MAY NEWSLETTER 2006
Our treasurer was most impressed at the speedy return of memberships. For those of you still to pay subscriptions for the year, the membership is $20 or $35 for a family and there is a cost of $5 if you require the monthly newsletter to be posted to you. Thank you.
CAIRN CURRAN DISPLAY
Cairn Curran is the centre of our attention at the moment. In choosing the 50th anniversary of the opening of Cairn Curran Reservoir, we had little idea of the interest it would attract among ourselves, when we went searching for information, and in the public at large. Of course as well, there is the current filming at Maldon of Raimond Gaita’s book “Romulus My Father” which is also concerned with the building of the reservoir. .
Our Open Day at the courthouse on Sunday May 7th was well attended and the people who came contributed to the day by bringing photos, an aerial map and their memories. There have been a couple of requests for us to put the newspaper articles together so that they can be reread and we intend to do that. Out of the day we have arranged another excursion to see some of the roads that used to exist but are now fading from the memory of most people.
Quite a group assembled to car pool to Mingus’s Crossing where we met our leader for the day, Jon Butler. Peter Skilbeck had made a collection of old maps from the courthouse collection and there was lively discussion about the area we were going to and just what was the site of the old Newstead hotel. Theories abound and continue to be researched. Maybe we will know one day!
From here we travelled along the old road, which although it is at times under water, was in remarkably good condition with just a few potholes to be avoided in the tarmac that still remained. A couple of stops were made along the way. First was the site of Cassidy’s farm with its gateposts and palms remaining as testament to its former life. Then we made a stop at the site of the old Joyces Creek Railway Station. Here there was not as much to be seen but a short walk revealed the raised levels of the former platform and a few old posts. At last we made it all the way to the site of the old Joyces Creek township where we had our afternoon tea and listened to stories of the old days including Jon’s memories of riding on horseback to the school. From here it was possible to see the road that used to go from Joyces Creek to Baringhup, the remains of the old railway bridge and the crossing that went to the previous site of the school on the other side of the creek where the tragic drowning occurred in 1919. Thanks to Jon Butler for leading us and passing on his memories for us to share.
As an outcome of our display at the courthouse, Kevin Leathbridge has offered to take us out to see some more “forgotten” roads that are often covered by the waters of the reservoir. Next Monday at 1.30 pm, assemble at the courthouse if you are interested in seeing them. We will set off along the Maldon road, travel down to the reservoir at some point, then travel up by Baringhup to the western side of the reservoir.
Baringhup are celebrating the anniversary of Cairn Curran as well. On Sunday May 28th they will commence the day at the weir with a short address and an unveiling of a commemorative plaque and trips to inspect the tunnel under the weir. Following this people will go to the Baringhup Hall where a sausage sizzle will be available and a display of memorabilia plus a 40-minute slide presentation of historic photos. They are also inviting people to join a panel to reflect on that time. This will be followed by afternoon tea organised by the Baringhup Fire brigade.
In June we have the chance to see another site connected with Cairn Curran. This time we will go to Park Hill where Sarah Ferguson has kindly offered to show us the historic property. The details are – leaving from the courthouse at 1.30 pm on June 26th.
NEXT MEETING AND A GUEST SPEAKER
It was suggested that we invite Sara Martin as our guest speaker for our annual meeting. However Sara has been overseas and we have arranged instead for her to come to our June 19th meeting. Sara impressed those who heard her speak at a seminar in Castlemaine and for us will have a general discussion about researching families in the central Victorian Goldfields. The meeting will be at 7.30 pm and then Sara will speak.
BOOK ON THE MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE
Considerable work has been done by one of our members researching the history of the Newstead Mechanics’ Institute. Adrian Haas then passed it over to the Society to do with as we wished. We are really excited and hope to announce its publication in the near future. More on that later.
DATES TO REMEMBER
Monday 22nd May excursion with Kevin Leathbridge leaving courthouse at 1.30 pm.
Sunday 28th May Baringhup celebrations
Monday 19th June next meeting & guest speaker Sara Martin at courthouse at 7.30 pm.
Monday 26th June excursion to Park Hill leaving from courthouse at 1.30 pm
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