Camden · Colonial Camden · Cowpastures · Uncategorized

175th Anniversary of Camden’s foundation, 1840-2015

A Photographic Essay 

View of the Government Hut at Cowpastures, 1804. State Library of NSW SSV1B / Cowp D / 1
The township was established near the Government Hut that was as the accommodation used by the constables who were employed to guard the entrance of Cowpastures Reserve for the wild cattle in 1804 near the ford across the Nepean River. State Library of NSW SSV1B / Cowp D / 1

 

Carinya Cottage c.1890 (Camden Historical Society)
Carinya Cottage c.1890 is typical of brick Edwardian cottages across the district that was closely associated with the Paxton and Cross family. The cottage was unfortunately demolished in 2010 to make way for a new housing estate. (Camden Historical Society)

 

Little Sandy with footbridge across the Nepean River at Camden c.1950. Diving board in foreground. (Camden Images)
Little Sandy footbridge across the Nepean River at Camden c.1950 with a diving board in foreground. The location was a popular spot for swimming and other water activities. In the 1920s and 1930s this part of the river was the location of the Camden Swimming Club. The footbridge was constructed during the Second World War as a training exercise for troops from the Narellan Military Camp. (Camden Images)

 

The Nepean River has shaped the Camden’s sense of place and the image shows Nepean River below the Cowpasture Bridge in 1900 in the vicinity of the ford mentioned by Governor Macquarie. The low state of the river indicates the effect of the Federation drought (mid 1890s-1902) on the local area. (Camden Images/CA Poole)

 

 

Camden's Argyle St (Hume Highway) in 1938 with Rural Bank on left looking east (Camden Images)
Camden’s Argyle Street (the Hume Highway) in 1938 with the Rural Bank and Bank of New South Wales on the left. The setback and height of the buildings in Argyle has not changed in 70 years. The key buildings are still identifiable from the same location at the John Street round-about. (Camden Images)

 

The Georgian Revival style Bank of New South Wales building was constructed in 1936 at 121-123 Argyle St, Camden. The bank manager and his family lived on the upper level in a self-contained flat. (I Willis)

 

Central Camden c1930s (Camden Images)
Central Camden in the early 1930s with the Woolpack Inn on the corner of John and Argyle Streets and the Commercial Banking Co building is on the opposite side of John Street. (Camden Images)

 

An Edwardian weatherboard cottage at 64 John Street Camden is typical of domestic architecture of the town and surrounding district in the early 20th century. At this time John Street was still unpaved, while guttering was constructed on block stone. ( J Riley)

 

 

Located on the Hume Highway the Tudor style Camden Valley Inn was built in 1938 as a milk bar to sell the Gold Top Camden Vale milk brand from Camden Park. Designed by architect Cyral Ruwald and constructed by builder Herb English. (Camden Images)

 

Cafes were a popular stop on the Hume Highway in central Camden serving milk shakes, hamburgers and mixed grills. Howlett’s Cafe was located at 159 Argyle Street show in this 1954 image. (Camden Images)

 

During the Second World War a number of airmen were killed in flying accidents in squadrons that statioed at RAAF Base at Camden Airfield. They are buried at Camden War Cemetery on a rise on Cawdor Road. (I Willis)
Camden Airfield was the location of the RAAF Central Flying School at the beginning of the Second World War training pilots and air crew for the Empire Training Scheme.

 

Coal mining added wealth in the post-war years and quite a few fibro cottages were constructed at Elderslie to provide accommodation for mine workers. They are an identifiable part of Camden modernism. (I Willis)
Local identity Llewella Davies was a member of the Camden Voluntary Aid Detachment, the paramilitary auxiliary of the Red Cross, that was part of the Second World War homefront war effort. (CHS0614)
camden_003
St John’s Church has been the moral heart of Camden’s sense of place since the church was constructed during the 1840s. It is located at the top of John Street which was unsealed in this image from the 1890s. (Camden Images)

 

The Hume Highway brought all aspects of modernism to the town from Sydney including motoring and consumerism at the Spanish Mission style Cooks Garage at the corner of Elizabeth and Argyle Street Camden in 1936 (Camden Images)

Source: Camden Images

Camden · Entertainment · Modernism · Narellan · Uncategorized

Narellan ‘Gayline’ Drive-In Movie Theatre

Gayline Drive-In Signage at Narellan (I Willis)
Gayline Drive-In Signage at Narellan (I Willis)

 

A notable part of Camden modernism that has disappeared is the drive-in movie theatre. The Narellan Gayline Drive-in Movie Theatre was one of the notable attractions in the local area between the 1960s and 1980s located on Morshead Road, Narellan (now Narellan Vale). Along with rock ‘n roll, transistor radios, the bikini, the mini-skirt, it marked the lifestyle of the baby boomers. Always popular with teenagers and  young families. The drive-in movie theatre was a defining moment in the district for a 20th century culture that was based around the icons of the period: cars and movies.

Robert Freestone writes that the drive-in theatre arrived in New South Wales in 1956 and by the 1970s there were 14 drive-ins in the Sydney area including the Gayline. The drive-in was a ‘signifier of modernity’ with its the twin imperatives consumption and comfort in the private space of the motor car. The drive-in reflected the growing influence of the US in the 1950s, the force of suburbanisatio and the democracy of car ownership. The first drive-in Australia was the Burwood drive-in in Melbourne in 1954. In New South Wales drive-ins came under the control of the Theatres and Public Halls Act 1908-1946 and were heavily regulated compared to Victoria under the Theatres and Films Commission. Under the planning restrictions in New South Wales, according to Freestone, drive-ins could not be closer than 4 miles to each other, accessed by a side-road, away from airports, and positioned not to distract passing traffic. The first Sydney drive-in was the MGM Chullora Twin Drive-In which opened in 1956 by the Premier Cahill. In the 1970s there were more than 300 drive-ins across Australia.

During its heyday the drive-in was very popular. It was very democratic, where a FJ Holden could be parked next to a Mercedes Benz. The drive in was a relaxed, laid back way to see the movies. The whole family went to the movies, including the kids. Parents could have night off and not have to clean up, dress up or hire a baby-sitter. Families took blankets, quilts and pillows and when the kids faded out they  slept on the car’s back seat. A young mother could walk around with her new baby without disturbing other patrons.

Operators

Ted Frazer, the owner/operator, of the Gayline Drive-In  was  a picture show man. The Frazers had cinemas on the South Coast, at Scarborough and Lake Illawarra. At Scarborough they operated the Gala Movie Theatre.  It was established in 1950 and had sessions on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights and  Saturday matinee.  The family ran movies in the local progress hall at Lake Illawarra.

Terry Frazer said’ ‘We were the only family operated drive-in, all the others in the Sydney area were run by Greater Union or Hoyts’.

Terry Frazer considered that the business was successful over the years that it operated at Narellan. He said, ‘It was a family business and my son did some projection work. The kids worked in the shop as did our wives’.

The high point of the drive-in’s success was in the early 1970s. Terry’s brother Kevin Frazer and his wife Lorraine Frazer were in the business from the early 1970s. As a family business we had separate jobs to do and you did not interfere with others.

The Gayline showed a mixture of movies. When patrons rolled in they put the hook-on-window-speaker, and occasionally drove off with it still attached after the movie finished. In the 1970s when some were closing down the Gayline resisted the trend, but had to adjust to colour TV and daylight saving with later starts. Like other drive ins during the 1980s it dished up a diet of soft porn and horror movies to compete with videos and colour TV.  In 1975 colour TV had an effect, but a larger impact was the introduction of video in 1983-84. It contributed to killing off the drive-ins. Terry thinks that apart from videos RBT  {RBT became law in NSW in 1985} had an effect.

Terry Frazer said

Things went in cycles.  The writing was on the wall in the early 80s. We knew it was pointless keeping going full-time and we only operated part-time, on Friday and Saturday nights. We had family working in the shop. We  eventually closed in 1990. Land developers were making offers to Dad for the site.  Dad built a house in 1971. It was a cream brick Cosmopolitan home in Gayline Ave. It is still there.

Foundation

Ted Frazer located the drive in at Narellan because it was going to be part of the ‘Three Cities Growth Area’ (1973) that was part of the Sydney Region Outline Plan (1968) and  land was a reasonable price.

The opening night was in November 1967 and first movie was Lt Robin Crusoe USN {Walt Disney, 1966, Technicolor, starring Dick Van Dyke, Nancy Kwan}

Drive in 2
Narellan Gayline Drive in with caravan next to projection room. Ted Frazer would stop over night in the caravan. (T Frazer)

Size of drive-in

Terry Frazer recalls

We could fit in 575 cars. The surface was asphalt and we were always patching it. It was part of the maintenance of the site.

We had to have a licence for motion pictures.

Screen

The screen, according to Terry Frazer, was made from zincaneal sheeting. Mr Frazer recalls

Rivetted together on a rear timber frame. All mounted on a steel frame made by a local engineering company. It was hoisted up by a crane. On either end there were cables and shackles, with a platform with safety rails that you manually wind up with a handle up the front of the screen. You would use it to clean the screen or repaint it white. I painted the screen with a roller.

NTS speakers still mount the junction boxes Narellan Gayline Drive-in (I Willis)
NTS speakers still mount the junction boxes Narellan Gayline Drive-in (I Willis)

Sound

The speakers had a volume control and small speaker. The family brought in Radio Cinema Sound in the mid to late 1970s. The customers had  a choice of old style speaker or radio as not all cars had radios.  Terry Frazer would go around all the speakers on Fridays and check for sound quality. There were red back spiders under the concrete blocks that had the speaker post. Terry recalls:

that just before the end of the show he would remind patrons to put the speakers back on the post before they left. Some would still drive off with them attached. The drive-in had a PA system through the speaker system.

Sessions

Mr Frazer stated

Sessions started at 7.30pm, except in daylight saving when it was 8.30pm. In busy periods we had double sessions – 7.30pm and midnight. Always two features. Always had the lighter movie on first and the feature on 2nd half. In the 1980s we still had a double feature.

Narellan Drive-In
Narellan Gayline Drive in – Narellan Road was behind the screen. It was a 2 lane road from Narellan to Campbelltown.  Poultry farms in background. (T Frazer)

Terry Frazer recalls:

For the midnight session there could be a queue down Moreshead Road out onto Narellan Road waiting to get in. It was a horror movie session from 12.00am to 3.00am.

On some popular Saturday nights we may not be able to get all the cars in. At one stage in the 1970s we considered having two sessions 7.00pm and 10.00pm.

We would advertise sessions in the Sydney papers under the Greater Union adverts every night of the week. We would run adverts in the local papers each week.

Movies and Slides

The feature films could be long movies, eg, Sound of Music, Great Escape. They had an intermission cut into the movie.

Terry Frazer remembers:

We changed the movie programme on Thursdays. We dealt with MGM, Paramount, 20th Century-Fox and Columbia. They were all around the city. You would go to each one to pick up the print [film]. Some of these amalgamated later on. Paramount and Fox were off Goulburn and Elizabeth Streets, Columbia at Rozelle. My father [Ted Frazer] would go in early to book the programme and I would drop off the old programme. You would hope it was a good print, otherwise  I would have to repair the film by doing joins. I used a brush and cement, and later we went to tape. You would make a perfect joint.

You would join up the trailers and a short feature. You would hook then into the front of the spool to make less changeovers.

If a movie went well it would run for 2-3 weeks if the print was not booked out anywhere else. There were usually a lot of prints, so if a movie went well you could keep a print for another week.

For the big movies the city cinemas got 1st release. We could get lessor movies as 1st release and run with other features.

Terry Frazer observed that,

as an independent [screen] we got a reasonable go at it’.

For the lessor movies we paid a certain figure . Top movies were worked on a percentage basis, 50:50, 60:40 [of takings]. Some companies would check the number of cars at the drive-in by sending representatives out. One independent movie producer, Ably Mangles, came out to check the number of cars. He was on a percentage basis.

Independent movies were popular.

Glass slides were provided by David Koffel [advertising agency] as a finished product.

 

Projection

Terry Frazer was the projectionist and recalls:.

The slide projector was carbon arc slide projector. The movie projector was an English Kalee 35 mm projector. It had a carbon arc feed mirror for its light source. It had a manual feed.  You had to thread up each spool which would last 20 minutes. There were 2 movie projectors and one slide projector. You would load one up ready for the next one to start. While the movie was running you would go out to the rewind room and manually rewind the spool for the next night’s screening.

Promotion for Narellan Gayline Drive-In 1970s (The Crier)

Advertising

Terry Frazer remembers:

We had glass slides showing advertising during  intermission and before the show. We would run 70 glass slides showing adverts for local businesses. Local business  would buy advertising. The local representative of the advertising agency would go around local businesses. The advertising agency was David Koffel. There were good money from advertising local businesses. Later the advertising agency changed to Val Morgan.

The Experience of the Drive-in

Memories flood back for baby-boomers of the rainy night when they tried to watch the movie with the windscreen wipers going. Or the car windscreen fogging up. Or the winter’s night when the fog rolled in from Narellan Creek. Or the relaxed ambiance of a balmy moonlite summer’s night.

The experience of the drive-in is the strongest memory for regular movie goers. People rarely talk about the movie they saw but can remember with great detail the whole experience of the drive-in. The smell of the food, the sound of the cars, the queues to get in, the walk for hotdogs and drinks. The night out with the girl friend and the passionate night’s entertainment. Orr the night out as a youngster with the family dressed as you were in pyjamas and slippers.

The Gayline Drive In was not only attractive to young families it offered local teenagers freedom from the restrictions of home. Lots of local teenagers had access to cars and found the drive in an ideal place for a date and some canoodling and smooching. It was quite a coupe to get Dad’s car and show off to your mates or the girlfriend. The drive in was a place to see and be seen. It was a big deal.  One of the favourite lurks of teenagers was to fill the boot of the car with people, so they did not have to pay. Once inside they were let out. If you drove a station wagon you reversed the car into the spot and lay in the back of the wagon, wrapped up in a blanket. Others would bring their deck-chairs, put them in the back of the ute, enjoy a drink and a smoke, and watch the movie.

 

The Shop

The drive in movies offered an experience, whether at the snack bar which sold banana fritters, hot dogs, battered savs, Chiko Rolls, pop corn, chips, choc tops, ice-creams, Jaffas, Minties and Hoadley’s Violet Crumble. The Narellan Gayline Drive-in had a large screen, a projector booth, a children’s playground and a large parking area.

Terry Frazer recalls:

Mum controlled the shop and kitchen. In the early 1970s she had 7-8 working in the shop. Later on there was only one permanent girl. In the 1970s the restaurant had 8-10 tables. Mum would cook T-Bone steak with salad and other dishes. Originally Mum did steak and fish dinners for a few years. Then she went to hot dogs, hamburgers, toasted sandwiches, banana fritters and ice-cream which was very popular, fish and chips, steak sandwiches were popular, chiko rolls later on. They were quick and easy. Mum would pre-prepare  the hot dogs and hamburgers. She would make what she needed based on how many came in the gate. At the break everyone (patrons) would rush down to the shop and queue up 6-7 deep and wanted quick service.

We had snack chocolates, pop-corn. The only ice-creams were choc-tops because the margins were bigger. Drinks were cordial and water in paper cups, there would good  margins. We were the last to change over to canned soft drinks. Most drive-ins did the same.

Customers could sit in the  outside area and watch the movie from the building. A handful of patrons would walk in, usually local kids, sit in front of the shop and watch the movie. All under cover.

The shop did fabulous business until the US takeaways arrived.  McDonalds and KFC {mid to late 1970s in Campbelltown} changed things. Customers would bring these takeaways or bring there own eats.

Patrons

Terry Frazer remembers:

Some of the patrons would like to have a drink. Terry recalls a groups of blokes in the late 1960s who came in a table top truck. They parked the truck and got out their folding chairs and had an 18 gallon keg. I think they finished the keg. It was hard to tell.

You would get guys on motorbikes. We had all sorts of patrons, stories that you could not print. We had a bucks party one night.

In early 1970s there were panel vans which were carpeted and done up. The young fellows would reverse into position and open the doors to watch the movie.

The drive-in was a good nights family entertainment. It was a full nights entertainment for families. There was the kids playground. Mum and Dad could watch the movie. The regulars were young families who could not afford baby sitters. They would pile the kids in the car in their pyjamas and come to the drive-in.

Terry Frazer recalls:

that they would always say the drive-in was one business that added to the population growth of the area. There was a lot of making out [pashing] amongst the young couples who were regulars.

Patrons could get out of their cars and go for a walk. People wandered around.

Different uses

Frazer stated:

At Easter there were church meetings. They constructed a huge stand in front of the screen. It went on for 3-4 years in the early 1970s [a trend copied from the USA]. It was a drive-in church. The Frazers could not recall which church group.

There were car shows in the 1970s.

An independent movie was made at the drive-in. They set up the rails and so they could move along to set a scene. Some scenes in the movie were shot at Thirlmere. A local, Lyle Leonard, had his car in it. They shot a number of scenes at the drive-in. Cannot remember the name of the movie.

Inclement Weather

Frazer remembers:

In wet weather we waited until it was really wet and would tell the patrons to come to the shop and we would give them a pass for the following night.

We could get completely fogged out. The light beam could not penetrate the fog. We would close up and give a pass for the following night. It was worst in April and May.

People would come from a long way for a certain movie in really bad weather you would give them a refund.

If it was drizzling, Lyn Frazer recalls, that patrons could rub ½ an onion onto the windscreen and you could see.

 Narellan township

Narellan township in 1967 [when we set up] only had 6 shops. There was always a takeaway, next door to the current cheesecake shop [on Camden Valley Way]. There was only a very small shopping centre.

All that is left of the Narellan Gayline Drive-In a street sign. (I Willis, 2008)
All that is left of the Narellan Gayline Drive-In a street sign. (I Willis, 2008)

The End

The Gayline Drive In eventually closed down, like many in the Sydney area, when residential development at Narellan Vale started to grow and land was more valuable as real estate. Unfortunately lifestyles have changed and people prefer the comfort of suburban movie theatres at Campbelltown and shortly at Narellan. Although the tradition of outdoor movies and all their attractions for young families and teenagers are not dead in our area. They have made a come back in the local area, as well as other parts of Sydney, in recent years in the form of movies under the stars at venues like Mt Annan Botanic Gardens and Macarthur Park.

Mrs Alma Rootes

Mrs Alma Rootes was  a kitchen hand/shop assistant in the shop at the Narellan Gayline Drive-In from 1967-1975 until she became pregnant with her fourth child.

Mrs Roots with retirement gift
Mrs Alma Roots with retirement gift from Frazer family. Alma worked at the Narellan Gayline Drive-In for many years (I Willis, 2008)

Mrs Rootes recalls:

I thought I had better go when I got pregnant. Alan [Alma’s husband] said that the Mrs Frazer was concerned she would slip in the kitchen or have an accident as Alma was so heavy (pregnant). Mrs Frazer was concerned about her insurance position. The Frazers gave me a silver teapot when I left in 1975 [photo].

I was  paid the wages of the day.  I enjoyed my time there. It was a good place to work. Driving home was not good, sometimes there would be huge fogs. Alan (husband) would take the kids and they would sometimes drive me home.

I have lived at Bringelly for around 50 years. I originally came from Lakemba.

I worked in the kitchen and served at the counter. We did fish and chips, hamburgers, banana fritters and Pluto pups (a battered sav) and other things such as lollies.  People would come into the shop before the movie was screened to buy fish and chips. Fish and chips went really well. They would have their dinner. We would pre-prepare food for sale before interval. It wasn’t easy there would always be a rush at interval. I would work on the hot food.

We made hundreds and hundreds of ice-creams. They had a  chocolate coating. You would scoop out the ice-cream out of a drum-type container. You would put a small scoop in the bottom of the cone and a bigger one on the top and dip in the warm chocolate. The chocolate was in a stainless steel bowl. Mrs Frazer always wanted to give value for money [referring to the two scoops].We would do this  before interval. The banana fritters were battered bananas, deep fried and sprinkled with icing sugar.

On Friday and Saturday nights Mr Frazer would help on the counter in the shop, with the lollies. There would be 2-3 working in the kitchen. On quiet nights the Mrs Frazer would run things on her  own. There was another lady, her name was Lyn, I think. Kevin would come out and work in the shop if there was a rush. Sometimes the movie would start and we would not be finished serving. The customers could see out of the shop to the screen. After the show we would clean up.

The shop had a glass front facing the screen with two doors for entry to the sales area. There was a counter at one end was lollies and ice-creams, in the middle was hot food. There was a door behind the counter to the kitchen. The kitchen had counters down either wall, with a deep fry at one end.

 

 

 

A story about the Narellan Gayline Drive-In (The Crier)
A story about the Narellan Gayline Drive-In (The Crier, 20 May 1987))

Sources: Terry Frazer, Interview, Camden, 2008.  Alma Rootes, Interview, Bringelly, 2010.

Reference: Robert Freestone, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Sydney Drive-In’, in Paul Hogben and Judith O’Callaghan, Leisure Space, The Transformation of Sydney 1945-1970, UNSW Press, Sydney, 2014.

Did you visit the drive in at Narellan? What was your experience? Do you have any photos? Tell us your memories.

Read more about the Outdoor Movie Theatre and Drive-In Movie Theatres

Read more on Australian Drive-In Movie Theatres and @ Drive-ins Downunder 

Read about the Blacktown Skyline Drive In – the last drive-in in the Sydney area and here

Read about the history of the Yatala Drive-In in Queensland

Read about drive-ins  2007_SMH_They’ve long been history; now drive-ins are historical

Read about the Lunar Drive-In in Victoria

Facebook Comments: Camden History Notes

Warwick Storey I remember going to that drive in with hilarie. It was only 500m up the road for her place. (12 January 2016)

Richard Barnes Watched ghost busters there with my dad..(11 January 2016)

Dianne Vitali Watched many a movie over the years!! B (11 January 2016)

Ian Icey Campbell Use to. Go there in my Escort Panel van,lol. (11 January 2016)

Lauren Robinson I live on this drive in! (11 January 2016)

 

Nell Raine Bruce  Such fun times we had there. Before we could drive we would walk and sit on the veranda of the cafeteria and watch the movie. The good old days, wish it was still there. (Facebook, 22 June 2015) 

Eric Treuer  I remember going there thinking that the drive in was for gays. I was very young at the time. Lol  (Facebook, 22 June 2015) 

Gail Coppola  Had great times there.Listening to the movies and the cows lol  (Facebook, 22 June 2015)

Jan Carbis  Went there many times….great memories  (Facebook, 22 June 2015)

Barbara Brook Swainston I remember it well!  (Facebook, 22 June 2015)

Adam Rorke My lawyers have advised me to say nothing….. (22 June 2015)

Chris Addison What is it now houses kids used to love going there (22 June 2015) 

Justin Cryer i remember going out to here with the whole family hahaha wow (22 June 2015)

Graham Mackie Saw smokie and the bandit there as a kid (22 June 2015)

Jan Carbis Went there many times….great memories (22 June 2015) 

Robert Rudd Movie news that’s for sure gots lots of oh doesn’t matter (22 June 2015) 

Dianne Bunbury We had one in Horsham when I was growing up – 1960s era. (22 June 2015)

Robert Waddell Watched Convoy with a few other families, as us kids played on the swings.ET was the last movie I saw there,it was great because families used to enjoy spending time together back then,El Cabalo Blanco,Bullens Animal World,Paradise Gardens all family activities all closed now because of these so called social networks,play stations,Xboxes etc the family unit has broken down and it’s a very big shame.Have a BBQ with your neighbours take your kids on picnics enjoy family time it’s over to quickly people life is too short by far!!. (23 June 2015)

Kay Gale Great nite out was had many years ago wow (23 June 2015)

Graham Mackie Saw smokie and the bandit there as a kid (23 June 2015)

Jacque Eyles The midnight horror nights! Loved it (23 June 2015)

Vicki Henkelman The Hillman Minx and pineapple fritters life was good !! I also had a speaker in the shed for years oops ! (23 June 2015)

Meg Taylor Soooo many memories (23 June 2015)

Kim Girard Luved it great times (23 June 2015)

Robert Waddell Watched Convoy with a few other families, as us kids played on the swings.ET was the last movie I saw there,it was great because families used to enjoy spending time together back then,El Cabalo Blanco,Bullens Animal World,Paradise Gardens all family activities all closed now because of these so called social networks,play stations,Xboxes etc the family unit has broken down and it’s a very big shame.Have a BBQ with your neighbours take your kids on picnics enjoy family time it’s over to quickly people life is too short by far!!. (23 June 2015)

Kerry Perry Bring back the good times movie,chick,and food (24 June 2015)

Julie Cleary We would back the panelvan in and watch in comfort… So fun! (24 June 2015)

Mick Faber Great memories at the drive in . 12 of us snuck in one night in the back of a mates milk van. More of a party than a movie night. (24 June 2015)

Kathleen Dickinson Holy geez I think I even remember were that used to be! Lol (23 June 2015)

Mandy Ellis-Fletcher Those were the days… Camden / narellan changed so much..(23 June 2015)

Matthew Gissane We went down through Camden for a Sunday drive last … er … Sunday, and anyhow, we followed the Old Razorback Road up to Mt Hercules. Fabulous vista from up there. Didn’t see the Gayline though. 23 June at 22:39
Greg Black wasn’t aware of the Gayline, …. I do like Camden and the surrounding areas, nice countryside (in the 60’s used to go there with m & d to watch the parachutin’…) 23 June at 23:39
Greg Black Some of the patrons would like to have a drink. Terry recalls a groups of blokes in the late 1960s who came in a table top truck. They parked the truck and got out their folding chairs and had an 18 gallon keg. I think they finished the keg. It was hard to tell. 23 June at 23:46 
Gary Mcdonald You don’t see them aany more  23 June at 14:18  
Sonya Buck Remember seeing American Werewolf in London here Julie Rolph  23 June at 15:58
Leanne Hall Remember getting in the boot to save money oh those were the days  23 June at 09:13 
Ian Walton How many of you went there in the boot of a car, dusk till dawn R rated  23 June at 20:08
Sharon Dal Broi How many fitted in your boot Ian Walton 23 June at 20:09
Ian Walton may be 2 but i never did that HAHA 23 June at 20:11
Ian Walton It was only a small car 23 June at 20:26
Keven Wilkins I remember that guy “movie news”(shit I’m old)lol  1 · 23 June at 22:02
Narelle Willcox We went to the skyline  23 June at 11:36
Graham Reeves went there nearly every weekend, got thrown out a few times as well  23 June at 05:01
Sonia Ellery 22 June at 20:37 This was a great drive in!
Vicky Wallbank omg that was a long time ago but i still remember it ..and used to visit there  1 · 22 June at 21:24
Kris Cummins Look them beautiful paddocks turned to shit 1 · 22 June at 20:06
Adrian Mainey Went there as a kid biff that’s a classic  1 · 22 June at 20:36
Nick Flatman Golden memories  Spent a number of trips in the boot  22 June at 20:50
Craig Biffin & back of ute or wagon  1 · 22 June at 20:52
Nicolle Wilby Ha ha Nick I did too under blankets and stuff!  22 June at 21:40
Anthony Ayrz i remember it well,,,,, thought it was called Skyline….. full of houses now,,,,, can still pick put exactly where it was…. i was about 7 when my parents took us there a few times….. remember going to the bankstown one with my parents friends in the boot…. and we got away with it!!!!  22 June at 21:28
Stephen Burke I did go there a few times. I did forget the name  23 June at 07:08
William John Russell That was where i grew up was part of the old mans original property 1 · 22 June at 20:15
Chris Townsend I remember it well .Drive – In great . Council sucked .( Over the name )  22 June at 22:53
William John Russell The reason it was named gayline is because the owners lost their young daughter named Gay  1 · 23 June at 07:34

 

 

 

Colonial Camden · Cowpastures · Governor Macquarie · Uncategorized

Macquarie returns to the Cowpastures

Governor Macquarie (SLNSW)
Governor Macquarie (SLNSW)

Governor Macquarie returned for his third visit to the Cowpastures in 1820. Macquarie and his party set out from Parramatta Monday 16 October 1820 and journeyed through the Cowpasture in southern New South Wales. They returned to the Cowpasture on 3 November 1820.

Read for yourself Governor Macquarie’s journal of the trip.

Extracts from the Journal of Governor Lachlan Macquarie 1820

Monday 16. October. 1820.
Having resolved on making a Tour of Inspection to the new Country some time since discovered by Charles Throsby Esqr. to the South West of the Cow Pastures, I set out this morning at Half past Six o’clock from Parramatta on my intended Tour in my Carriage, with my old faithful Valet George Jarvis, having previously taken an early leave of all that is dear to me in life.
I sent off my Heavy Baggage on Friday last the 13th. Instant, together with my Servants under charge of Thomas Evans the Orderly Dragoon,
appointed for this duty with orders to halt at Stone Quarry Creek in the Cow Pastures till my arrival there. The Party to accompany me on this Tour  consists of Major Antill, Lt. Macquarie, Mr. Meehan, Dr. Reid R. Navy, the Revd. Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Throsby; the two latter, and
Mr. Meehan having appointed to meet me at Liverpool or on the road beyond it. Halted at Liverpool to Breakfast and bait our Horses. At
9 o’clock set out from Liverpool; the Revd. Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Meehan having joined me there. Travelled  in my Carriage by the
Bringelly and Cow Pasture Roads, to the Ford of the River Nepean at the Governor’s Hut where I was met by Mr. David Johnston the Supdt. of Govt.Stock and Mr. Charker the Prinl. Overseer of Govt. Stock, to guide the Carriage across the River and afterwards to the Prinl. Govt. StockYard.

View of the Government Hut at Cowpastures, 1804. State Library of NSW SSV1B / Cowp D / 1
View of the Government Hut at Cowpastures, 1804. State Library of NSW SSV1B / Cowp D / 1

I crossed the Ford on Horseback and found it very firm and good. The Carriage also passed it without any difficulty. After passing the Ford, I
went again into the Carriage to the Govt. Stock Yard, travelling all the way through a beautiful rich  Parklike Tract of Country; the Stock Yard being 3 miles from the Ford. From the Govt. Cottage built some time since for the residence of the Overseer of Stock, there is a very fine Picturesque view of the Surrounding Country and of Mount Hunter in the foreground there being most excellent Pasturage for the Government cattle at this station. I inspected the Govt. Herds, consisting of 550 Head of young Cows & Steers, in two separate Herds. After inspecting the Cattle, we were entertained by Mr. Johnston with a very neat cold collation, wine & spirits which  we all  partook of very cheerfully.
Having finished our repast I mounted my Horse  Sultan and rode along with the other Gentlemen  over the Hills by a short cut to Stone Quarry Creek; Joseph proceeding the longer way, by Mr. McArthur’s Camden Farm to the same station, having by that route 14 miles to go which we go in 10 on Horseback. We passed through some very rich verdant Vallies between Mounts Taurus and  Hunter before we ascended the Ridge which
connects them. We stopped for Half an Hour at  the large Govt. new Paddock within Half a Mile  of Stone Quarry Creek to examine the Govt. Invalid Herd at that station and found them greatly  improved. This is the station where the Wild Cattle are first brought when caught to be
reclaimed. The Stockmen had the good fortune of driving in 19 Head this morning which  I found in a separate Paddock and  in very tolerable good condition.
From the New StockYard,  we pursued our Journey to Stone Quarry Creek where we arrived at 1/2 past 4 o’clock and found all our Servants and
Baggage all snug and safe encamped on the South Side of the Creek. Joseph arrived with the Carriage in half an Hour after us. The Servants stupidly enough, had not Pitched our Tents; neither had they prepared any Dinner for us, which was still worse; but, as we had all made a hearty meal at Mr. Johnston’s, it was of the less consequence. Our Tents were immediately Pitched and the Cook soon roasted a couple of Fowls for us, and we sat down to a very good Dinner at 6 o’clock. Before I left the Govt. Stock Yard, where we first Halted and took our Lunch today, I was so much pleased with the Beauty of the Situation of that spot, that I was induced to name it “Cawdor” in honor of my dearest Elizabeth’s Family; this Place having no particular name or designation before. I ordered also that two addl. Rooms should be added to the Cottage at Cawdor for my own and Succeeding Governors’ accommodation whenever  I may happen to visit this part of the Country.We
sat a very short time at Dinner had Tea and went early to Bed.

On the Cowpasture Road / Chrisr: Bunbury’s. from Views of Sydney and Surrounding District by Edward Mason, ca. 1821-1823; 1892. State Library of NSW PXC 459
On the Cowpasture Road / Chrisr: Bunbury’s. from Views of Sydney and Surrounding District by Edward Mason, ca. 1821-1823; 1892. State Library of NSW PXC 459

 

Tuesday 17th. October 1820.
We all got up by 5 o’clock this morning had  the Baggage loaded and  Breakfasted at 1/2 past 5 o’clock. The whole of the Baggage did not get
off, however till 7 o’clock. Wishing to see some parts of the Country where the carriage could not travel through I desired Joseph  to follow the Baggage with it, whilst I mounted Sultan and rode with the gentlemen of my suite and Mr. David Johnston and Charker who accompanied me yesterday from Cawdor to the StockYard at Stone Quarry Creek. We rode  over some very fine rich Pasture Grounds and crossed several gentle Hills admirably well adapted for sheep. I  also examined a most eligible situation on the North Bank of this Creek for a Township whenever this desirable part of the Country is Settled.Mr. Johnston & Charker accompanied us for about 7 miles on the way to Bargo and on our getting
on the regular made Road by which the Carriage and Baggage went, they took their leave of us to return to Cawdor.

 

I entrusted Mr. Johnston with a Letter I had written last night to Mrs. M. with  directions to forward it to her to Parramatta.We overtook the Carriage and Baggage soon after we had crossed the Bargo River, and were soon afterwards joined by Mr. Throsby as we Passed through Bargo. This is rather a barren Country, very few Parts of it being fit for Cultivation. After passing through Bargo, we entered a very  long Barren Scrubby Brush of 9 miles in extent now named Kennedy’s Brush in honor of the Person of that name who first passed through it with the Natives. We then entered the Tract of Country called Mittagong, and at Half past 2 o’clock arrived at Kannabygle’s Plains, where we encamped and Halted for this day; this Place being 24 miles in a South westerly direction from Stone Quarry Creek which is rather too long a Journey for Heavy Loaded carts, some of which did not arrive on the Ground for Two Hours and a quarter after the two light carts had come to their Ground; some parts of the Road being very rough and stoney. The Ground we have encamped on today is a very pretty spot, on the edge of a rich extensive Meadow, with a chain of fine Fresh Water Ponds in front of our Tents, and  excellent Forage for our cattle. We dined at six, Drank Tea at 8, and retired to Bed a little after 9 o’clock.

Governor Macquarie proceeded into southern New South Wales and returned to the Cowpasture weeks later.

View of the farm of J. Hassel [Hassall] Esqr. Cow Pastures, New South Wales by Augustus Earle, c. 1825. State Library of NSW PXD 265, f. 2
View of the farm of J. Hassel [Hassall] Esqr. Cow Pastures, New South Wales by Augustus Earle, c. 1825. State Library of NSW PXD 265, f. 2

Saturday 4. November 1820.
It rained a good deal in the course of the Night but  was fair when we got up at 5 this morning. We Breakfasted a little before 6 o’clock, and the
last of the Bagage, [sic] and ourselves set out a qr. before 7. It came on pretty smart rain at that hour. Travelling  through Stone Quarry Creek &
southern parts of the Cow Pastures, and Mr. McArthur’s Farms of upper & lower Camden, where we stopt to take some Refreshment and
having also examined the Govt. Flocks of Sheep, we arrived at Cawdor at a qr. after 4. p.m. where we found all our Baggage had arrived a few
minutes only before us; the Road they came being only 24 miles, while our Route hither being circuitous was at least 35 miles.
We viewed all the Govt. Cattle here & found them in very fine order; Dressed & dined at Six drank Tea at 8 and went to Bed at 9 o’clock.
We found Mr. David Johnston Supdt. of Govt. Stock, waiting for us at Cawdor.

Sunday 5. November 1820

This  being a Resting & Halting Day, we slept a little longer and did not get up till 6 o’clock this morning and Breakfasted between 7 & 8 o’clock.
At  9, we set out on a long Ride to see the Govt. Herds stationed at Lowe’s Hill to the Northward of  this Station distant about 7 miles. After
we had seen and examined the Cattle, we travelled for 2 or  3 miles more along the Left Bank of the River  Nepean, opposite to Coppetty then
returned to the Hill hitherto called (unauthorizedly) Lowe’s  Hill which  commands a most noble extensive  prospect and  which I have now named (at the  particular request of Commissr. Bigge)  “BrownlowHill”  after his friend Lord Brownlow;  and from thence proceeded by the Range of Hills
leading to Mount Hunter for the purpose of seeing some of the Wild Cattle in their natural state. In  the course of our Ride we fell in with 3 or 4 small Herds, some of which we hunted, and the  Commissioner enjoyed the sport amazingly.

After  a very pleasant Excursion, and riding about  25 miles, we returned to Camp at 1/2 past 2 o’clock. On my arrival I had the felicity of  receiving a Packet of Letters dated yesterday from my beloved Elizabeth and Lachlan, conveying to me the joyful intelligence of their being both in  good Health; but this gratifying news was greatly clouded by the accounts of an event of a most  awful nature that might have at once deprived me  of all that makes Life to me valuable namely the  Govt. House at Parramatta having been struck by  Lightning yesterday morning at Ten o’clock; but  through the interposition of Divine Providence, no  injury was done to any living Creature. How  thankful I ought to be to God for this escape and  I am devoutly so! The Commissr. having resolved on going to sleep  at Mr. Oxley’s tonight, we dined today at 4 o’clock,  to enable him to cross the River before dark. He accordingly left us with  his own immediate Suite at 6 o’clock. Messrs. Jas. & Wm. McArthur dined with us they  being at present residing at their Father’s Farm of Lower Camden. We had  no sooner returned Home from our Ride this afternoon than it came on very heavy Rain. We drank Tea at 7 and retired to Rest at 9 then  raining very heavy.

Monday 6. November
Got up at 5 this morning. It rained all Night but  is now fair. Sent  off the Baggage at 6 across the Nepean, and set out from Cawdor in half
an Hour afterwards. Called at Mr. Oxley’s where  I Breakfasted with the Commissioner. Left  that  at 10. a.m. and arrived at Parramatta at 3 p.m.
L.M

Source: http://www.mq.edu.au/macquariearchive/lema/1820/1820oct.html .

Camden · Colonial Camden · Cowpastures · Governor Macquarie · Uncategorized

The Bicentenary of the 1815 visit by Governor Macquarie

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Govenor Macquarie (SLNSW)

Governor Macquarie made a second visit to the Cowpastures in 1815.

It is 200 years since Governor Macquarie journeyed through the Cowpasture and 2015 is the bicentenary year visit to the local area.

On Macquarie’s 1815 journey to the Cowpasture he travelled with a group of colonial notables or gentlemen as he called them.

Amongst those accompanying Macquarie were William Cox, the road builder over the Blue Mountains, explorer and builder of some of Windsor’s notable buildings. There was also John Oxley of Kirkham, surveyor general, explorer and naval officer, as well as Captain Henry Antill of Jarvisfield, soldier, explorer and farmer.

Another, who was an emancipist James Meehan who was originally transported for his part in the 1798 Irish rebellion, and was  deputy surveyor general and settler. There was also Thomas Campbell vice-regal secretary to the governor and Rowland Hassall of Macquarie Grove, the superintendent of the government stock.

On this journey Macquarie called in at Camden Park, Appin, Stonequarry Creek, and climbed down into Burragorang Valley. The party inspected the wild cattle south of the Nepean River, stopped at Macquarie Grove, climbed Mount Taurus and proceeded through the Mount Hunter area.

Read for yourself Governor Macquarie’s diary of the trip.

Extracts from the Diary of Governor Lachlan Macquarie 1815

Wednesday. 4 October 1815
Breakfast at 8. a.m. and Set out from Camp in Half an Hour afterwards to inspect the several  Farms in the District of Appin, and some of the intermediate ones in the Districts of Upper Minto and Airds. — Passed through Mr. Mc.Arthur’s Farm of Lower Cambden, [sic] where I
stopt [sic] for about a quarter of an Hour to examine a Piece of Ground in rear thereof, which Mrs. Mc.Arthur had Solicited might be added to that Farm, in consequence of her having by mistake built a small Cottage on it. — After having looked at the Land, and seeing no
reasonable objection thereto, I acquiesced in her request, and accordingly directed the Surveyor General to locate and mark out the Piece of Ground in question for her – which may be about Sixty acres.

From Lower Cambden [sic] Farm we proceeded to Mr. Davidson’s Farm called Manangle, where we crossed the River Nepean into the District of Airds, first passing through Horrax’s and afterwards thro’ several other smaller Farms, some few of which were tolerably well
improved, and the Crops in the Ground Iooking well and Healthy. — At 11 a.m. Entered the District of Appin at Mr. Uther’s Farm, which is a very good and a very pretty well improved one on the slop[e] of a High Hill, on the Summit of which he has erected his House. — Mr.
Uther’s Crops look well and promise to be very good and plentiful. — From Mr. Uther’s we passed on to Mr. Hume’s Farm, which is also much improved – but his Crops do not look so well or so promising as the last Farm we passed through. —

From Mr. Hume’s Farm, we proceeded by a short but very rough Road to the Farm of Wm. Broughton Esqr. which he has been pleased to name “Lachlan Vale”. — Here he is now building a large one story weather Boarded House with two Wings, on a very lofty Eminence Commanding a very extensive prospect. — Mr. Broughton has cleared a considerable proportion of his Farm, and has some fine looking Fields of Wheat growing, looking healthy & promising.

From Mr. Broughton’s we proceeded to the next Farm belonging to his Brother in Law Mr. John Kennedy, within a few Hundred yards of one another. —

Mr. Kennedy has done a great deal in improving his Farm; having cut down much Timber, and having now several extensive Fields of very fine looking Wheat, with a good Farm House and Garden. — In consideration of Mr. Kennedy’s industry, and great exertions to improve his present Farm (200 acres), I have promised him an additional grant of 100 acres immediately adjoining his present one. —
We halted and rested for about Half an Hour at Mr. Kennedy’s, where we partook of a slight Refreshment of Bread & Wine.

On our arrival at Mr. Kennedy’s Farm I was much concerned to find my poor Horse Cato very lame. — I discovered early after setting out this morning that he was a little Stiff in his movements, but was in hopes it would go off on his getting a little warm. I was however disappointed, for he continued a little Stiff all Day, and became very lame at Mr. Kennedy’s on getting Cool. — I had no other Horse to ride however, and therefore was forced to use him still. — From Mr. Kennedy’s, we proceeded to see the Farm of Mr. Sykes about Half a mile further to the Southward – and at present the most Southern one in Appin. — This man has, with small means, made wonderful exertions, having cleared and cultivated a large proportion of his Farm, and there is every appearance of his having an abundant Crop of Wheat this Season. —

In consideration of Sykes’s industry, I have promised him an addition of Seventy acres adjoining immediately his present one – which will make his whole Farm 150 acres. — Sykes’s farm is supposed to be about 20 miles distant from the Ground we set out from this morning, and we have at least Ten Miles to ride to our next Ground or Station at the StoneQuarry Creek in the Cow Pastures, whither all our Servants and Baggage proceeded this morning at the same time we set out for Appin. —

At 2 P.M. Set out from Sykes’s farm on our return to the Cow Pastures; and crossing the River Nepean at Mr. Riley’s Farm, and at a very rough steep Pass (which I have named “Campbell’s Pass” in honor of Mr. Paymaster Campbell), we arrived at the Stone Quarry Creek at 4 P.M. after riding 8 miles over a beautiful Country thither in the Cow Pastures. Here we found all our servants, Cattle, and Baggage had arrived safe about an Hour before us. — We saw only 3 or 4 Wild Bulls in our Journey this afternoon between Campbell’s Pass and StoneQuarryCreek.

Our Ride this day could not have been less than 28 miles. — We sat down at 6 P.M. to a very good Dinner, Drank Tea, and went to Bed between 9 and 10,O’Clock. —

Thursday 5 October.
Breakfasted at 6,O’Clock this morning, and set out for the Natai Mountains at 7 –, arrive on the farthest Verge of the Table Land of the Natai Mountains at Half past 9,O’Clock – disce. bymeasurement of the Perambulator 8¼ miles. – From this Table Land we had a fine view of a
very deep Ravine or Glen below us – which leads to the Natai River; – the mountains on either Side being an immense Height from the Bottom – not less than 8 or 900 Feet High. —

We proceeded on Horseback by a circuitous route to this Glen for 2½ miles through very intricate thick Forest and Brush, at the termination of which we arrived at the Top of a very deep rocky Gulley – which in many places appeared to be almost perpendicular – and down which it was impossible to go on Horseback. — There being, however, no other way of going to the Natai River, we determined to leave our Horses at the top of this deep Gulley (– called by our guide “Brimstone Gulley” –) and to descend on foot, guided by Warbey and the Native “Boodbury.” —

Mr. Hassall not liking the appearance of the rugged Descent, preferred remaining at the Top of the Gulley with the Servants and Horses. — The rest of the Party and myself Commenced to descend at ½ past 10, and after a most tiresome scrambling walk reached the Right Bank of the River Natai at 50 minutes past 11,O’Clock, being one Hour and 20 minutes in getting thither – the distance by Computation from the Top of the Gulley to the River being 3¼ miles. — We were all very much fatigued by the time we got to the River and therefore rested there for an Hour, where we had each a Glass of Cherry Brandy and a Biscuit to refresh us; Major Antill having carried with him a Pint Bottle of this good stuff. —

The Natai River [sic] is here about the Size of George’s River – about ten yards in breadth – and is a very pretty stream; having fine open Forest Land on the Left or opposite Bank of it, and which sort of Land continues for Nine Miles along its Banks until this River unites with the Warragombie, by the account given of it to us by our guide John Warbey. — At Ten minutes before 1 P.M. Set out from the Natai River on our Return, and after a most fatiguing tiresome scrambling walk of 1 Hour and 25 minutes, arrived at the Top of this tremendous Gulley, where we found Mr. Hassall, our Servants, and Horses impatiently waiting our return. — From the near resemblance between them, I have named this Stupendous Valley or Ravine “Glencoe”.

View of Burragorang Valley c.1950s (sydneywater)

 

After getting back to the TableLand of the Natai Mountains, we proceeded on our return to Camp by a different Route to that we came by from thence; travelling back by a more Northern Track, and passing through some very fine Grazing Country tollerably [sic] well watered, but were much Surprised to meet so few of the Wild Cattle during our Excursion outwards and Homewards; seldom meeting with a larger Herd than 10 or 12 Head, and those principally Bulls. — We reached our Camp at ½ past 5,O’Clock; having travelled this day only
30 miles. —

I learned this Evening on my return to Camp for the first time that my Greyhound Dog Oscar had been hurt severely Hunting a Kangaroo two days since at Mattalling, when taken out from thence on Tuesday morning by the Cook and Jack Moore along with Dennison the Guide
to hunt in that Forest. I was very angry at their taking so daring a liberty. — I ordered the poor Animal to be taken particular care of, and to be carried in one of the Carts till he recovers. —

Friday 6 October.
Breakfasted at 6 a.m. and at 7,O’Clock Set out from Camp to see and examine the Tract of Country to the Southward of the Stone Quarry Creek called “Great Bargo”. — At ½ past 9,O’Clock, after riding about 8 miles, we arrived at and crossed the Bargo River, which is a small Branch of the Nepean, and divides Bargo from the proper CowPastures.—

On entering Bargo we found the Country Barren and very bare of Feed for Cattle, but on advancing a fewmiles into the Country we found both the Land and Grazing improve a little but far from

being very good. Here Mr. Oxley and Mr. Moore (with my permission) have large Herds of Horned Cattle grazing; but so many of them have died that these Gentlemen intend removing them immediately from this Country.
After halting a few minutes at Mr. Oxley’s StockYard, we proceeded to that part of Bargo where a great number of Trees have been blown down by some violent Tempest, and appears as if they had been felled on purpose to clear the Land. —

From this Place we proceed to view that part of the Great Branch of the River Nepean where the Bargo Branch forms a junction with it, and where the Banks of the former are very high and Rocky. The River runs here nearly N. East, and South West. — On the opposite side is Little Bargo, or Wallamalla, adjoining the District of Appin, from which it is separated by a very deep Creek or Gulley. — Mr. Broughton’s Farm (which he has called “LachlanVale”) in Appin lies in a North East Direction from the Point where we thus took our Station to view the wild and grand scenery of the Banks of the River Nepean. —

At 11 a.m. Set out from the Banks of the Nepean on our way back to Camp. — Halted again at Mr. Oxley’s StockYard to rest our Horses for Half an Hour. — Saw here three very young Emus belonging to Mr. Oxley’s Overseer, not more than 10 or 12 Days old. — I desired the Stockmen to inform the Overseer (who was out in the Bush) when he came Home that I wished to Purchase his 3 young Emus if he was disposed to sell them, and if so to bring them to me to Sydney soon.

We crossed the Bargo River at the same Place as before into the proper Cow Pastures, and returned Home to Camp by a different and more Southerly Track than the one we went out by; arriving in Camp at 4,O’Clock, after a ride of 38 miles. — We saw several small Herds of
the Wild Cattle during this day’s Excursion, and observed many of their Tracks even in Bargo.—

Nepean River near Cobbitty 1900 (Camden Images)
Nepean River near Cobbitty 1900 (Camden Images)

Saturday 7 October.
Breakfasted at 6,O’Clock, and sent off our Baggage from StoneQuarry Creek at 8, for Mr.Hassall’s Farm called “MacquarieGrove” on the East side of the River Nepean, where we next intend to Encamp; setting out ourselves immediately after sending off the Baggage, in order
to explore the Country lying between the Stone QuarryCreek more westerly than the route we came by, and extending to Mount Hunter Creek.
On the Baggage going away I was concerned to observe that my poor Dog Oscar looked very ill and much reduced in Strength. — I ordered him to be conveyed carefully in the Caravan.

After travelling over several beautiful Valleys and high Ridges alternately, we ascended at the Southern Extremity of Mount Taurus at ½ past 9,O’Clock, and soon after reaching the Top of that mountain, we came up with and apprehended two men named Michael Mc.Grath a Freeman,
and Dennis Bryan a Convict, both residing on a Farm in the District of Appin through which we had passed a few days before. —

Each of these men had a Bag containing fresh Beef on his Back, and which they acknowledged was part of one of the Heifers belonging to the Wild Herds the Property of the Crown, and which Heifer they had killed early this morning, having come hither from their Farm for this purpose. — I ordered them to be sent in the first instance to Mr. Hassall’s Farm, in order to be sent from thence to the Gaol at Sydney and committed by Mr. Cox to take their Trial. —

After taking a view of the Surrounding Country from the Top of Mount Taurus, we proceeded along the High Ridge that connects it with Mount Hunter, from the Top of which we had a very extensive view of the Country lying to the Northward and westward of us, including the
Blue Mountains. — Having rested ourselves and Horses for about Half an Hour on the Highest part of Mount Hunter, we commenced to descend the mountain at 2,O’Clock on the North side of it, and reached the Plains below on that side in about a quarter of an Hour.

From the foot of Mount Hunter we proceeded in a north westerly direction towards Mount Hunter Creek for about Seven Miles of beautiful open Forest rich Ground, containing the richest Herbage and finest Grazing I have yet seen in any part of the Colony, the whole being extremely well
watered either by Ponds or the Creek, and the Country beautifully diversivied [sic] by gentle undulating Hill and Dale alternately. —;

Having reached Mount HunterCreek, we proceeded in a Northern direction towards the River Nepean, travelling over some [some] very pretty
Hills and Vallies for about Five Miles before we reached the River; this last Tract of Land being admirably wellsuited for Sheep Farms. —

The Land lying between Mount Hunter, the Creek, and the River, which I have this day travelled over being well calculated for that purpose, it is
my intention to form an Establishment here for at least Three Separate Herds of the Government Horned Cattle, at three distinct Stations. —

We crossed the River Nepean at a Ford immediately below Mr. Hassall’s Farm, and encamped there at 4,O’Clock, having been 8 Hours on Horseback and rode about 30 miles. We found our Baggage had arrived about Half an Hour before us at “MacquarieGrove”, which is the name Mr. Hassall has been so good to give to this very finely situated and beautiful Farm. As soon as we had rested a little, I wrote a short Letter to Mrs. Macquarie before Dinner, giving her an account of our safe arrival here. — We dined at 6,O’Clock in a Room in Mr. Hassall’s FarmHouse. —

Nepean River Cowpastures[1]
Sunday 8 October. —
We Breakfasted at 8 OClock this morning and had Divine Service performed in the Veranda ofMr. Hassall’s House at 10,O’Clock, the whole of our Party, including Mr. Hassall’s Family, and all our own attendants being present. —

Between 9 and 10,O’Clock this morning my poor favorite beautiful Greyhound Oscar died in great agony, to my great concern and mortification, having had him now upwards of Four Years. I ordered him to be buried in a part of the Farm of Macquarie Grove! —

At Noon I rode out to view some of the Farms in Upper Minto lying along the River Nepean as far as the Boundary Line between them and District of Appin; then passing into the District of Airds, we rode through several Farms in that District and returned Home through Mr. Allan’s
and Mr. Throsbey’s [sic] Farms by a different Track to that we took going out; – returning to our Camp at Macquarie Grove at 4,O’Clock, after a ride of 22 miles. — We sat down to a very good Dinner at 6,O’Clock, and at 7, I had the happiness of receiving a Letter from Mrs.
Macquarie, dated Friday last, giving me the delightful intelligence that her own Health was much better than it was when I left her, and that our darling Boy was in perfect good Health.—

I wrote to Mrs. M. in reply to this Letter before I went to Bed – to be forwarded to her by way of Liverpool tomorrow morning. — Not requiring the Services of John Warbey any longer as a guide for the Cow Pastures, I have this day discharged him; intending to pay him at the rate of 20/. Str. per Day for the time he has attended me, including 10/. per day for the Hire of his Horse. — He has now been Seven Days in my Service including this Day. —

Monday 9 October. 1815.
Breakfasted at ¼ past 6,O’Clock this morning, and sent off our Servants and Baggage at ¼ past 8, for our next Encamping Ground on Mr. Bent’s Farm in the Bringelly District; — [name omitted] Cosgrove going with the Baggage as a Guide to conduct it by the safest and best Road. — I discharged the two other Guides Neale and Dennison this morning, and also two of the Carts which had been hired by Mr. Moore at Liverpool for carrying Corn for my Horses; agreeing to pay for the said Carts at the rate of 10/. Pr. Day for the time they have been employed, including this present Day. —

I set out with my Suite from Macquarie Grove at ½ past 8,O’Clock this morning for the Cook and Bringelly Districts, halting at each of the Farms in our course along the River the whole of the way. — Some few of these Farms were well enclosed and Cultivated, but generally very
little has been done by any of the Settlers in these two Districts, the Lands being still nearly in a state of nature. —

The Farms belonging to Mr. Hannibal Mc.Arthur, Mr. William Wentworth, Mr. Secretary Campbell and Mr. Bent (now Doctr. Wentworth’s) are all very fine ones; especially Mr. Secry. Campbell’s, which is one of the richest and best Farms in the Colony. Mr. Campbell has done a great deal already towards improving his Farm, having Fenced in considerable parts of it, and cleared about 200 acres of ground, part of which is
sown with Wheat – and which looks very promising. —

On arriving at what are called the KobbattyHills, we overtook our Servants and Baggage, one of my Carts having been upset going up a steep Hill through the carelessness and obstinacy of the Driver – but no damage or injury was occasioned by this accident – and the whole
went on again as soon as the Cart was uprighted and loaded. — We halted until this accident was rectified, which gave us an opportunity of ascending the highest of the Kobbatty Hills and from thence having a very fine extensive view of the surrounding Country.

Source: http://www.mq.edu.au/macquariearchive/lema/1815/1815oct.html 5/6