Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Penfield School

The school opened in 1874 and lessons were held in private homes.  It closed in 1875 and reopened in 1877 and then closed again.  In 1878 it became a public school.  Previous to this the Council Chambers were used for school purposes.  School formerly opened by the Minister of Education, the Hon Thomas King on 18th March 1880.
A large cement water tank was filled by rain from the school room.  The school room was heated by a fire.  A corrugated iron lean to was added to the entrance side.

1915 A parcel of comforts were made by the students including 8 pillow cases, 16 milk covers, 2 scarfs and caps combined, 4 handkerchiefs, 7 face washers, parcel of old linen and old kid cloves.
The children worked well in 1917 for the Patriotic Funds. War Service medals had been won to the value of £3.10 and £2 had been forwarded to the YMCA, Cheerups and League of Loyal Women.

1936 a Centenary picnic was held in the paddock of Mr C. T Bray near the Gawler River with the Angle Vale, Gawler River and Penfield schools. Each child was given oranges and sweets.
The school finally closed on 31 December 1940.  
The surrounding land became the RAAF Edinburgh base and was demolished in 1985.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Smithfield Recreation Park

Eleven acres portion of land which was originally granted to John Battye Thorngate in 1845.  In 1852, the land was leased to John Smith for 21 years.   John B Thorngate passed away in 1867 and the land passed William Emmanuel Churcher and George Churcher as trustees through Midland Bank Executor and Trustees in England to administer the land, with power to sell.

On 4 September 1922, Joseph Blake called for a public meeting to be held at Smithfield to form a committee from the residents of Smithfield and surrounding neighbourhood.  Residents of Smithfield have felt a growing need for a public recreation area.  The committee’s aim was to purchase land for a recreation park.  A sum of £140 was raised by subscription and to secure the rest a sports afternoon and fete were held. A queen completion raised £70.  The competing girls were Kathleen Andrews, Hazel Argent, Nellie Manouge, Doris McGee, Mavis Taylor and Thelma Worden. Mavis Taylor received the largest number of votes and was crowned by Mrs M. G Smith.  The day raised £145, which after paying outstanding accounts left them with a balance of £80.
A Trust was established with Mr Henry Joseph Twelftree, Frank Thomas Judd, William Kelly Adams, And Melville Galbraith Smith and Joseph Blake as trustees, all farmers of Smithfield.

During WWII the grounds were used on numerous occasions.  In 1939, the CWA and returned soldiers planted trees around the oval.  A gala day was held in 1941 to aid CWA war emergency work.  On 24th July 1943 a fancy dress football match was held between the Munitions team and the military team, organised by Smithfield Soldiers Recreation Fund Committee.

Smithfield oval, Salisbury West v Smithfield 25 October 1980
By 1954, Joseph Blake was the sole surviving trustees, new trustees were appointed: Mr Donald Douglas Firth, Frederick Guest Twelftree and Robin Vivian Taylor, again all farmers of Smithfield.  Joseph Blake passed away the following year.
The grounds has been used by the Smithfield cricket and Smithfield football Club.

On 10 September 1974 the land was transferred to the District Council of Munno Para.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Smith's Creek

Adamson's Flour Mill

Smith Creek was a small running stream of clear water originating from a spring in the foothills that passed through John Smith’s land, from where its name derived. Stemming from One Tree Hill, the creek runs down the side of Uley Road, passed over Main North Road and continues alongside Curtis Road.

The creek gave the surrounding area importance and where early settlers chose land. The creek first made its presence in the late 1840’s, before that time there was a deep dry creek, or gully, but no water which extended beyond the spring. It was believed that the creek first broke out in the latter part of 1847. Previously there was no flow of water there except after rain. It did not reach the Main North road until 1849.

The creek was extended for about 1 mile due west of the town in 1850. Smith Creek ran constantly for many years but became an intermittent stream and by 1870 it ran only in time of flood.

The creek carries the flood water away from the town. Although few references to flooding were found, in May 1875 the railway line was under, 1-3 feet of water. The Creek flooded again in June 1889 and February and July 1890.

It was reported in the Bunyip on 11 July 1890;

The rains of the first week have deluged the neighbourhood of Smithfield; Smith's Creek ran in a good volume, and the railway in many places was under water. In the neighbourhood of Smith's Creek is a dam that is supplied from the creek, in which has been stocked with fish. It is supposed that some of these fish escaped in the flood and the lads of the township have had quite a gay time of it in fishing in the creek.

Quite a number of them have been caught and of a decent size, one of them measuring a foot in length.

As Smith’s Creek crosses the Main North road, in times of flood twice as much water goes down the main road as is carried away by the creek, doing damage all the way.

Smith’s Creek flowed past the Yelki property at One Tree Hill whether it flowed continuously, at least until 1932.

Until the 1850’s the creek was never known to flow across Main North Road during the summer months but became more powerful and constant that James Adamson constructed a flour mill at the base of the foot hills. 

Adamson’s altered the water flow of the creek, stopping regular flow of water by 1854. He stored water in a dam to elevate the water to a sufficient height to work his mill. At this point the water fell 9 metres enough to work the 10 metre wheel. The dam was about 50 or 60 feet in length, and about 20 or 25 feet in width. It was used as a roadway. It was from 8 to 10 deep on the lower side. The dam was constructed in October, 1851.

Previously to the construction of the dam, farmers could get their water for their cattle at the main road but now they must drive their cattle two miles previously to give them a drink. The water stoppage discouraged improvements as to who would stop in an area where the water was cut off. 

This action resulted in a Supreme court case in1855 as to who has the right to the flow of water in a natural creek, or the power of another landholder to divert the water from its natural course. 

Previous to the erection of the dam the water used to flow through Smith’s property, except in the very height of summer, but there would be water always in the holes. It used then to stop for a few hours during the heat of the day, but it would resume running in the evening, and continue during the night.

From 1851 - 1853 there was a good supply of water. The bed of the creek below the dam would, when the water was stopped, dry up and open so that when the water would be let out there would be a waste before the bed of the creek became so saturated as to allow the water to flow.

Grinding in the mill commenced in 1854, but the stream had by that time diminish, and it had continued to diminish.

Gavin Scowler, farmer, Smith’s Creek, had known the creek since August, 1848. At that time it flowed across the Main North-road. In January, 1849, it only reached to within a mile of the main road. In 1852 and 1853 the creek ran strongly, but since then it had been gradually decreasing in volume. It varied in strength considerably during this summer.

W.J. Peterswald had some property on Smith’s Creek. The creek had each year diminished. The number of cattle that were watered on his ground last year nearly doubled. He attributed the want of water to the absence of rain.

The creek ran by Thomas Hogarth’s property, 100 acres on the banks of the creek near the house. The area had got so trodden with the feet of cattle coming to water and camping on it that the rain couldn’t penetrate it. When Thomas first settled in the area, the creek flowed past his door giving him a plentiful supply of running water throughout the year. After a few years either in consequence of the dry seasons or been dammed up and the water diverted to turn a water mill, the creek has dried up and water had to be carted from the spring heard, two miles from the house. A well has been dug a little distance from the house but was unsuccessful. A tank was then used to lead the water unto it by a plough furrow from the creek, to save the water for summer use. The tank is a round one 33 feet in diameter and 12 foot deep. It was built up with a stone wall lined with Portland cement and held enough to supply the house as well as the horses and cattle for four months. It was covered with a galvanised roof and pump attached. A second tank was built to collect the water from the house roof.

The creek where it crosses the Main North Road was locally known as Breakneck Creek. At this point there used to be a sharp bend and motorists taking the bend too fast after a long straight stretch of road used to end up in the creek. The bend was straightened out by the Highways Dept in 1960 when they were putting in the second track of the Main North Road during the construction of Elizabeth.
A footbridge to be built at Smithfield near James Scott’s property in 1886.

Friday, September 8, 2017

When does a town become a city?

First Council for the new status of City of Elizabeth
Town status to City status.  When does a Town of become a City of?  The City status varies in each state.  The formation of the Adelaide Corporation was passed by Col. Gawler and his executive in 1840.  It provided that any town with a population of 2000 or more could establish its own form of local government. The District Council of Munno Para East was appointed on 10th November 1853. The Munno Para West District Council (Govt. Gazette) on 27th April 1854.

On 13th February 1964 the Governor of South Australia, Sir Edric Bastyan, made a proclamation granting the Elizabeth petition for Severance from the local government of the District Council of Salisbury and Elizabeth, constituting the new town as a new municipality with its own local government to be known as The Corporation of the Town of Elizabeth.  At the same time the Salisbury and Elizabeth District Council became the Corporation of the City of Salisbury.
16th November 1964 the Town of Elizabeth was granted full “City” status. 

For South Australia, a town must have a population of 20,000 (metropolitan area) or 15,000 for a country area.In 1964, Elizabeth had a population of 36,900.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Sir Thomas Playford Kindergarten

Formerly at 136 Goodman Road, now located at Chivell St, Elizabeth South

This was the first kindergarten to be established in Elizabeth. The kindergarten that began at St Theodore’s Church transferred to the Goodman Road premises when it was completed, which was named ‘Sir Thomas Playford Kindergarten’, after Sir Thomas whose Government was responsible for the building of the city.

Discussions began with finding out the requirements needed by kindergarten Union and the SA Housing Trust.  Community members met for the first time on 22 May 1957 to begin discussions.  Mrs Richards elected Chairman.  Minutes from the first meeting ask each person present to collect at least 12 names of people interested in sending their children to kindergarten.

First committee consisted of:

President             Mrs P. Richards
Vice President     Mrs Baxendale & Mr Hall
Secretary             Mr Mitchall
Treasurer             Mr Young
Member               Dr Newland, Mr Allen, Mrs Oliver, Mrs Pyper, Mrs Griffin, Stevens.

The first point of business was to raise funds.  A street stall was held near the shopping centres on Saturday morning 22 June on which homemade produce and handmade ware were sold.   Fundraisers also included bottle drives; scrap metal drives, badge sales.

Meetings continued fortnightly intended to be social meetings and guest speakers invited to talk on different subjects such as childcare and health problems.

Request to Housing Trust regarding renting of temporary premises (not forthcoming) and request possession of allocated block of land, behind the shopping centre in Goodman road. The  Housing Trust to provide architectural services.

A Fathers Club initiated in August 1957 to make equipment for the kindergarten.

Discussions were held with Rev Witt using the Anglican Church (St Theodore’s church Hall) as a temporary kindergarten.  The kindergarten was open in 11 Feb 1958 in the Church of England hall with two sessions of 25 children each.

The kindergarten entered a float in the second Elizabeth Birthday Celebrations and won the organization section for numerous years.   The photo above depicts decimal currency with the six coins shown on each side and behind each coin is a child dressed with the traditional ‘Dollar bill” sign.  The teachers have also donned larger ‘Dollar Bill’ outfits whilst in the centre is a very large ‘Dollar Bill’ in which Father Christmas who is regularly on the kindergarten float is standing.   Father Christmas was George Cope.

Official opening of the kindergarten on 28 May, 1960 by Councilor H.L Bowey Chairman of the District Council of Salisbury.
A new kindergarten was designed and built in 2016 with co-location with Elizabeth South Primary School on Chivell St.  Architect Thomson Rossi at a cost of $2,600 000.