, we could feel the dew coming down on us. I picked up a top from the back of Barry’s chair when we went to bed and it was quite wet.
After much deliberation, we agreed to head into Port Augusta the next morning to see if we could find anyone who could fix the brake. It meant we would have to leave about 5.30am.

29th June 5.20 am -2 degrees

After a reasonable night’s sleep, we got up about 4.00am to a thick fog. A nice hot shower warmed us up.

It was difficult driving in the dark and the very thick fog and we were on the lookout for anything that moved.  By the time the sun came up, it was still not warm, but much better driving conditions.

At Terowie, we stopped and checked the brakes. All was well. So it should be at –2 degrees.  Barry wanted to drive down Horrocks Pass before there was too much traffic, as we didn’t have the brakes working.  We managed to negotiate all the bends and steep descents quite well and Barry gave a sigh of relief when we reached the bottom without any mishaps.  At around 8.10am, we arrived at Port Augusta, pretty good timing. However, wherever we went to get help, they either didn’t do brakes, or were booked out.

Only one man was sympathetic to our cause and he said he had his week filled up within the first hour of opening that morning. Why didn’t we try him first? Well, you only find out these things from the ones who can’t help you.

After feeling deflated that we couldn’t get anyone to even look at the brakes, we decided to just go on as we were and continue to check the brakes periodically and hope for the best.  After all, we had brakes on one side after cutting the wires to the brake on the offending side,

We got some supplies and met up with the others on the road. Our stay that night was to be the Woomera Tourist Village, a fancy name for the only caravan park in town.  When we arrived at the park, we found Ken, Lucie and Gemma already there. While talking to them, we noticed Leigh and Christine camped just down and over a bit.  Once we were all set up, we had the introductions. There were six people from the Jackaroo Club and six friends. Our stay here was to be for two nights.

30th June Woomera

Ken, Lucie and Gemma decided not to stay in Woomera, but to go and meet their friends from home. They had already been here for two nights.  Leigh and Christine decided to go to Coober Pedy and have a look around.  The remaining group went into the township. We walked in as Peter had his rooftop tent up and the rest of us still had our vans hitched up.  Our first destination was the rocket park. Here we saw a big display of assorted rockets, aircraft, bombs and other military equipment.  The Museum was also of interest. It was full of interesting equipment and history, with plenty of photographs, records, etc.

On then to the Information Centre where we looked at the interactive display of life at Woomera. It was very informative and well done.  We enjoyed quite a nice lunch at the only hotel in town, before some of us went into the supermarket to see if we could get any party items to take with us out on the track.

all setup at Woomera

A significant birthday was approaching for Cleve and Gemma was planning a surprise party for Lucie for her birthday on 11th July. This created lots of excitement as we sourced goodies.  We had noticed each night, Jupiter was getting closer to the Moon. I asked Gemma if she had noticed and she explained that Jupiter would get closest to the Moon on 30th June and would then start to move away.  I asked her how she knew this and learned they were told about it at school. Obviously someone listened.

Woomera - Rocket Park

Woomera – Rocket Park

Woomera today is still a test range for Defence to trial and test defence systems, including bombs, missiles, rockets, aircraft, UAVs and electronic warfare systems that may be needed to defend Australia.   The ADF is always testing new and current aircraft and other defence systems to ensure they are always working as they are supposed to.   The test range covers 127,000 square kms, an area roughly the size of England. It uses many items of special equipment, such as high speed cameras and optical trackers.  Other countries also use the range from time to time for testing. Each year 50 – 60 trials are conducted at Woomera.

1st July 9.15am 6 degrees

It was 1° inside the Tvan at 7.00am this morning.

Len & Anne Beadell Memorial

After passing Camp Rapier Military Base, with its extremely high chain wire fence, we headed off to see Len and Anne Beadell’s grave/monument. Someone had visited previously and placed a bunch of native flowers on the grave.   Len’s remains were moved here from the site of the original survey peg to mark the centre line of the Woomera range. Anne’s ashes were interned here in April 2011.

We were fortunate enough to meet Len and Anne’s family at Hawker on Dave Dobson’s Googs Track trip. A wonderful night was spent talking around a fire with the family. As we walked around the cemetery, we were amazed at the ages on the headstones. There were a large number of stillbirths and very young children. Even the adults didn’t seem to live to an old age. Down at the bottom of the cemetery were some new graves.

Lake Hart

Lake Hart

We came across the Lake Hart Rest area. The reflections of the hills and trees in the water were beautiful. A number of caravans were camped here even though there were no toilet facilities.  Some of us needed fuel, so we continued on to Glendambo to fuel up and grab some snacks, etc. Lunch was on the side of the road at a very busy truck stop.

The Sturt Highway is a very good road to travel on, with sections of dead looking small trees, small saltbush, native grasses and small bushes lining the road.  The sky had patches of small clouds as the temperature hit 18° at 1.00pm.

We drove into Coober Pedy for more fuel and supplies (including things we had forgotten) and met up with Ken, Lucie, Gemma, Leigh and Christine. We also caught up with Sharon and Chris, friends of Ken and Lucie. We had travelled with them to the Kimberleys in 2013.

When we arrived at the Stuart Ranges Caravan Park, we noticed the line to book in was almost back to the highway. As we had already booked in over the phone, I decided to walk down to the reception area.  Since we were last here, it had become a Big4 park (Aspen). Finally, we set up camp and relaxed.

Soon we heard excited voices. Cleve and Jenny had come across their friends, Norm and Pat, who were doing some of the trip we were doing. They were very well set up for the trip.  After dinner, we all gathered for a pre-trip information session. We were all excited about what/where our trip was going to take us. The camp ground was undergoing refurbishment (which has been going on since we were here in 2013). There was still a lot more to be done. The smell from the sewerage (or whatever) lingered in the air. It was a bit of a turn off for an otherwise nice park. You would think they would have invested money into this problem first.

Our Group

There we must leave Linda’s report for this month. Next month the trip starts in earnest

18May/16
Redcastle State School Circa 1900

A little about Redcastle

The township of Red Castle was predominantly a gold rush town in the 1850’s, and many Croatians who resided in this town worked in mine claims, hotels, and shops. One particular gold discovery which was controversial, was discovered by Andrea Franatovich in1859. This particular gold discovery has subsequently been recorded as the first payable gold in the region. This discovery was made at the Balmoral diggings in Red Castle. However, Franatovich was not the only Croatian who had claims in Red Castle. Another Croatian Mate Lussich, had a mining company called Lussic and Co, which was listed on mining company register. He originally came from the island of Brac. Subsequently Lussich went on to name one of his claims as “New Dalmatian Reef Mine”. Another prominent resident of Red Castle formerly from Croatia, was Antonio Geronovich who owned a hotel called “All Nations Hotel”. He remained in Red Castle until his death, and was buried in the Redcastle cemetery, After his wife’s death she also was buried at the same cemetery. Geronovich’s children were all girls who were educated at the Redcastle primary school. One of his daughters married and continued to reside in Red Castle, and sent some of her children to the same primary school.

Redcastle State School Circa 1900

1859. John Clarke, who owned a hotel at Seymour, appears to have been the first to prospect in the vicinity of Redcastle. He had been quartz mining at Compton’s Creek Station, between Redcastle and Seymour, in
1857 … [He was first seen] at Redcastle in about March 1859, with a Burdan crushing machine.
The Commission decided that John Clarke’s find at Redcastle did not constitute a payable goldfield, as it had been soon abandoned. Andrew Franktovich told the Commission that he had found the first payable gold at Redcastle and supported his claim by producing a letter signed by Mr R.H. Horne and dated 31 January
1860 which granted to him and his three mates an increased claim of 200 yards on Jones’ Reef. The Commission decided in his favour and gave him the reward.

May 1859. It seems … that John Clarke … did in fact find the first gold at Redcastle, at Staffordshire Flat, three miles east of the later town, early in 1859. Many others came, but the whole field was unpayable until [Andrea] Franktovich discovered the first rich gold [in December].

1859-1898. The reefs in this district were opened in the year 1859, and were in full work till 1864 when the majority were abandoned … As a rule when a fault or break was met with in the reefs it was abandoned, also when water was met with in the shafts, the only style of machinery in use being the ordinary windlass, which could not cope with it. Two batteries were erected, one of 8 heads, half-a-mile north of the township, at the Redcastle Creek by Mr Collins, in 1859.

c.1860. Lands Dept Map. Village of Redcastle, surveyed by P Chauncy: J. Clarkes steam crushing machine (Section X11)

c. 1860-1893. In the early days there were three crushing plants in Redcastle, namely Clarke’s, Collin’s, and Russell, Neilson and party’s, Harrisons and Co.’s being afterwards on the site of the plant of the last named. At Staffordshire Flat there was only one crushing plant, Mr S. H. Mitchell’s, which is still there (1893), and was recently rented by Bradley & Co., and where they crushed stone from the Why Not mine.

June 1867. Table of quartz crushed for the quarter includes: Clarke’s machine, Redcastle.

September 1893. A lease of tailings for crushing of the early days has been taken up by Messrs H. R. Palling and S. H. Mitchell on the site of Harrison’s and Co’s. old battery at Redcastle, where there are many thousands of tons of tailings, a quantity of which sent to Bendigo recently for treatment yielded over 1/2 an ounce to the ton.

March 1901. Redcastle Company. Erecting machinery for extraction of gold from tailings.

July 1901. Redcastle. Ore extraction works complete. These are erected on Clarke’s old battery.

April 1902. Cyanide works at Redcastle being erected by Mr G. Hyndman are rapidly approaching completion.

April 1902. What was formerly known as Redcastle Gold Recovery Co., which is entirely in the hands of Mr
Hyndman, has the erection of a windmill on the Niagara claim completed. Vats are being erected.

September 1902. Cyanide works at Redcastle now completed.

August 1903. Work resumed at Redcastle cyaniding works.

18May/16
Redcastle Cemetery Cleanup

Annual Redcastle Cemetery Clean-up

As one of the Club’s community service activities we maintain the cemetery of the once thriving mining settlement of Redcastle in the Heathcote district.

Graeme Mitchell reports: The trip plan was to camp overnight at a camp ground near the cemetery and then meet up with the day trippers at the Heathcote Bakery on Sunday morning. But things don’t always go to plan!

My back was playing up, so we decided to only go up for the day on Sunday. I rang around all the members on the trip form and let them know of the change of plans. The Marr’s and Jenny and Cleve had already decided to travel up and spend a few days looking around the area. All was well. Saturday morning I received a call from Les Warburton. “Where the bloody hell are you?” he asked. Les had decided on Friday night to go up on the Saturday morning and was waiting at the bakery.

I explained what had happened and directed him to the camp ground where he met up with the other campers. Sunday morning dawned as a lovely spring day. Sun shining, no wind and not a cloud in the sky. Gayle and I set of from home hoping the weather would be the same at Heathcote. Everyone had beaten us to the bakery, so I was give n the honour of writing the trip report.

After a coffee and a chat, it was out to the cemetery. We had a quick look around and decided on the work to be done. This involved a bit of whipper snipping, weeding, pruning and cleaning up the fallen foliage.
A fire was lit to get rid of the debris, although we were very mindful of the dry conditions and the need to ensure before we left that the fire was totally extinguished. Only the weeds and small branches were burnt.

With the rest of the crew off to work, Greg, Cleve and I were left to practice our winching skills. Last year, a dead tree was cut down and it was time to remove the stump. Out with the recovery gear and hand winch and we were ready to go. The winch was attached to a nearby tree using a tree protector and a tow strap was used to connect the winch to the stump.

Greg volunteered to use his muscle on the hand winch and the stump was soon out and the hole filled in.

It was then time for me to prepare lunch. The BBQ fire was lit and the snags were soon sizzling away. By the time lunch was ready, the workers had most of the jobs finished, so we sat down and enjoyed a long, relaxing lunch.

Eventually, it was time to pack up, make sure the fire was safe and have a last look around to ensure all was well. We headed off back to town.
On the way, we stopped at the camp ground to show everyone the site and have a short toilet stop. Before long, we were all on our way home.

Well, almost.

Les decided to throw his swag out and stay another night.

Thanks to all who helped out. The area looks in good shape and will be easier to maintain in the future.

Whose buried at the Redcastle cemetery?