• Mr. James Nicholas, Stationmaster, Axedale, receives serious injuries to his right hand during shunting operations. The injury required an operation..
• The Argus advertises a dissolution Sale:
"McKean, McGregor and Co., auctioneers, will sell, as above, on the site, Axedale Railway station, under instruction of Brasier, Riley, and Co., the whole of the Quarrying and Stone-breaking Plant, comprising:
Portable Marshall engine, 12hp, double cylinder, reversible gear; No. 4 "Champion" stone breaker; 2-ton chain blocks; 60 feet of 6in. leather belting, double ply, almost new; corrugated iron men's hut; iron shed, contain 90 sheets of principally 9ft. corrugated iron; steel railing and trucks; 6 jib "Gow" cranes; quantity of steel cables; 7 tip drays, wide tyres; 3 long wood drays; 2 draught horses, good workers; one acre freehold land with 4-roomed cottage; shed; 8-stall stables; also right to railway siding and lease of quarries.
Quantity of dressed and undressed cemetery sets; 1,000 gal., 400 gal., and 200 gal. galvanised iron tank; 5-ton German jack; blacksmith's anvil; vyce, and kit; wheelbarrows; grindstone; and the usual host of sundries too numerous to particularise. The sale offers a rare opportunity to any municipality or private individual to secure a good plant and hundreds of thousands of tons of the best bluestone in the state." [The location of the plant could be that situated on Allotments 11, 12 and 13 of Section 6, Parish of Axedale, the property of O'Neill that was advertised for sale in 1912. The quarry lease, mention of Axedale station and not Ingham, and siding access, also support this view.]
• The cost of road metal spalls, which six years ago could be obtained for under 1/- per cubic yard, has been increased to 5/- per cubic yard. While the prices have risen, supplies from the mines are difficult to obtain and recourse will have to be made to the Axedale bluestone quarries for spalls.
• The Railways Commissioners advise that they have decided to erect trucking yards at the Axedale Station.
• New road, commencing at the North West angle of Allotment 1, Section 6, Eppalock Parish. New road, commencing at the North West angle of Allotment 1, Section 6, Parish of Axedale. Requires clarification with Parish maps.
• Waverley Quarries, Axedale, posts an advertisement for Knockers-Out, Pitcher Dressers and Spallmen, as well as a good working Foreman, to take charge of quarry and crushing plant, must have a good experience to handle men, and practical knowledge of crushers and engines. [Did Mr. Deane purchase the quarry plant advertised last year?].
• The new trucking yards have been erected at the Axedale railway station.
• Victor Allen Deane is proceeded against in the City Court by Leonard Francis Strom, Inspector of Factories and Shops, for having employed workmen at a lower rate of wages than that provided by the determination of the Quarry Board. The case is dismissed with £3/3/0 costs.
• The dead end railway siding at Ingham is opened for wagon loads only, account Mr. V. A. Deane. [This indicates that Deane may now be operating a quarry in the vicinity, and it may be Waverley Quarries].
• To meet the demand for metal for road construction in Northern Victoria, new quarries are to be established at Axedale, where large deposits of bluestone occur close to the railway line. [This appears to be Trench & Co. as it coincides with the date of their application to the Railways.]
• A fire on Mr. J. Heffernan's Estate destroys more than 300 acres [121.5ha] of grass pastures and a small cottage. The fire is attributed to careless campers on the Campaspe River.
• A loop siding at Ingham, near Axedale, on the Bendigo-Wallan line, is now ready for use. [This is the Trench and Co. Siding loop, opened 27/03/1923, and is in addition to the dead end siding initially constructed in the 1890s].
• The engine of the Bendigo-Wallan train breaks down when leaving Axedale. A replacement engine is obtained from Bendigo and the train leaves Axedale about 2 hours late.
• A large number of men are employed in district road construction. Last month, more than 2,500 tons of road metal were consigned from the Ingham Siding at Axedale. This compares with 303 tons the previous year, and brought £533 in revenue for the Railways.
• Arrangements are being made for the establishment, at Axedale, of a new works for the processing of road metal and screenings for ballast from the large basalt deposits in the district. It is claimed that large quantities of road metal will be required for road construction in Northern Victoria and other centres under the National Highway Scheme. [This looks like the Bendigo City Council crushing operation that is to be set up at Axedale Station].
• The Bendigo City Council makes an inspection of the basalt quarries at Axedale where large supplies of graded metal are being transported to different parts of the state for road construction. Council has purchased 120 acres [48.6ha] of land at Axedale, containing large deposits of basalt, and, as the requirements of the local municipalities are more than 10,000 tons a year, it is proposed to establish municipal quarries and transport facilities. [The land the Council purchased is Allotments 11, 12 and 13, section 6, Axedale].
• Large consignments of basalt metal from the Axedale quarries and gravel from Bendigo are being made to northern Victorian towns for road construction.
• One of the bluestone quarries in Axedale, operated by Messrs. H. Trench and Co. at Ingham, is awarded a tender by the Bendigo City Council for the supply of bluestone pitchers at the rate of 45/- per 100. [What began as Ingham's Siding, and then Ingham, has changed identity in the Victorian Railways Grades Book. The location is now identified as Trench and Coy. Pty. Ltd. and V.A. Deane's Siding.]
• The State Rivers and Water Supply Commission advise by way of the Government Gazette that many Victorian districts are directly benefited by being supplied with water or drained by works carried out under provisions of the Water Acts, and have been so benefited on and from 1st July, 1925. Of interest for the Axedale area are Campaspe Irrigation and Water Supply District, and the Axe Creek Waterworks District
• The Bendigo City Council decides to float another loan of £100,000 for public works. The works include additions to the Municipal sheep and cattle yards and establishment of a quarry at Axedale for the supply of road metal and improvements to the Bendigo Town Hall and Botanic Gardens. When the mines in Bendigo were producing large quantities of hard rock, the municipalities in the district had ample supplies of metal for road construction, but the mining dumps, having been depleted of the suitable material, the City Council last year purchased a property at Axedale containing extensive deposits of basalt and arrangements are being made to establish quarries.
• Bendigo City Council has used 80,000 gallons [364,000 litres] of tar in improvements to the principle traffic highways. It is intended to obtain large supplies of metal from their basalt quarries at Axedale for the reconstruction of roads during winter.
• The Bendigo City Council has accepted a tender from Mr. V.A. Deane, of Axedale, for the supply of 4,000 yards [3,659m] of basalt grade road metal at 9/- a yard, delivered at Bendigo Railway Station. [This is probably to be carried by rail from his siding at Ingham].
• Owing to the high prices being charged for road metal at the proprietary quarries, the Bendigo City Council has decided to proceed at once with the installation of machinery and development of their municipal quarries at Axedale.
• The new quarries [Bendigo City Council] are to be equipped with modern machinery for processing the metal and transportation, at a cost of £5,600. Development and tests made at the quarries have proved the great extent of the deposits of basalt of splendid quality for road metal and pavement purposes. It is intended, when the machinery is installed, to make supplies of metal available to other municipalities.
• The Bendigo City Council has completed the floatation of the £30,000 loan for new works and the establishment of their Axedale quarry. The loan was floated by Messrs. J. B. Were and Sons, Melbourne. and is repayable in 30 years, the rate of interest being £5/15/0 per centum per annum. The Council has the right to redeem the whole of the principal sum outstanding at the end of 20 years. The principal works provided for in the loan are £12,520 for road and street reconstruction, £5,000 for equipping quarries at Axedale, £3,00 for improvements to the sheep and cattle yards, £2,300 for public grass tennis courts, £2,000 for public sanitary conveniences, and £1,000 for improvements at the Botanic Gardens.
• Mr. Curthoys, Stationmaster at Axedale, severely sprains his ankle while stepping off the platform.
• The Better Farming train tours Victoria. It visits Kilmore, Axedale and Heathcote.
• The new quarry Axedale Municipal Quarry is being opened up. Council is expending £5,600 in equipping the quarries and more than £8,000 is to be expended in road construction and renewing footpaths.
• The Better Farming Train leaves Melbourne for Bendigo. It will give demonstrations at Axedale on its way to Heathcote. The Argus provides a detailed account, not only of the activities associated with the train, but on relevant district activities:
"The Better Farming Train stopped this morning at Axedale, where demonstration« were given to residents from the mixed farming, fruit growing and pastoral districts of the settlement. Although much of the country near the railway station is barren land, which has only partially been cleared of timber, the diehard district of Strathfieldsaye, within a few miles of Axedale, is noted for one of the finest fruits produced in the state.
Wheat growing, and bee-keeping are also practised by many residents. The Horticultural car was inspected by many orchardists today. In addition to fruit displays, it contains a collection of shrubs suitable for planting on farms. Good and bad types of nursery trees, pruned and unpruned, are carried and, as in the other cars of the train, an attempt has been made to emphasise the importance of standardised grading and packing.
Apples, pears, and stone fruits of a high quality are grown in the outlying portions of the district. Owing to bad climatic conditions and the onslaughts of thrips however, it is expected that the crops this year will be much lighter than usual. Throughout the year, thrips hate been prevalent and this morning they invaded the horticultural car and could be seen on the windows.
A large quantity is produced in the Axedale district and apiarists who visited the car this morning, remarked that production would be greatly increased if the consumption was not so low. Lack of organisation to ensure the marketing of uniform blends, they say, has resulted in the neglect of the article. Exhibits of honey, varying in colour from light amber to black, are shown in the car, and it is considered that until uniform blends have been created by mixing these grades, satisfactory sales cannot be made. The development of an export trade is under consideration.
In the section of the car of the train dealing with the food values of various crops, farmers are shown why and when it is advisable to use oats, peas, beans, linseed meal, and other foods to obtain the most profitable results and sides of bacon illustrate the results of improper feeding. "Spare the feed and spoil the cow" is the maxim applied in this section which contains also an interesting veterinary exhibit showing the forms taken by the commoner diseases of stock and the precautions which should be observed to prevent them.
The pig exhibits were admired by visitors, who were informed that there is an assured market for prime baconers, that is, pigs whose food has been used to develop the highest priced part of its carcass.
Fat lamb raising is carried on in the better class lands near Axedale, and this afternoon, Mr. N. A. Bowman, the sheep and wool expert, pointed out the importance of careful selection of rams and ewes. The raising of fat lambs, combined with wool growing, he said was becoming more common because of quick returns.
Lectures were given on herd testing, topdressing, and other subjects, and the Axedale farmers were among the most enthusiastic who have inspected the train on this tour. This afternoon, the train left for Heathcote, where final demonstrations will be given tomorrow. The train will return to Melbourne, arriving tomorrow night.
• A fire breaks out on the property of Mr. V.A. Deane, on the Campaspe River at Axedale. It spreads quickly in the long, dry grass and into the paddock of Mr. F. Bennett, near the Axe Creek. A large number of volunteer firefighters keep the fire within the confines of the Campaspe River and the Axe Creek. More than 200 acres of grass, and a quantity fencing and timber are destroyed. It is stated that the fire began close to a fishing party on the Campaspe River. [The mention of Axe Creek does not fit the earlier part of the paragraph.]
• The Licensing Court holds Deprivation Sittings to consider a number of district hotels. They include the Bull's Head Hotel, Grassy Flat, and the Raglan Hotel, Axedale.
• The Bendigo City Council has decided to visit Axedale to choose a site for their quarries and machinery.
• The Bendigo City council accepts the tender of Jaques Brothers (Melbourne) for the supply of an Australian-made air compressor and crushing plant is accepted by the Bendigo City Council for their quarries to be established at Axedale. Cr. J. Curnow says, 'I consider the City Council was treated scurvily by Mr. Clapp (Railways Commissioner) in refusing to reduce the rental of £52 per year for the site for the municipal quarry plant at the Axedale railway station. It was a downright imposition on the municipality to impose any rental when the council would be paying freight charges amounting to more than £4,000 a year.' It was decided to emphatically protest against the charge. Axedale Station site rental was previously only £6 per year, but the Railways Commissioners refused to reduce the higher charge to the council. In explaining that refusal, Mr. Clapp said that for some years they had been reviewing the rentals of all classes of tenancies on the various lines, but so far, the section Pyalong to Bendigo had not been reviewed. The proposed fee was considered fair and reasonable. On present, relative rates, the charge would have been £64 per annum.
• At a meeting, Cr. J Curnow says that Council has been unfairly treated regarding the Railways site fee. He added that the council had to erect buildings and plant costing several thousands of pounds on land for which the Commissioners refused to grant more than a six month tenure. It was decided to erect the plant at the Axedale Station after all.
• Large consignments of metal for road construction are being made from Axedale quarries to Northern Victoria districts. The Bendigo City Council is still erecting a machinery plant at Axedale for operating their municipal quarries.
• James Francis Drake is killed when a car, driven by his aunt, Mrs. Cahill, runs off a bridge at the Baxter Street/McIvor Road intersection [Bendigo]. The other occupants are injured. A butcher, Andrew Ryan, breaks his leg in a rescue attempt. The car was being driven towards Axedale as Drake's father, Edward Patrick Drake of Axedale, had died only about 45 minutes earlier.
• The Bendigo City Council will soon finish quarry machinery erection at Axedale. The crushing and grading sections of the plant and the loading bins are being erected at the station. The material from the basalt quarries, about a mile from the railway station, is to be transported by motor trucks. Council has appointed the Mayor, Cr. J. H. Curnow and Councillors W. Ewing, A. Harkness and J. A. Michelsen as a committee of management. Machinery and buildings at the quarry should be completed by the end of January. Meanwhile, the quarries are being opened and large supplies of rock are being stored. [The quarry is on allotments 11, 12 and 13 of Section 6, adjoining the Axedale township on its northern side]
• Good surveys are being made for construction work on the Eppalock water storages on the Campaspe River near Axedale. A road is also being constructed from the Axedale Station to the new weir site, and camps have been erected for the accommodation of the men employed at the works. A large number of men are in the district, looking for work. [I suspect that the main road to Eppalock from Bendigo was via Giri's Lane, a short distance on the Bendigo side of Axedale, or Cemetery Road and Crowe's Road on the Axedale township side of the Axedale Station].
• The erection of machinery plant at Axedale is nearly finished.
• Good progress is being made with about 200 men being employed by the Water Commission. On the completion of a road and tramway, which are needed for the transportation of the building materials from the railway to the site, attention will be given to the bank of the storage. The plan will be the largest storage on the Campaspe River, and is designed to supply water for domestic and irrigation for the fertile valley extending to the areas served by the Waranga and Murray River system.
• In the Bendigo City Court, Oscar Flight, City Engineer, is charged by the Inspector of Explosives, with having stored a quantity of explosives at the municipal quarries at Axedale, contrary to the regulations. Flight said that he was not aware that a licence was necessary to carry and store explosives at the quarry. He was fined 11/3, being 3d per pound for explosives in excess of that allowed.
• Mr. V. A. Deane, owner of Waverley Quarries at Axedale, says that £12,000 revenue will be lost to the Railways in consequence of their increased rates. He is under contract to supply Cohuna Shire Council with road metal. The freight, under the new schedule, would amount to £19,000 which the council was not prepared to pay. The Railway Department, through the Country Roads Board, was offered £12,000 but it was refused. In Deane's quarries alone, the loss of the contract will mean that 50-60 men would be out of employment.
• The Bendigo City Council's new quarry is open and producing good road metal.
• Workmen at the Council quarry were, for some time, subject to furious attacks from a pair of magpies until their nest was removed. The nest, except for a few twigs on top, consisted entirely of wire, netting, barbed and plain, and a narrow strip or two of galvanised sheet iron.
• An interesting motoring article appears in the Argus:
"New routes to old centres might well form the topic of a motorist's touring handbook. There are many people who like to break away from tho familiar track when driving on pleasure, but with a car it is necessary to know where any deviation leads because petrol and food supplies en route have to be considered. A little known and reliable route to Bendigo is described by Mr. G. R. Broadbent, the RACV tourist official.
In a trip which he made recently, the outward journey led along the Sydney Road to the junction two miles past Kilmore over a good surface. Here, at 39 miles, turning left and following a fair road through undulating country past High Camp and Pyalong, Tooborac was reached at 57½ miles, travelling conditions being favourable throughout. Continuing through Argyle, Heathcote, a prosperous town, and formally the centre of the McIvor diggings was passed, at 68 miles with hotels and garages in the wide main street. In the further run to Bendigo, several smaller towns were passed through, including Derrinal and Knowsley, between which portions of the road is loose and broken over short distances. These are the only poor sections of the route. Other villages seen were Axedale (where the only hill of any consequence exists), Longlea and Junortoun, through which the road is uniformly good, and from a ridge two or three miles from Bendigo, a good view of the city was obtained." [Add more details from second article.]
• A tornado tears through the district:
A tornado which lasted only a few minutes swept from Axe Creek, through the township of Axedale to three miles beyond Knowsley, a distance of about 10 miles, on Christmas night. Trees and fencing were levelled, and several houses were destroyed, while others had the roofs torn off and blown hundreds of yards away. A booming noise was the first intimation of the approaching storm at half past 7 o'clock.
Beginning on a small front in Axe Creek, the tornado gradually widened its path to almost a mile and a half. It was followed by a heavy downpour of rain. Many homes have been wrecked, and their content severely damaged by rain. no one was seriously injured.
The first home struck, was that of Hawkins Bros, where four of the rooms were unroofed, leaving only one room and a kitchen with a roof on. A large haystack was wrecked. Three small dwellings, owned by Mr.S. A. Hunter, of Knowsley, also suffered. One, occupied by Mr. Hattley, was severely damaged, while farm buildings were destroyed. The gale next struck a large shed, stable and workshop of Mr. D. Cochrane, which collapsed. Trees were blown across the main Heathcote-Bendigo road at this point, and residents had to chop a pathway for traffic.
The rear portion of an unoccupied four room dwelling in Axedale, owned by Mr. A. Michelsen, of Bendigo, was twisted, and iron deposited in paddocks across the road. The Axedale school was slightly damaged. Three houses, owned by Mr. W. Millington, in Axedale near the Campaspe River, were seriously damaged. One, occupied by Mr. Doyle and his family, had the roof torn away. Mr. Doyle had to make a hurried exit with his family.
The path of the storm deviated slightly when crossing the Campaspe River, and struck Mr. V. Deane's stone homestead on the peak of Ingham's Hill. Only the barn was damaged. Mr. Deane's iron sheds at his bluestone quarries at Ingham siding were also affected. The Marydale Estate owned by Mr. Kiegrhan, lost a lot of fencing and the woolshed was damaged.
Crossing the Knowsley Forest, the storm did little damage, but gathered force approaching Knowsley, where the devastation was greater than at Axedale. St. Brigid's Roman Catholic Church suffered most. A large weather board building, it was shifted from the blocks and reduced to a scrap of matchwood. The church, which was erected 32 years ago, is the only church in the Knowsley district. Not an upright was left standing in the church, while the church organ was hurled about with a mass of seats. The altar and valuable statues were smashed. Within a few yards of the church, hardy a building escaped.
Mr. W. Spaull's home collapsed. As Mr. Spaull emerged from the front door, the front wall collapsed. Fortunately, two joists prevented the wall from pinning him. A home owned by Miss M. E. Bywater, and occupied by Mr. J. Evans, was almost wrecked. Mr. Evans and his family were having tea in the kitchen when the roof was torn off and deposited 100 yards away. The railway station property was badly damaged. The roof of the large goods shed was thrown into a paddock 200 yards away. Mr. Willoughby, of Melbourne, who was in the open, was struck by a piece of roofing iron and had his nose and cheek gashed. Mr. A. J. Rooney's home was torn and strained. Flying debris struck the Knowsley Public Hall and stove in the back wall and damaged the roof. The general store and post office, occupied by Mr. R. O'Neill, suffered extreme damage. At the Moorabbee Hotel, Mrs. A. Hunter and her daughter-in-law (Mrs. N. Hann) had a trying time with the children huddled under the table, when one window and a chimney were taken away.
Despite the fact that the wind had spent much of its force near Messrs. M. and K. Bywater's house on the Wild Duck, road, four rooms were unroofed. Telegraph and telephone lines have been blown down throughout the district and special gangs have traversed the railway line to clear debris.