Chapter 181818679

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Chapter NumberX
Chapter TitleFROM TAMWORTH TO MURRURUNDI. from the Week of Saturday last.
Chapter Urlhttp://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article181818679
Full Date1878-04-13
Page Number20
Corrections0
Word Count3656
IllustratedN
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleThe Week (Brisbane, Qld. : 1876 - 1934)
Trove TitleThrough New England. A Holiday Trip
article text

THROUGH NEW ENGLAND

):. ' ;IIOLI-DA'Y THTV:

BY A BOHEMIAN.

, CHAPTER X.

..FltOM TAJrWOKTII TO MURRHRUNDI. ?

(Continued -from the Week. of Saturday hit.)

:V Tamworth is a big, bustling town. Tho'prin cipal-streets are built up with houses andshops, many of -which'aro* of briclc or stone, and are .large; handsomo structures. :*It is very evident that people make money bore, and do business on a' large scale. The main: street Is noVer clcar ?Of traffio all the day long: Large;-lumbering horse and bullook'drays,-bringing'in great loads of>wheat and other grain- to .thb flour . mills, or taking flour and othor < produco Mown

: to; the present terminus of > the Northernr Rail -.way,-viat o"Warrah;;^ ibnllock .'.drays-1 laden jwith^station .producer* - for* the i same .destination; farmers* .drays,> storekeepers iVansjjWell-to.do citizens*, buggies, . phaetoriB, or hups,-and aU.the evidencies of a large, . active thriving/ community..- Even- a hot wind,- "and the thermometer at 113 in the shade,' cannot utterly.suppress the energy, of this people, for they all s&emed as lively as crickets as I crawled up themain street that miserable afternoon. The town is incorporated, and the.mayor and alder men' seem to carry1 their, energy into the Council Chamber,' and. impart', it to their . officers

'for, the*, streets, are welt mado and welt keot. There, are several'largo," handsomo churches in

.ffie\'^place' j-'r'branJijM of the" principal

Aiwkalian .banks; ''"local offices for'the leading Insurance1 Societies ; aM substantial court' ho rue and gaol;, large denominational schools belonging to ttie Church of England and the Roman Catholics, a . Grammar ? School, and^one State Primaiy SchoolJfa large arid'im posing building; if uot'more; 'There-is' a^HIe. chaniCs-' Institute,^ with a1 large' and'well seiecteddibrary,' SboI am told ;. an 'Oddfellows' Hall,' Temperance ' Hall, aud a public garden and casino. . I counted threo*flteam;flour ^raills

in.! the .town, .the ^smallest of them ? appearing? capable of: turning out as .much flour/per-day as all the mills of Armidale pufctogcther.'Then there is an important .coach and carriage fuctory sWorkpd-by;.o? company-, if rj my. memory-serves me.correctly, and . very*good, coaches > they make'too..p,.The coachjtliat runs bet ween. Ten . ^field.And.Glen.Inn&B ia onek of .their , make, .wd itjig^he hest'coach.on the.hne.^ AtTJralla ,we met(another jpeWjOne^for: tho^cpmpariy,- to be^laced on the.Glen Innes and .Armidale line. I.'ditl not admire the looks of that quite so much; it seemed top heavy, and*too high and narrow to make'the descent 'of the '"(Devirs^Pinch'' with that ease and safety, which a nervous pas seDger(might consider desirable.' This) how ever,.1 is- merely my. opinion," an'd* as I' know nothing whatever of thb art and 'inyBiery of coach'building, and possess only, a'* very super ficial knowledge of coach driving,my opinion 'may not be worth much. - Anywaythecosch factory at Tumwortb is a- faet, and* the pro prietors seem to turn out good work and plenty

of1 it. i

l am assured by a trustworthy authority that the population of the town is .l,0004;:and of'the immediate distnct .7,d00.pthat last year 11,GOG acros of land.wore under, tillage,' the ;produco being 158,885 buHhel8 of whoaVo3,81C bushels of maize, 440J., tons .of potatoes, besides oats, barley, and. other agricultural produce, 'and 1,245;gallons of -wine. . The,stock returns. of tho district for last year wero 14,102. horses, 74,019. cattle, lil 18,077 sheep, nnd 4,319 pigs. Twelve years ago the population of tho town

only numbered G70, and of tbo district aiout

300, more. This will givo somo idea of the rapid growth of'the place; 5Aud it is bound to go ahead still more rapidly. It. is the centro of a large agricultural and pastoral'district, the depot for the produce of 'Liverpool Plains 'and ijk'e south-eastern portion of NewjEnglaud,and

tho Grcut NorthernRailway is fast creeping up to it, and will be there in another year or so. - : ; . Fully i imbued: with . that -local -patriotism which ib so distinguishing.- a characteristic' of

every residont- in < every * Australian town or . township I have yet visited, the people of fam . worth emphatically assert that their town is

tbo prettiest, . plcasantcst, ;and ? most healthy town in New South "Wales, . barring nono. . I cannot say how far thisMnay be truo'or false. :. "What little ., I - saw :. of ? tho . place was soon under circumstances; not- calcu lated to create a favourablo linprossion. Tho stato of the stomach and nervous system have more to do with one's appreciation of beauty than most persons aro willing to admit.- Cor tainly the town is very picturesquely situated on the Peel River, and Goonoo Goonoo Creek, just at the foot of a range of high granite hills which tower up in fantastic shapes high over

head. But when I was there these hills wore .

the moat objecttonable fcaturo of the place, 'becauso tho hot wind blew dead on to thatsldo

of them toward tho town,^ tho sun smote them with pitiless seventy on the samo side, and tho granite reflected back the heat, andkoptupthe temperature long after tho sun had sunk

; bubind (tho-hills* on*, the; opposite. side. Tho people looked fioalthy enough, and i£ they are

satisfied .with tho town I.havo no reasonable cause to grumblo at it, as tho.chaucos aro a tuousand to one against my. over. visiting it

again. . . «

Strictly speaking, my., trip. through Now; England onded with the descent of: the Moon-' . lues, as that range of mountains1 is also called

tho Now England range, and 'is the' dividing . lino of tho district, tb tho south. Tins' range strikes out at right angles fiom' tho' Great Dividing Rango, and runs .westerly under >ono , name -or other, away- back-tonowheroin

particular, so far; as I couldmuko out- My taskof writing somo account of what I saw and heard on this journey, should,properly ond horo But.tho editor of ths lVeck seems to think that . as I wont on. to 8ydney,which I saw for tho first time, and finished my holiday thcro. it is accessary, in order, to make; a coinplcto.job of - it, to go on for another'chapter or two, and.

record my impressions of tho whole journey,1 and what I think of tho harbour of-Port

Jackson, and tho big city at tbe;upner,cnd of .it. , This is more than. I. bargained for at the beginning, but, as it has - been my fp~te all through life n over to bo able "to siy " no"at* tho . right timo, of , course I consented. I agreed to this.tho moro readily becauso there scorns .to bo a numbor of ; people in Sydney who ; are anxious: to : know;.what my opinion'is of

. their city and harbour. .. I mot' and was 'lntro .* duced to a large number of residents there, and

in every instance, so far I 'can remember, tho ; conversation commenced with, the-following

r.qucstions ir^f.J.ThiS; .your.: first visit - to -Sydney ?'.' f*.What do youthink of -. tho har bour P" :" What do you think of oydnoy.?'' all put with an earnest solicitudo that left no room for doubt'of tho. importance attached, to ;.my verdict. This flattered my vanity, of course, i and made me fall an easy-1 prey to thesugges ? tion to put on record what I thought of each/ This is my apology to tho readers of the Week for.jnilicting upon,thorn a few extra doses of these papers.* . ;

.; Wo startod from Tamworth at - soven o'clock in the morning for Warrah-^forty miles away. The : sun, was blazing in a r oloudless sky, and the hot *wind 1 was still' blowings BO I resigned, without the slightest show of opposition, my right to tho. box seat and took an-, inside ..place. It: was lively insido that' coach that morning. There wore four ladies, be*' sides my:wifo, a nursomaid,and seven children, the oldest of which oould not be morothanfivo years' of'r.ago. 'Two4 families," one of four undorr tho charge of the nursemaid, and' threo undor the chargo of a young unmarried

auntie." The' mothers of sevon children, were wretchodly uncomfortable with the heat, the dust, and tho bumping of the coach,* but they seemed .to. considor it vory unreasonable and highly unbecoming on tho pjjrt of tho childron to manifost any signs of fretfulness or ? irritation. ,;;Whon they did so, which was very :frequently,* tho- youngsters wero spankod, and 'howled in conoort^ thcnursomaid was scolded, and "auntie" was remonstratod with: Then the ladies comforted themselves as best they i could w3th:somothing out of bottles which thoy . carried vin < thoir. Jbags, ? and took out surrep

titiously whon they thought I was notlookingi I. was tho ;only udult male inside that coach; and, boforo w.e -had proccedod many milos tho . conviction forced ltsolf upon mo: that I was one Uoo many.-> There wero a number of littlo inci

dents of a moro or less oxciting charactor hap pened-in that coach, that day, but I have inj intention of recording thein^ Children will b-s .children to tho end of time, no doubtj and acci . dents do happen:in the host regulated families;

but I' must confess that I nevor beforo'had it brought homo to mo so forciblv, lho deop debt of gratitude I owed to an all-wiso Proridonce for not having mado mo a-nursemaid,' nor an unmarried aunt, travelling in charge of a family

r of cross children in a hot wind: : *rr. > :

. . Tho. roiid> for . Homo miles out of Tamworth ' was Hat and;dreary enough,-no tign of a 'blade

of grass anywhero, nor vegetation of. any kind , unless tho duut-covcrcd "gmn, wattlo, and iro'n^

burk trees and bushes could bo called vego

, tation;Where cultivation had been attempted » >it < was . an . utter failure, . except whore*

tho - (jhinnmon had sunk wolls aud- kept . up a supply of moisture . by irrigation, as some

, of them wore doing, taking it by turns to wind . water up fruui the well stho liveloug day, from ? tho first streak ol daylight until, long after - snnset at night. Thoro wero a numbor of

Chitjamens* gardens at tho back of tho hotel . wheio we stayed in Taiuworlh, and this was : tho prautico there. I am itoc suro that tho woll

was not: kept j going all night loug,.yet overy drop of water had to.bo fetched tip from a con

siderable: depth by. a buckot and windlass-1 ..They had rigged tip a rude sort of canvass' - scrcon ovor tho windlass to protect tho .water-' . drawers from the burning.rays of tho sun, but

nothing could protect thorn from tho ficrco heat ... of the hot wind. Yet thoy went on hour after

houi; thiougli it all, drawing up vator and .pinning.,it into a gutter alongsido to run to : their * cabbagco " as patiently aud placidly as

though it woro one oi tho easiest and moBt enjoyable of exercises. It was impossible not

to admire the - pluck- and endurance shown by

tbc8© fellows; l.

- The heat and dust were- terrible along Uhis

part of the road,'bat the hot' wind ;was-moro /oil durable, than it.was in Tamworth. It did ? notjuome back; in a concentrated form froin the likceofa granite mountain, .-liThe fnrther.Xgbt -away- from Tamwbrth*'the better I felt. By-; arid-by* we reached/Gbonob'iGoonoov> station/ whero wo stopped'to deliveramail. This is a protty^-placo in ordinary, weather,-and^ .even npyr. looks tempting with.- iis .broad^verandah^ ifruit;treea, and.other.tokens of;rural felicity.-; 1

Soon . wo'1 camo'to hilly country'J which

,bccame .moro: and: more . mountainous a8

iWo. proceeded...: The fact is, .we,were, approach-' ing the groat'Dividing Range again,- and. ha.d 'fcoJ,1,cross' it''once more!further along, and . tho 'great Dividing Range was 'approaching .us; This range, just below Liverpool Plainsj'talces a ishurp tiim westerly,* runs almost duewcst for many .miles, and iri called the "Iiivorpool Ranged ?In additiori to this," there are a number of de tached 'ranges,* rand . 'the whole country soon after .leaving,Goorioo^Go6no6'(pronouiiced Gunnii Gunbd)', is(-best described as" broken jcountry." ,; The road improves.as.wo proceed,'

:6r.rather.thereiis less,dust,'but the hot ..wind; is continuous/andls hotter amongthe1 hills "than 'itseemsto^beonthoo^ valleys valbng'twhic]i wethread'our way, seem to'bpiso many funnels for cpncqntKiting the fierj^blast.': , Wo stayed to change .horses, and -purchased a

. water-melon, which was the nearest approach'

to something cool and refreshing thiit was pro.; curable in that region. - The half-way house is' an .hotel whore ' a mail ^ delivered-a really ?respectable; and. well-appointed place. 1 J. got out here,to sfcretch(my legs, light my. pipo, and compose myself a little after the excitement of the concert whioh had been going on for some hours inside the coach by the .youngsters !who would.not be'eorhforted by nurse' or auntie, and , who only received slaps or .scbldinga . from tho

two mammas who had secured the .best .places in the coach, and wanted to get a little sleep if the thing.wore at all possible. Tobacco ia''a grand source of comfort and consolation to the man who knows how, to .use' it judiciously? After the five minutes' smoke at the halfTway. house I folt more at peace .with the world than .before, more able to endure/the sights, little

temporary^ discomforts,, and to-t regard the whole from a loftier and more philosophical standpoint. . The father of one of the families inside, had taken, my seat on; the box,-.and between the roasting he, got up. there, and tie worry he had with '.'mamma' "and the children every time the coach stoppod, running hither | and thither, getting this; that, and the other

thing, to add to their comfort or allay their irri tation, and only receiving fortthanks quenlou* complaints from mamma, and howls from the youngsters "who wanted to .be with-him-all this had a wonderful effect in reconciling mo to my temporary inconvenience; .> - When I . came to feflebt on the subject, it seemed to be tin* reasonable on my part tO'fidget myaolf ovor this thing, which I would only havo to endure <for i an hour or.'two; whilo that poor follow outside 1 would have to endure it night and day-ovory

night and every day-for years to como, unless it should please Providonco to removo him to a hotter and* happier world in tho meantime, which I should think is his earnest daily

prayer.. * ...." :

. After leaving the half-way, houso we soon came to the PeolRunges,* which are an offshoot of the GroatDividmg Uange/ruuning nearly at right angles from it. Theso rauges have to'be crossed diagonally, and 111 cooler weather, uuder happier auspices, tho journey would bo a very onjoyablo one; Ab it was the wild magnificence of Bomdsof-the scenes was'irresistible. The mountains loomiDg np, first on one .< side, then on the other, in grand solemn slatehness, and the valleys botween, which, whon clothed with; verdure, as they no doubt aro by this time, would be scenes of surpassing lowliness. . But when we passed,-all- was ? dreary and: desolate. ' The one thing abovo all others- which seemed to 'most forcibly impress one with the uttor desolation of the scone was tho deserted home* steads in theso valloys. W0 passed a number. Thoro were ;8lab or bark" bumpios, patches of oloared- land fenced .<and. cultivated,- but' tho: crops "had withered on the ground 'before they could com© to maturity,.. the watcrholes around had all dried ' up, and tho houses wero deserted. I hope and. boliovo: that this desertion was onlyJ temporary.: ; But in many casos it must tmeau' loss-amounting almost to utter ruiu to the Bottler, for wo saw tho whitening bones of his: cattlo and liorucs round or in tho dncd-up: water holes, on several of these deserted selcc-*

tious, and of course,what .wo saw in passing" was only a vory small proportion of the: devas tation which tho drought had causod.

. Soon after crossing tho Peel Ranges we come to the town of Wallabadah. which seem*' to bo a thriving littlo plaoe. It is tho centre1 of a police district. There is a post oflico- two or three hotels and storos, and a number of private dwellings, all grouped togothor in true village fashion, with gardens and: orchards to each houso, and an air of comfort and placid contentment pervading .the whole place, that strikes tho casual visitor at once, although it

would be difficult to state in words How orwh this impression is created. r '

Wallabadah is only five or six miles from Warrah. The Northorn Railway from New castle is nearly .; completed to the town of Quirindi, when the railway traffic from Tam worth and the North will miss -Wallabadah, bat at present the stopping place is half-way .between Quirindi and; Murrarundu 1 "We reach Warrah. about'threeo'clock in the afternoon, ,and.passing- some -.distance, a mile1 or - 'so down the- line, coma to an hotel,..where dinner -is > prepared,"? ? and in spite of - the burning1 sun arid4 the hot wind," which' still keeps blowing, I .feel as, though I could eat'a dinner, seeing, that'the last, meal .X had was at Armidaie, two days previously.;. The table was a very- good one, and tho viands were excellent, plentiful,-'and well prepared;' * Tho 'children,

the two mammas, and the'unfortunate husband 1 whq had-both families under his chargo, had a room to themselves, which, I thought, was an excellent arrangement, more, especially as " auntie"- and tho nurserriaid werb allowed to come into the* public dining room with the rest of; us; aiidt get tt' comfortable inealj' whidi thc pcor things sorely needed, .

^-^After^dinner:'We-remounted-the-coach,~and were ^ dri ven ; back, to 1 the . Warrah^ railway statidrij.where a tiain was^irivwaiting tb. convey passengers to Newcastle". . Everybody made hasto tosccure a good scat in the train, and X :^wa8^congratulating,imyself and..' my wife, having got rid of those : horrid children, their <l finnicking,'-iriama8t' the; poor,' amiable, . per ;spiring,1 kind-hearted, and indefatigable hus band^ and' the' hurse?: and auntie-when the .whple mob .came bundling, into our carriage* Bat* it was- a large, roomy, comfortable place, with well-cushioned seats along, the sides and ends only, and the gentleman was able to keep ' the /children'; in the" best' of tempers, so we suffered j no further, annoyance, from "that

source.---'!." V.

v-lt was-four;;Vclockin:. the 'afternoon, when 1 ; the tiuinr;8tarted from -Warrah on its down trip to Newcustlc, and webad a journey of 144 miles before us. But as bafore mentioned, the carriages on this northern line, if the one ?wo rodo in was a fair sample of the whole, are very "marvels of comfort and luxurious up h_olstery^:/^'';'f-"^;''v;;y7 v'",'\^',r

Ouf finAr paasago of the 'great Dividing Ring6;was by, railway.- As has been already in timatedj the line from Newcastle on the way to Tamworth has nearly reached Quirindi, arid at

"Warrah it is welFover the rangej which in this ; part'called'the Liverpool Hange. 'There i are , some /beautiful views crossing this range, -but nothing at all equal to . those to be enjoyed ;On'our own Southern and Western line in the vicinity of:Highfields. The New South Wales lraeisori ih© '4.feet G.irich'guage, with a double lino of rails and easier gradients .than those be tween Helidon and Toowoomba. The conso

that ifor themost part the train either runs on an embankment, across or along a ravino, near the bottom of it, or through a cutting which hides everything. The t crest of

tho range is passed by a tunnel said to be 528 ? yards^iu length. One always has to take the

length of these railway tunnels on trust, because | it is impossible for anyono who is not a railway cuglncer to muko auything more than a wild and vague guess .as. to their length. This tunnel through tho Liverpool l&wge, for in

'stance,-seemed to mo to bo about three or four miles long, judging by what appoared to be the length of timo occupied in traversing it. Total darkuess, tho unearthly screaming, clattering, aud rumbling, aud tho strong amell of aah.es, smoke, and steam combined, which rushes into a rariway carriage while it is going through a tunnel 8eem to lengthon out tho . seconds, to minutes at least. Lovers, with their sweet hearts beside them, and bridegrooms with their brides, seem' to- onjoy; these tunnels,1 *but I cannot conscientiously assert that "I am par ticularly charmed with" them.v When the train stopped at Murrurundi, at tho font of the range, I was disgusted to learn that the great tunnel wo had just passed through was only 528 yards long- It is nothing of a feat to pass through

a tunnel hko that. . * :

; (7*o ie.contmued.)

. Thk plans and aeotious of tho fhst* portion Of tho lino of railwav from . Townsville to Charters Towers, have been sent down by the suryeyors lorapproval... .Xt wiu DO some time

before the.works ure:commenced. ,

UA i.AnffR uumbor of cattle-about 1,000 swam tho river at Yaumba a day pr two since, arid afterwards crossed Alligator Creek Bridgo, and reached their destination-Mr. CosteUo'a run at Cowaixalr-without the loss of a single head..; .This shows that travelling is now per fectly seoure. ^ ;

: . LAST, week we ..published a telegram to tho effect that the Marlborough mailman had been thrown from his horse near -Kockhamp ton, and that the pack horse had made off.. All attempts to find the animal proved vain up to tho evening of; April 1, but tho mails swere afterwards found. sTho mailman was much bruised and shaken. v

Thk cutter Swan cleared the other day at. Cooktown for Somerset, arid is bound for a cedar location, discovered by her crew when on their; late prospecting cruise. The whereabouts of tho discovery is, of course, kept secret, but it is understood that an excellent patch of the timber has been found by these adventurous | oxplorers.