Monday, July 16, 2012

Angle Vale Bridge

About five miles from Smithfield and half a mile from the Gawler River there is a small but growing township, which has been known for a little more than a twelve months by the name of Angle Vale, and for 10 months of that time we have had a Post-Office opened, at which we receive the mail twice a week, though this does not meet our necessities as fully as we could wish. Yet it is a great convenience on what existed for the past 10 or 12 years; for during that time the settlers had to travel from four to seven miles to the nearest Post Office.  We have not yet got the principal establishment that contributes to a colonial township —a public-house— but we have the second, a black smith's shop, which we consider an institution of more importance to our prosperity than the former, and this may account to some extent for the absence among our labouring class of that poverty which appears to be so widely spread an evil at the present time. The want of a bridge over the Gawler somewhere near this place is beginning to engage the serious attention of the settlers; the necessity has long been felt, but is now more so, in consequence of the increased traffic arising from many of the settlers having property on both sides of the river, but more particularly so the inhabitants of West Munno Para, who have recently brought a great deal of land in the Mudla Wirra District.   A public meeting was held at Mr. Barnfield's, on July 30, to consider what steps should be taken to carry out this object.  A good many gentlemen were present, some of whom thought that a petition should be got up headed by as many as were willing  subscribe anything towards it, which all were willing to do according to their position, and that the Government should be asked to make up the deficiency, and carry out the work. But this idea was abandoned, as not likely to be successful in the present state of the Treasury, which opinion was strengthened by the advice of the members for the Districts of Yatala and Stanley ; but it was the unanimous opinion of the meeting that this part has a just claim on the Government for a little special help in a matter of this kind, especially so from the danger to life and property attending the crossing of this river during the winter season. A committee from the meeting was therefore appointed to inspect the three places proposed, and report there on to a future meeting, of which due notice would  given.
Angle Vale, August 7, 1867
The three places which were proposed at our last meeting for the site of the bridge over the Gawler, and to which I referred in my last notice from this place, were duly examined on Wednesday after noon (7th).   About 25 of the settlers were present, and after a good deal of party opposition, it was carried by a majority of 18 to 5 that the site for the bridge should be at Burford's, as it was considered that a bridge could be erected for £500 less than at either of the other place It will also meet the convenience of the greatest number of settlers The greatest opposition to this place was given by a few gentlemen who are large landholders on each side of the river. They severally objected to it because it did not immediately connect their farms together, yet these gentlemen expressed them willing to support two bridges, so as if possible to affect the last named object. Each of them would subscribe literally to both bridges, but they would not give anything to the one agreed to by the meeting. We have had some fine seasonable weather lately, which has improved the crops very much, but (the preceding dry weather and the attacks of the grubs give no bright prospect of an abundant harvest.
SA Register Tuesday 17th, 1867

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