Thursday, January 28, 2016

Penfield township

Penfield Township was laid out by William Penfold, a pioneer settler and hotel keeper who subdivided Section 4057 into allotments in 1856.  Situated at the intersection of Penfield and Argent Roads, it was a small village which serviced the surrounding farms.  It contained only a few buildings such as the post office which received mail carried by horse and cart from Salisbury, a house or two, blacksmith, a one-roomed school and the plough and harrow hotel for which William Penfold held the licence between 1853 and 184.  The hotel closed in 1893 and reverted to being a private dwelling.  At the village shop horseshoes were sold over the counter and tea and sugar were still weighed loose on a set of scales until the compulsory acquisition of land in 1940.  A large stone barn was used for dances and social gatherings.

Penfield was a close-knit community and local families were predominantly Methodist.  In the days before Methodist Union they were served by two churches: Sturton Primitive Methodist Church – a mile or two south of the township – and Zoar Bible Christian Chapel – a little to the north.  The few Catholic families in the district travelled by pony and trap to the Catholic churches in Salisbury or Virginia.
The village was situated in the heart of the premier wheat and hay growing district of the Northern Adelaide Plains.  Although the local farmers were not wealthy, a good living was made while there was a big demand chaff to feed the growing number of horses used in horse-drawn vehicles in Adelaide, well into the early years of this century.  With the arrival of the automobile the demand for hay gradually lessened and farmers turned to wheat growing and raising livestock.

The comfortable and predictable routine of farming life in Penfield was shattered in mid 1940 when Britain faced a crisis after the fall of France and the devastating loss of equipment in the Dunkirk evacuation.  Essington Lewis, Director General of Munitions, was requested by the Australian War Cabinet to look for a suitable site for a new munitions factor.  South Australia’s far sighted Premier, Thomas Playford, already planning the State’s future industrialisation, bid for the project and as an inducement offered his government’s agreement to finance the supply of land, and to meet the cost of bringing water, roads, power, transport and sewerage to the factory’s boundaries and magazine areas.  Penfield was deemed to be the best site, providing flat land close to existing railway services and close enough to Adelaide to draw upon its workforce, while being sufficiently distant for safety.

Under the Supply and Development Act, the Commonwealth government accepted the South Australian offer and moved swiftly in September to compulsorily acquire two, 020 hectares of land in the Penfield area for the factory and magazine.  Twenty local farmers, including names such as Thompson, Griffiths, Bubner, While, Worden, O’Leary, Jeffries and Fatchen suddenly found they were faced with a major change in their lives.  While surveyors appeared and were busy surveying land among the ripening crops, the farmers made preparations for their last harvest before they moved.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Rigg family of One Tree Hill

Henry John Riggs
Henry was born on 18th November 1832 in Dorset.  At the age of 22 he immigrated to South Australia on board the Thomas Arbuthnot.  On arrival he worked as a labourer at 24 he married Mary Ann Bond.

He carried on a butchering business in his early days, but later devoted himself to farming. Henry took up farming, building a homestead on the One Tree Hill Road, about four kilometres from Gawler.  The homestead was named Bentley and one room of the large home was used as a school for the local kids that lived in the area, around the 1850 to 1900 era.  Henry became regarded as one of the best sheep men in South Australia.
He was a member of the Munno Para East Council and prominent member of the Gawler Agricultural Society. 

In 1908, aged 76 he fell from an express train at Tintinara.  He is interned in the Willaston cemetery.

Albert Henry RIGGS

Only son of the late Henry John Riggs.  He was born at Bentley, near Gawler in 30 June 1873. Albert was educated at Gawler Grammar school and at Prince Alfred College.  He worked at the Bank of Adelaide in Gawler for two years before joining his father farming.
He was a member of the Munno Para East District Council and is active member of the Liberal Union.  He took a keen interest in cricket, football and tennis. 

In 1904 he married Clara Isabella Verco and together had five children, two dying at a young age. 
He was a member of the Mounted Infantry & Rifle Club, JP, Council of Munno Para East for 22 years and six years as Chairman.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Distric Council Constables

District Constables were special constables appointed by South Australian District Councils and sworn in for a 12 month term to maintain the law and protect life and property in rural districts where there were insufficient officers of the Police Force.  In 1861 the Municipal Corporations Act authorized District Constables in city districts.  District Constables were not members of the Police Force. 

They were sworn in by Council and would receive payment if they were called upon to carry out any duties.  For example one Constable was paid for arresting a man near Virginia and for vehicle hire needed to convey him to Two Wells.  An annual call was carried out to identify men in the district eligible to fulfil the role.  From the list 10-12 men were chosen from different areas within the Council to ensure the whole area was covered.  Lists of Constables have been found for Munno Para West from 1866 to 1902.
Regulations for Constables

The Council may at any time and from time to time appoint and remove a Constable or Constables.
Every person so appointed shall after being sworn a Constable:-

Be a peace Officer of the State within the District and any adjoining District:

Have and exercise within the District and adjoining District during his tenure of Office all the powers and privileges for the time being of a Constable of the Police Force of the State.

Shall be entitled to the same protection in the lawful execution of his duty as that to which a Constable of such Police Force is for the time being entitled.

Shall, in addition thereto, exercise and possess all such powers and privileges and be liable to all such duties and responsibilities as any Constable may exercise, possess, or is liable to by virtue of the common law.

To qualify a person to be a Constable under this Act he must be a ratepayer and an able-bodied man, between the ages of twenty one and fifty years.

Every persons so qualified shall, except as hereinafter provided be liable to serve as such Constable.

No person shall be liable to serve as a Constable for two years in succession unless he has, before his appointment for the second year, consented thereto by writing delivered to the Chairman or Clerk of the Council.

A Constable appointed under this Act, if he sees any crime or offence committed with in the District for which he is appointed Constable against and Act or law in force for the time being in the State, shall act, in regard to any person committing such a crime or offence, in the same manner as a member or Constable for the time being of the Police Force would be bound to act in regard to any person committing the like crime or offence, in his presence when on duty.

A Constable appointed under this Act, upon receiving any information of any crime or offence having been committed within the District for which he is appointed Constable against any Act or Law in force for the time being in the State, and if requested by any person in that behalf, shall act, in regard to the person committing such crime or offence in the same way as a Constable or member for the time being of the Police Force on duty would be required to act if he received information of a like crime or offence having been committed on his beat.

Monday, January 4, 2016

The first family in Elizabeth

This image of the Pinnegar family has been used on numerous occasions to do with the history of Elizabeth.  The family is credited with being the first family to move into the newly built houses in Elizabeth in 1955.  Their new home was located at 10 Bubner street, Elizabeth South.  I wrongly assumed the family would be new migrants from the UK, but they were actually all born in Adelaide.
The head of the family was Raymond Leslie Pinnegar, born 30 June 1914 at Ethelton SA.  It appears he worked as a woolpresser, and labourer before enlisting in the Royal Australian Air Force. Raymond enlisted on 26 March 1941, worked as cook, then from 1943 as an Aerodrome Defence Instructor.  He was promoted to Sergeant, stationed in Darwin and discharged 22 Nov 1945.   He passed away in 1994.  Raymond married Mavis Beatrice Tozer in 1934 and had eight children.

·       Patricia Lesley born 7 Feb 1936 Rose Park·       Lois Jean born 4 Oct 1938 Rose Park·       Gwenneth Raylee born 9 Jan 1940 Rose Park·       Brian Ray born 19 July 1941·       Gail born 16 Sept 1944·       Wayne·       Michael·       Raylee
The family rented the property from the SA Housing Trust.
Here the family admire their new stove after having just received the keys
to the house by the SAHT Chairman  JP Cartledge. This photo includes
Raymond's mother and the baby is grand daughter, Sharon.