Saturday, December 24, 2016

Father Christmas visits Smithfield CWA 1954


Father Christmas paid a surprise visit to the Smithfield C.W.A. Xmas party — and from a small tree produced a gift for every member.

Guests included the Divisional President (Mrs. Sobels') who briefly mentioned the State objective for the coming year.

Handicraft members displayed a splendid variety of articles they had made.

All contributed toys and books, with a £5/5/- donation, to forward to the Children's

Mrs. Harvey Kelly delighted with an account of the Royal Show at Windsor.

Arrangements were completed for the visit to Dawes Road Repatriation Hospital at  Xmas.

Afternoon tea, including strawberries and ice cream, were another pleasant part of proceedings which had been arranged by the Social Committee.

The branch is now in recess until March.

Bunyip Friday 17 Dec 1954

Monday, December 19, 2016

Using infographics and history

An infographic is information that is portrayed visually.  They allow complex information to be easily understood, eye-catching and easily shareable.  As the saying goes, a picture paints a thousand words.

While infographics are not new, we are seeing them more and more.  They are predominately used by marketing.   Local government love them to portray how ratepayers money is spent.  Books are even being produced, such as the History of WWI in infographics.

Why use infographics?
They can be a powerful tool to help your content be seen amongst the vast electronic world. People naturally love facts, figures, stats and other graphical elements.  We are visual creatures and because of this people are easily attracted to images that attract their attention.  They are much easier to process and 30 times more likely to be read that a text article.

Infographics are great for imbedding in websites, can be easily shared as images online.
They are designed to include short, easily understandable text just to emphasize an important piece of information.  This simplicity makes Infographics more easily understood by non-English global users, people with low literacy skills.

Infographics and history

Infographics are great to convey a history of something, your town, a business, a product.  You can produce infographics on people, produce timelines and highlight a particular story or time of history (floods, WWI, depression, building history), do then and nows.

How to make one?
Infographics make use of tables, graphs, charts, images and symbols. To produce these you need to compile the data and information.    If you can gleam numbers from your research that can easily be turned into images.  

When doing research now, I often have a notebook with me, that I will write any stats down in, or if I am trying to work out name changes of schools, clubs, churches etc I draw it.  If working on a particular project, I may compile a spreadsheet and insert any data.

I have produced infographics just using Publisher, but you can also use free apps (or apps that offer free versions)  to create them.  Once completed you can download them as a graphic or PDF. I have used   You can add your own images or use their symbols.  Graphs and tables are easily produced using their setup. 
Others include:

Once you have your infographic you can use it to make postcards, exhibition panels, maybe even the history of your town as infographics.

If you need inspiration try looking on Pinterest.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Bridge Park Pig Stud

James William ALDRIDGE

James was born in Adelaide on 15th April 1888 in Adelaide, the youngest of eight children.  He was the son of James Henry Aldridge, a noted breeder of high class blood horses.  His stud farm was famous throughout Australia.
After winning a piglet for a shilling at a bazaar as a school boy, he fattened it up, and then resold it for a £7 profit.   From that time he decided to become a stud pig breeder. After school he studied at Roseworthy College for two years.  At age 19 he took up land on Kangaroo Island.  After two years he went to Loxton and worked on farms there before taking up share farming.  He spent another two year stint in New South Wales share farming.   His father sent for him after securing for him land at Booborowie Estate.  The Booborowie farm had up to 500 pigs in open paddocks. 

In 1915 he enlisted and served a year in the Armed services.  He joined the 7/11th Light Horse regiment and entered Officers school.  He was found to suffer from epilepsy and was invalided back to Australia.  James married Georgina ‘Rene’ Fuller on 28 June 1917.
He sold the land at Booborowie and purchased a property at Angle Vale around 1926 where he engaged in mixed farming and pig breeding.  Located on the Gawler River near the Angle Vale Bridge, the property was known ‘Bridge Park’.  He started his pig stud by importing from Victoria the champion and first prize Gloucester Spot sow and first prize boar at the Melbourne Show.   

When his son Jim enlisted in the AIF in 1940, Jim reduced his stock. In 1942, the family received notification that Corporal James Aldridge was accidently drowned in Queensland.  Five years later the farm was sold.
James is buried at St Jude’s Brighton cemetery, having passed away on 23 July 1976. Georgina passed away a few months later on 13th November and is also buried in St Jude’s.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Virginia Bridge

Text Box: c. 1920The Gawler River forms a natural boarder to the City of Playford. Following colonial settlement there was a need to cross these natural water courses. In summer it was a dry channel, but when it flooded and in the rainy season it was no unusual thing to see the river overflow.

It was important to construct a suitable bridge that would allow farmers to cross with their produce and regular travellers.  There appeared to be a structure in place before 1869, but was in poor condition.  In 1865 a farmer crossing on his horse fell through the planking. The horse was fine and had to be lifted out with ropes.

The Virginia Bridge is built over the Gawler River, in the line of the north-west branch of the North road, at a spot known as ' Fisher's Crossing,' about two miles north of Virginia township, hence the name.  The river it this spot is exactly 100 feet wide, the banks flat or rather falling from the river. 
The Central Road Board designed a bridge with three huge laminated arches looking like water wheels.    Mr Macaulay recommended a bowstring bridge, with two roadways, supported at each end on piles. The Board having approved or the design, tenders were invited, and Mr. Pitman obtained the contract.

Six piles are driven in double rows at each end of the bridge, giving a clear waterway or 100 feet. Upon the heads of each row of piles a timber cap is placed. Upon these caps rests the bridge itself; and perhaps there is no bridge in the colony in which so little material has been used in the framework or skeleton as in this.
The trusses, three in number, are composed of an arc or bow, having a versed sine of 10 feet, fitted at each end into iron sockets, which are bolted down to a stringer or the beam.  At intervals of seven feet, uprights are placed, tenured at the one end into the stringer, and at the other into the arc. Wrought-iron tie-rods pass through these uprights, and are screwed up on the under side of the stringer.  A strong handrail is introduced between the uprights which acts in a double capacity, namely, as a protection to the traffic, and also greatly increasing the stiffness of the truss.

Each are is built of three-inch planks 11 inches in width. The middle rib is composed of eight layers ; the two outside ones of seven ; thus giving a total sectional area of five superficial feet (that of the Gumeracha Bridge is nine feet). The platform of the bridge consists of a double layer of three-inch planks laid diagonally and crossing each other at right angles.
The Bridge was officially opened by Mr. Thompson, Secretary of the Central Board of Main February 1858. Mr. Thompson arrived, with the contractor, Mr. Jacob Pitman, and Mrs. Pitman, in one of Mr. Rounsevell's carriages and four.  They were met on the ground by the Superintending Surveyor, Mr. Macaulay, and the Clerk of the Works, Mr. Samuel Wastell.  After testing the bridge with various loads of corn.  The Secretary, in the name of the Board, then christened the Bridge the ' Virginia Bridge.'   Three cheers were given for the Queen ; three more for the contractor; and three more for the Superintending Surveyor.

It wasn’t long before it began to show signs of weakness.  In a short time £2800 was spend on repairs.
By 1863, complaints were written in the newspaper about the state of the bridge.  £99 had been spent repairing the bridge that year.  A petition signed by users of the road had been sent into the Central Road Board requesting repair.

A new bridge was opened in 1869 to replace the rickety, tumble down structure previously in use.    At 12 noon a large party gathered, inspecting and commenting on its appearance.
The total span between the masonry abutments is 122 feet, but two wets of piers have been erected on each side of the water way. The piers are 8-inch cylinder, and the work of Messrs. Martin and Co., and support cast iron transvers girders turned out by Mellor Bros., of Adelaide. The bridge has taken nearly 12 months to construct.

The guests almost 300 were present to witness the opening ceremony.  The honour of christening the bridge was assigned to Miss Elizabeth Ridgway, who is the oldest native born lady in the neighbourhood.
Miss Ridgway made her way to the centre of the bridge, and, taking a bottle of wine in her hand, said — ' In the name of the great Architect of the universe, to whom be the praise and glory, I name this bridge the Virginia Bridge, and declare it to be open for public traffic.'  She then broke the bottle on the bridge, and three hearty, cheers were raised for Her Majesty the Queen. Mr. Bright, M.P., then advanced and formally declared the bridge open, after which cheers for Miss Ridgway and Miss Morris were given.

An adjournment was then at once made for lunch.
About 50 gentlemen sat down to a cold collation placed upon the table in excellent style by Host Mallyon of the Wheatsheaf Inn, Virginia.

Numerous toasts were given before the guests left at 4 o'clock, the Adelaide gentleman departed for town amid cheers. The festivities were, however, kept up by a ball in Mallyon's big room. Altogether a pleasant day was passed.
In 1923, the Automobile Association of SA declared the bridge unsafe for vehicles over one ton.

The banks fo the river near the bridge was a popular picnic place. Mr Ridgway who owned property near the bridge was often asked by groups to use his land.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Pin Playford Project

Pin Playford Project

We wear badges to show support or belonging to an organisation or cause, to commemorate a special event, as a sign of identification or even a symbol of authority. We buy them as souvenirs, or as a charity fundraiser. They become a snapshot of time for any community. 

The City of Playford Local History team is looking to start its own badge collection. Badges are just one way to document and learn about a community’s history. 

If you are willing to donate a badge that has a connection to the City of Playford, we would love to hear from you.

Please contact the Local History Officer on 8256 0382, or drop it into the Elizabeth Civic Library.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Hillbank homestead

Scammell's Homestead" c.1890 – mesmerizing sandstone return verandah estate of sprawling proportions, sited on 1,880sqm (approx.) This is how the real estate agent has described the homestead which is currently up for sale. It is known as the Scammell homestead such named as it was owned by the family for 30 years. The Scammell family is of course well known for managing F.H Faulding & Co.

Alice E. Scammell purchased the property in 1931. Alice Elizabeth Scammell nee Fuller married Robert Gray Scammell. Robert was the son of Luther Robert Scammell, the managing director of F.H Faulding & Co (Chemists) since 1889 until his death in 1940. Robert was also a managing director of Faulding’s with his brother.

The 300 acre property was called “Hillbank”, where sheep and peas were grown. The land was subdivided and laid out as Hillbank by the Scammell family in 1961.

Previous to this, George Sheerlock of Hindmarsh received the original land grant in 1848. In 1867 it was sold to EA Wright an Adelaide land agent. He sold it the following year to Thomas Williams who leased the property to William B. Wall and later John H Loftes of One Tree Hill, then James P. Martin of Gawler. In 1895 it was purchased by William H Johnson and G.L Johnson. In 1903 Lisle G. Johnson of Adelaide purchased it until 1907 when Sydney Charles Harrington purchased in. It remained with home until 1925 when Ernest James Hum of Adelaide purchased it. He only had it three years before William Snell of Salisbury purchased it in 1928.

You can view the house for sale here

Monday, November 14, 2016

Miss Quests

The Lions Club of Elizabeth organised the Miss Elizabeth Quest as part of the Elizabeth Birthday celebrations.  They also added to the quest a section for Miss Charity, who raised money for local charities.  Miss Quests were all the rage in the 1960's, in addition there were Quests for Miss Industry, Miss Rugby, Miss Texas Instruments, Miss Elizabeth Princess.
Miss Industry Quest, Louise Appels 1965
Miss Texas Instruments, Ann Bain and Mrs K. Allen

Miss Elizabeth Princess, Ruth Watts
Miss Rugby, 1964, Julia Bourne
being crowned by Rev Howell Witt

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Charles Melvin King

Charles Melvin King, lost his life 100 years ago today.

 Named after his father, Charles Melvin was born on 15 July 1892. He was registered as “Charlie” in Virginia. His parents were Charles King and Alice Ann Menadue. His father was a teamster and built many roads in the area. Charlie was educated at the Virginia Public school.

Charles Melvin was 23 years old when he enlisted on 4 August 1915. Charles had spent one year in the Citizen Forces. 

Charles sailed on the Oriana arriving at Alexandria on 21 March 1916 and then onto Marseilles, France. He developed influenza and was transferred to no.6 Convalescent Depot. Upon recovery he joined the 1st ANZAC Entrenching Battalion. He remained fighting there until he was killed in action on 5th November 1916.

The Battalion formed in La Motte, France on 6 June 1916. Entrenching battalions were advanced sections of the base depots where drafts could become inured to war conditions. For a time, all infantry reinforcements were drawn from this unit. Heavy losses at Pozieres in July through September 1916 caused all the infantry to be absorbed by fighting units and the entrenching battalion ceased to be employed this way. It then absorbed surplus tunnelling reinforcements and served as a tunnelling company with the Canadians at St Eloi, The Bluff and The Ravine (near Ypres). The battalion was disbanded on 20 October 1917.

In August 1917 his mother wrote that she was disappointed to receive only a few old letters and his pay book when his effects were sent to her. She then wrote that her son’s father was still alive and that the medals, scroll and plaque were to be sent to him at the same address.

Charlie was awarded the 1914/15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He is commemorated on the Villers Bretonneux Memorial.

The following year his parents and sister inserted a notice in the Chronicle newspaper.

This is the day, so sad to recall,
This is the day of remembrance to all;
Dear is the grave where our dear one is laid,
Sweet is the memory that will never fail.

His brother inserted;

He sleeps till the last roll call
Along with the brave.
Too dearly loved to be forgotten

His sister, H E Roberts inserted

From memory’s page time can’t blot
Three little words, forget me not.

Chronicle Saturday 10 November 1917 p 13


Photograph from the Australian War Memorial H06515


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Rev Father Peter Kavanagh

First member of the Virginia Catholic Parish to become a Priest.

Son of Peter John Kavanagh and Mary O’Flaherty. Peter was a Boer war veteran. On his return he became Manager at Buckland Park Estate, where he worked for 36 years until he retired in 1946.

Monica Kathleen born on 5 September 1914 at Kensington Park and Peter John named after his father born on 29 March 1917 in North Adelaide. Monica was engaged to Edmund A Sheedy of Virginia in 1939, but married Kenneth Neylon in 1941.

He was a boarder at Rostrevor from 1931 -1935. Later teaching at Balaklava High School. Peter was ordained at St Columban’s Nebraska, USA on December 21, 1944. He was a student at St Columban’s Mission Society, Essendon Victoria for over three years before going to America. 

In 1954 he travelled to Ireland to take up temporary appointment at the Society’s headquarters, Dalgan Park, Navam for twelve months.

He died in 1993, 10 May interstate.

Southern Cross 9 march 1945

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Smithfield’s Blue Ribbon Army

In the 1880’s a new temperance movement moved rapidly through the country attracting many members.  The society originated in England by R T Booth (no relation to General Booth of the Salvation Army). One of the greatest evils on earth was alcohol and the only remedy was total abstinence.   The Blue Ribbon Army was formed as it was considered that there was a lack of Christianity among the existing temperance bodies.   A branch was founded in Adelaide on 17 July 1882.  Branches of this society were formed all over the state, many churches establishing divisions with their Sunday school. 
Rev Nelson the founder of the army in South Australia was present at the Gawler Institute in July 1883 as Mr J.M Howie explained the objectives of the movement.   A branch was subsequently formed in Gawler.   In 1884 a large number of the Gawler branch proceeded to Smithfield with the purpose of opening a branch there.  One opened on 31 May 1884 when 40 people donned the blue ribbon, amongst them several habitual drinkers. The Rev R. Jackson of Salisbury was chairman and Mr Swann, Marsh, Cross, Matthews and Kekwick delivered addresses. Miss Kekwick is credited with starting the movement in Smithfield.

Regular meetings with a musical or literary program and address were held at the Angle Vale Bible Christian Church or Smithfield Institute.  Former hard drinkers would give testimony to the misery of drink and the blessing of abstinence.  Attendees were encouraged to sign the pledge and ‘take up the blue’.
By 1886, 182 signed the Smithfield roll.  Nothing more is heard of the Army after this time.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Arthur Ward

Arthur Ward was killed in the field, 100 years ago to the day.

The Ward family resided at Virginia where twelve children were born to William and Mary Ann. Two sons enlisted to fight in WWI, Sidney George and Arthur. Sidney returned home, Arthur did not. 

Arthur was born on the 7 December 1885 at Virginia. In 1905 he moved to New Zealand working as a driver at Tokamaru district. He joined the New Zealand Maori Pioneer Battalion on 23 August 1915. Leaving Australia at the end of January 1916, he arrived in France in April. It was five months later that he was killed in the field on 9 September 1916. 

He is buried in Fricourt New Military cemetery in the Somme.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Henry Percy Smith: The man who designed Elizabeth

Henry Percy Smith

Site architect for the SA Housing Trust, puts on paper the main technical planning  for Elizabeth.
Born 8 April 1915 in Templestowe Victoria.  He always liked to draw and took naturally to working in an architect’s office.  Seeking adventure the 20 year old sailed for England in 1934, living there for 14 years.   In England he studied as an architect and in 1938 entered the Air Ministry drawing office.  He planned RAF airfields and bases.  When war came he served in the RAF on an airfield he had planned.  He served as a sergeant instructor teaching recruits to fly in Tiger Moths, before he returned to the Air Ministry.

Now married, he returned to Australia and won a post as an architect with the SA Housing Trust in 1948.  From 1951 he was the Trust’s site architect. When he started the concept of a six neighbourhood satellite town existed and it was his job to design it.  The design of Elizabeth was ahead of its time with open areas for community parks and ovals close to all the homes.  It was standard practice to have 12% as open space, but Elizabeth managed 25%.
Henry continued to work for SAHT until 1976 when he retired.  He passed away in 2010.

During his years at Elizabeth he took numerous photographs of the growing area. Here are a few.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Frank Leslie Riggs

100 years ago today, Frank Leslie RIGGS was killed in action.

The Riggs family was a well-known farming family in Gawler. Frank was born on the 23 June 1892 at Gawler West to James Parker Riggs and Emily Jane Congdon. He was a 23 years old blacksmith when he enlisted on 26 July 1915. He had previously served seven months as a volunteer in the Senior Cadets. 

He embarked on the Benalla on 27 October 1915 at Adelaide. He sailed to Egypt where he joined the 50th Battalion. Frank made corporal on 12 March 1916. He sailed from Alexandria to Marseilles, France. After arriving in France on 11 June 1916, the 50th Battalion fought in its first major battle at Mouquet Farm between 13 and 15 August and suffered heavily.

Frank was killed in action on 16 August 1916. He is buried at Moquet Farm, and remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.  

His personal effects of brush, kit bag and fountain pen were sent to his mother in Broken Hill in 1918. 

Frank and his brother Harold were well known in musical circles in Broken Hill and Gawler.

Lest we forget! 
Photograph from chronicle newspaper 30 September 1916 p.46

Thursday, August 4, 2016

The name of my town is Virginia


The name of my home town is Virginia.  It is a small township on the Adelaide Plains.  It is composed mostly of small cottages. There are two shops, one garage and service station, a hotel, post office, railway station, school and institute, where we celebrate Arbor Day each year. We have recently acquired a recreation ground. The bitumen road runs through the centre of the town.  Numbers of cars ran through in each direction from Adelaide to Port Wakefield and other places. About two miles from the township lies the Gawler River. It is shaded with large red gum trees, opossums live in the trunks of the trees, buds build their nests in the branches and others high up in holes of the trunks. Along its banks the land is cut into blocks for gardens, where they grow vegetables and fruit. In dry weather water is obtained by electric pumps from the river. Sand is also carted for building purposes. Hay is mostly grown here, and after it is cut it is stooked, put on wagons and taken to the haystack. It's a pretty sight to watch the men and horses at work; the smell of the hay is very sweet.

The Observer Thursday 29 January 1931 page 18

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Clarence Roy McLaren

100 years ago today, Clarence Roy (Clarrie) McLaren lost his life fighting in Poziers, France.

The McLaren family stem from Ardrossan. Duncan and Elizabeth Ann Adams had nine children mostly in Ardrossan; four or who enlisted in the AIF.

After the birth of Clarence in 1893, the family moved to Bridge Road, Gawler West. Just prior to the war Clarrie was a pupil teacher in Gawler in 1912 and studied at Teachers College in 1913. In January 1914 he was appointed to Wellington Road School as Assistant Teacher. He was re-appointed each year until July 1916, even though he had enlisted on 20 August 1914. He was given leave on that date without pay until his return from war. 

Clarrie enlisted on 20 August 1914 when he was 21 years old. He had served one year in the University Rifle Corp, and three years in Senior Cadets. 

He was assigned to the 10th Infantry AIF. Sailing on-board the Ionian he joined the Middle East Forces at Alexandria, Egypt. He was sick with otitis (ear infection) at Cairo. After recovering he fought at Gallipoli and sent sick to hospital on 9 May 1915. He re-joined his battalion at Gallipoli and on 25 September 1915 was appointed Lance Corporal. In December he was made Corporal and then Sergeant after the evacuation of Gallipoli.

Clarrie was killed in action in the field on 23 July 1916 at Poziers, France. He is buried in Villiers-Bretonneux, Picarde. He left everything to his mother, who received his effects which included a wallet, trinket, notebook, post cards, letter, pen, photographs, set of chess and board, watch, mittens and soap box. 

In November 1918 Mrs. McLaren wrote to the army from Evanston, Gawler asking them to request the women of France to continue to tend to her sons grave as they have been, as it would be a great comfort to her. She mentions that she has three son’s still doing their part in the war. The army replied that they would pass on the request and also that a photograph of his grave would be sent to her. His mother wrote twice requesting a copy of the death certificate.  

Clarrie was well known and highly esteemed in the area. He was amongst the first to land at Gallipoli. 

A headstone was erected in Angle Vale cemetery for Clarrie and David.

David Francis was born on 20 November1880 at Ardrossan. He became a blacksmith and enlisted in 1917, aged 36 years. David had previously tried to enlist but was turned down because of heart trouble. He travelled to Sydney but failed again. He tried again in South Australia and this time was successful. Initially he was placed on home service, a task he felt was for returned soldiers. He resigned and was then offered a position as a munitions worker and left Adelaide in November 1917. In England he worked in a large factory near Ramsgate doing aeroplane work in a flying school and later at Southampton.

Unfortunately David contracted Spanish influenza and died in the Southampton hospital.

Allan Bruce was a thirty year old Blacksmith when he enlisted on the 1 November 1915. He was placed in the 25th company as a Driver in France. He was invalided out to the UK with pneumonia in October 1918.

James Ross was assigned to the 9th Light Horse Regiment and fought at Gallipoli. After receiving an injury to his left eye he was returned to Australia. James was discharged on 10 October 1919. 

A nephew Alexander James McLaren died of wounds in the chest and foot on October 14th 1916 in France. Other cousins were also serving at the front, Private Lloyd Silas McLaren (of Normanville), Stanley Roy McLaren (of Forest Range), Lieutenant J H McLaren (of South Africa) and Sister Tilly McLaren of Western Australia.

 Lest we forget!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Craigmore Farm

'Craigmore' by Elders Real Estate
This beautiful stone homestead was recently sold at Uleybury.  At one time, the property known as Greentree Hill Farm and later Craigmore lay on 619 acre property.

A holding consisting of several sections (Section 4177 on which the house was built), 4178, 4174, 4175, 4179, 4180.  These sections were originally granted to several people, Robert Paterson, Thomas Ryan, Robert Thomson and John Ridley between 26 February 1850 and 2 June 1852.

By August 1859 Robert Paterson had acquired all these sections amounting to an area of 619 acres for £2,940.
Paterson owned the property until 31 August 1897 when he sold it to Melville Galbraith Smith a gentleman farmer of O’Halloran Hill.  It was not until September 1928 when Craigmore changed hands again, brought by Arnold Fraser Warren of Kingswood for £10,450.  In 1968 John Bellhouse Fuller Ifould brought ‘Craigmore’ selling it to Clement Raymond Viney and JM Viney in 1972.

In 1897 the property was consisted of ten rooms, and a cellar.  There used to be a well and a swimming pool which was later filled in. The house had been extended probably 1972 to mid 90s with a modern kitchen and extra bedroom and laundry area. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

William Parr Stevens

100 years ago, today William Parr Stevens died of wounds in France.

The Stevens family were pioneer farmers in the Peachey Belt area. John arrived in 1836 on the Buffalo when he was 27 years old. A market gardener and farmer he resided in Adelaide, Unley and the Peachy Belt. John married Ann Burgin and had five children. The eldest son Charles Bennet was born on the 20 August 1840 at Unley.

Charles followed in his father’s footstep, working as a farmer and labourer living at Peachy Belt. He married Elizabeth Parr in 1865. Charles and Elizabeth Parr had six children, three boys and three girls all born at Peachy Belt. The youngest, William Parr was born on the 10 February 1883.

William enlisted on the 19 July 1915, he was 32 years old, single and worked as a labourer. He left Australia on the 27 October 1915 for Egypt. He was transferred to the 4th Division Pioneer Battalion on the 18 March1916. In June 1916 he proceeded to join the BEF from Alexandria, Egypt to Marseilles, France. Pioneer Battalions were essentially light military combat engineers organised like the infantry and located at the very forward edge of the battle area. They were used to develop defensive positions, construct command posts and dugouts, and prepare barbed wire defences. These soldiers held many skills from building, construction and maintenance to road and track preparation. They could also, and did quite often, fight as infantry.

While fighting in the field, William received shrapnel wound in his buttocks and abdomen. He was admitted to the Casualty Station, but died of his wounds on the 27 June 1916. He is buried in the Bailleul Cemetery by the Reverend C. K. Whalley.

William’s effects were returned to Australia. They consisted of dice, letters, photos, cards, belt, Testament, Prayer Book, diary, writing pad, pipe, knife and coins. The memorial Plaque, Scroll and photos of the grave were sent to his father.

Lest we forget!

 Photo: Chronicle newspaper Saturday 15th July 1916 page 43

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

South Australian Housing Trust Nursery

Once farming land, the dusty plains of Elizabeth needed vegetation as the City was grew.  The South Australian Housing Trust nursery was situated on the corner of Judd Road and Philip Highway, Elizabeth in the early 1960's.  Every new householder was given six trees from this nursery stock, hopefully to plant.  Stock from here was used to plant the plantations and trees around the reserves in Elizabeth.  It closed when the Trust no longer needed access to large quantities of trees and shrubs.

In the 1950's many cuttings were grown here from Sir Thomas Playford's own orchard in the Adelaide Hills and planted here in Elizabeth.

Monday, May 30, 2016

One Tree Hill Primary School Newsletter - 1963

One Tree Hill Primary school produced a newsletter entitled 'Picanny Punch' in December 1963.  It contains student works, some sketches, selected compositions and a sheep and pig breeds in England map.

Here is one by Ian Simon (Dux od the school 1963)

 Munno Para District Council SSA
On April 10th we held our annual sports day.  Schools competing were Virginia, Smithfield and One Tree Hill.  The sports were opened by Mr Chapman.  In the morning, team events were held in which our schools won most points.  After this we had lunch.
Some One Tree Hill children must have enjoyed their lunch too well for during the afternoon when the individual events were decided we steadily lost ground.  In the end Virginia was the victorious school.  Still I think our school did very well when you compare the size of the schools.  Anyway we'll be trying just as hard next year.  Finally on behalf on One Tree Hill children I would like to thank Mr O'Brien and his staff for their efforts in preparing the ground for Sports Day.

Swimming by Ian Slater
There is no doubt it. The favourite lesson in our school is swimming.  Every Tuesday afternoon we visit the pool at 'Treegoodwill'.  Here we are instructed by Mrs R. Barritt for an all to brief hour. Near the end of the season we were examined for our various certificates at the Gawler Pool.  We are proud to say that since the same began no child has left the school without being able to swim. 

Thankyou Mr & Mrs J Harvey of 'Treegoodwill'. An aptly named property, I can't image a better or more practical way of spreading 'goodwill' than this.  Thankyou too Mrs Barritt for many hours of understanding and efficient instruction.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Nissen huts

South Australia had a number of migrant settlements during the post war years and the South Australian Housing Trust saw this as a prime opportunity for establishing the purpose built city of ElizabethNissan huts were frequently provided as the accommodation for migrants newly arrived, being constructed of corrugated iron with bare timber flooring, and no lining on the walls or ceilings.

A few Nissen huts were seen around Elizabeth in its early days like the photograph which shows the North Downs Residents Association hall in 1968.
A Nissen Hut is made from a sheet of metal bent into half a cylinder and planted in the ground.

They were first developed during the First World War. In April 1916, the then Major Peter Norman Nissen of the 29th Company Royal Engineers began experimenting with hut designs with the final design being put into production in August 1916. At least 100,000 were produced during World War I.
Two main factors influenced the design of the hut, first it had to be economic in its use of materials. Secondly, the building had to be portable. Nissen’s design allowed for the hut to be erected by six men in four hours. The world record for erection was 1 hour 27 mins.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Kettering Road Water Tower

A six level water tower of reinforced concrete once was clearly visible around Elizabeth, before trees and buildings have hindered its view.  It is located on Kettering Road along the Adelaide to Peterborough Broad Gauge Railway.

The Tower was built before Elizabeth was constructed and is linked to the explosives and filling factory near Salisbury.  The factory was built in 1940 near the Barossa reservoir pipeline.  The water tower was built soon afterwards to provide water, essential for the manufacture of munitions.  It was in use until the early 1970’s for the Weapons Research Establishment.
It stands 44.2 metres and the tank has a capacity of 250 000 gallons.

From 1981 the Elizabeth Amateur Radio clubrooms were located in the tower.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Precolumb school

John Sampson a settler of One Tree Hill owned Precolumb Farm, which had a large vineyard, wine cellars and house.  He gave a portion of his land for a school to be built, on Paines Road.

The small building was built as a single room school.
The school room was opened on Sunday 28th 1855.  Three sermons were preached on that day, at 11, by Mr J. R Stephens, at 3:30 by the Rev. W. H Coombs, and at 7, by the Rev J. B Buttfield.  The following day a Public tea meeting was held, at which several ministers and friends delivered addresses.   Collections after each service was collected in aid of the building fund.

The school masters were selected to fill the dual post of Minister and teacher.  The first of these was John Stephens.  After him Mr Matthew Wilson filled the position for many years.  In later years after the church was built the widow of Mr Kekwick who was second in command of McDouall Stewart explorations party that crossed the continent.  The school was run privately until 1876 when it was transferred to the Minister of Education.
This school room was the local concert hall, the place for local celebrations of all kinds and the Lodge room.

The school closed in 1938, when numbers fell, the remaining students transferred to the Uleybury school.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Elizabeth Returned Servicemen's League (RSL)

In order to form a RSL sub-branch, ten financial members must combine to apply to the State Board for a charter.  In 1956, Mr White spread the news that he was looking for nine other financial members.  In March 1956 the first meeting was held in his house. By the end of 1957 the branch had 100 members.

The first committee comprised;
R. Bond                             President
R. Trevethic       Vice-President
John White        Secretary
Frank Caves       Ass Secretary
W. Finch             Treasurer
R. Ottoway & R Braddick members

The Elizabeth Returned Servicemen’s League was formed on 27th May 1956, and they made their home in the small hall rented to them by the South Australian Housing Trust in the Elizabeth South Shopping Centre.  This was the first hall or meeting place built in Elizabeth by the SAHT and it was shared by many organisations from the RSL to church services.
In the early days of Elizabeth the RSL Dawn Service on Remembrance Day was held under the flag pole at the Elizabeth South School, where all the returned soldiers who had made their homes in Elizabeth were drawn together to remember their lost comrades.

As the town grew in size so did the RSL membership when a march was inaugurated through the town culminating in an open air service on Ridley Reserve.
The RSL members were very community minded and they saw the need to assist in the youth work of Elizabeth.  It was as a result of their efforts that the first team of marching girls was formed in Elizabeth.  The large parking area attached to the shopping centre was an ideal training ground.

Since those days, teams have been formed in every area of Elizabeth by various groups who have, each year, entered competitions for both state and national titles often winning medals which the girls proudly display on their uniforms.
Marching Girls’ Clubs are family orientated and families follow the teams to competitions and often make practice days into a family picnic whilst watching the girls being put through their paces.

The Elizabeth Sub-Branch RSL transferred to their own premises at the corner of Halsey Road and Midway Road, Elizabeth East, in July 1965, nine years after their formation.
Extensions opening on 17 February 1979.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Queen Elizabeth II visit to Elizabeth in 1977

To commemorate the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the City of Elizabeth in 1977, a beautiful leather bound book was produced.  A calligrapher has inscribed the book and painted in great detail crest of Her Majesty and the City of Elizabeth. 
The album contains the Queens signature, signatures of the Queens household and Councillors who attended the luncheon. A selection of photographs have been included in the visit.
Designed and illuminated by E.M. Seymour, Aldgate.
Photographs by Pat Quigley.
The album forms part of the City of Playford Councils local history collection.

Mayor Eastland and Her Majesty at Windsor Green

Her Majesty and Mayor Eastland tour Windsor Green

Enthusiastic citizens gather to welcome Her Majesty

View of Municipal Offices from Windsor Green

Her Majesty accompanied by Mayor Eastland, commences the tour of Windsor Green.

Her Majesty and Mayor Eastland tour Windsor Green.

Her Majesty greets and acknowledges welcome of crowd.