1920 to 1929

Historical information from 1920 to 1929.


March, 1920

A farewell to Mr. and Mrs. McCarten is held in the Bylands State School on the eve of their departure to Hatten[sic.] assumed to be Hattah. Mr. McCarten has been promoted to Ganger. Mrs. McCarten has been Caretaker of Bylands Station. It is hoped they will return to live there again.

May, 1920

Axedale Stationmaster, Mr. James Nicholas receives serious injuries to his right hand during shunting operations. The injury requires an operation.

A fire breaks out in the roof of a passenger train carriage of a Heathcote to Bendigo line train. It is subdued by railway officials before any serious damage is done.

July 1920

Firewood supply problems make themselves felt and it is affecting prices. Mr. W.E. Prince of the McIvor Timber and Firewood Company says there is now very little red gum timber in Victoria and, if he was offered £100 per truck, he couldn't supply it.

August, 1920

Brazier, Nelson and Riley's crushing plant, stone breaker, drays, portable Marshall engine, quarries, buildings, corrugated iron and sundries are for sale, on site, at the Axedale Railway Station [as written]. The notice includes much detail of the items for sale, including the right to the railway siding and lease of quarries. 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 appears to be the property on Allotments 11, 12 and 13, Section VI, offered for sale by O'Neill in 1912. Brazier may have bought it then and, owing to their partnership dissolution, are now selling it. There never was a quarry at Axedale Station, only stone crushing facilities].

September, 1920

The cost of road metal spalls, which six years ago could be obtained for under 1/- per cubic yard, is now 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.

April, 1921

The Railways Commissioners advise that they intend to erect trucking yards at the Axedale Station.

September, 1921

Waverley Quarries, Mr. V.A. Deane, advertises for Knockers-Out, Pitcher Dressers and Spallmen. [This is most likely for quarry work at Ingham].

October, 1921

The new trucking yards are erected at the Axedale railway station...

April, 1922

• 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.

May, 1922

• Weekly Notice WN19/22 of 15/05/1922 advises that Kilmore Junction is renamed Heathcote Junction.

January, 1923

• New quarries are to be established at Axedale, where large deposits of bluestone occur close to the railway line, to meet the demand for metal for road construction in Northern Victoria. [This is most likely at Ingham Siding and is the Trench and Co. quarry].

• More than 300 acres [121.5ha] of grass pastures and a small cottage is destroyed by fire on Mr. J. Heffernan's 'Marydale' property. The fire is attributed to careless campers on the Campaspe River.

February, 1923

• Paul Johnson and William Jones are each fined 3/6 and 14/6 costs at the Kilmore Police Court for traveling in a railway truck instead of a carriage at Tooborac.

• The Heathcote Agricultural Society decides to support the Heathcote and Elmore Railway League regarding a proposed line from Heathcote to Elmore.

April, 1923

• The loop siding at Ingham, near Axedale, on the Bendigo-Wallan line, is now ready for use. [This indicates that until now, there has only been the short dead-end siding].

August, 1923

• Pyalong Shire Council co-operates with Kilmore for increased services on the Wallan to Bendigo line and also the trunk telephone line.

• The engine of a Bendigo-Wallan train breaks down when leaving Axedale. A replacement engine is obtained from Bendigo and the train leaves Axedale about 2 hours late.

• The Firewood Sawmillers' Association states the case of dwindling firewood supplies. Eighty percent of the firewood and sawmilling plants are closed and that will soon be 95 percent. This is due to laws that require district roads to be closed for up to five months of the year.

September, 1923

• Weekly Notice WN37/23 of 11/09/1923 advises High Camp is closed as an Electric Staff Station.

August, 1924

A large number of men are employed in district road construction. More than 2,500 tons of road metal are consigned from the quarries at Axedale in one month.

September, 1924

• Weekly Notice WN39/24 of 23/09/1924 advises High Camp is opened as an Electric Staff Station.

October, 1924

• Weekly Notice WN44/24 of 28/10/1924 advises High Camp is closed as an Electric Staff Station.

March, 1925

Arrangements are being made for the establishment of a new road metal processing works at Axedale. [This is probably the City of Bendigo's quarrying operation].

April, 1925

The City of Bendigo 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] and plans to establish municipal quarries and transport facilities. [The property consists of Allotments 11, 12 and 13, Section VI, adjoining the Axedale township's Northern border].

April, 1925

Large consignments of basalt metal from the Axedale quarries and gravel from Bendigo are being made to northern Victorian towns for road construction.

The Railways advise their intention to reduce the status of Knowsley Station to Woman-in-Charge and remove the Stationmaster to Pyalong. It is not favourably viewed by the residents. A deputation to the Commissioners is arranged.

• Weekly Notice WN25/25 of 23-06-1925 advises that High Camp is opened as an Electric Staff Station a/c the running of ballast trains.

July, 1925

• A deputation waits on the Commissioners, protesting about the proposed withdrawal of the Caretaker at Willowmavin Station and placing the station under No-One-In-Charge conditions. The annual revenue is about £500 per year. Mr. Eggleston replies that if the revenue is not great, the Commissioners have no option but to withdraw the Caretaker. The position can be restored if revenue increases sufficiently.

• Weekly Notice WN29/25 of 21/07/1925 advises that High Camp is closed as an Electric Staff Station.

• Weekly Notice WN29/25 of 27/07/1925 advises that Bylands is now No-one-in-Charge.

August, 1925

One of the bluestone quarries at Axedale is operated by Messrs. H. Trench and Co. and they successfully tender for the supply of bluestone pitchers for the City of Bendigo at the rate of 45/- per 100. [What began as a 50 yard dead-end siding, now has a loop siding on the down side.].

October, 1925

Proposed closures of stations on the Wallan-Bendigo line are strongly complained of and condemned by all of those whose traffic conveniences are to be considerably curtailed. Deputations are sent away dissatisfied and disappointed.

Mr. Pollard, MLA, asks Harold Clapp, Minister for Railways, for:

1: The names of stations on the Wallan-Bendigo line that are being worked as Flag stations. Answer: Leslie, Bylands and Longlea.

2: The names of all stations on the Wallan-Bendigo line intended to be converted to Flag stations. Answer: Moranding and Willowmavin, and High Camp is under notice but deferred until 1st July, 1926.

3: The revenue for the year ended 30 June 1925 for Moranding, High Camp, Pyalong, Willowmavin, Leslie and Bylands. Answer: Moranding £146, High Camp £837, Pyalong £8,624, Willowmavin £470 Leslie £111 and Bylands £268.

A letter (dated 23 September) from the Secretary to the Minister for Railways, informs Mr. Pollard that the decision cannot be changed. In addition, it is added that certain telephone alterations are being made 'where it will be available to local residents, who will thus be enabled to obtain information regarding railway business from the supervising station, Kilmore'.

December, 1925

• Weekly Notice WN49/25 of 14/12/1925 advises that Moranding is now No-one-in-Charge.

• Weekly Notice WN51/25 of 28/12/1925 advises that Willowmavin is now No-one-in-Charge.

February, 1926

Tooborac Stationmaster, Mr. T. Collier, is been transferred to Ballarat and Mr. E. Edbrooke, from Kilmore East, is his successor.

The Railways announce that, on Tuesdays only, the 5pm rail motor from Bendigo to Heathcote, will be extended to Wallan. It will return to Heathcote the same evening, connecting with the 6.40pm Melbourne-Seymour train. The new service will enable residents between Heathcote and Leslie to travel to Melbourne on Tuesdays and return the same day.

The Bendigo City Council decides to float a loan of £100,000 for public works. The works include the establishment of a quarry at Axedale for the supply of road metal and improvements to the Bendigo Town Hall and Botanical Gardens. They purchased a property at Axedale [previous year] containing extensive deposits of basalt and arrangements are being made to establish quarries.

Mr. Hoskins, Stationmaster, Heathcote, for a number of years, is transferred to Kilmore East. He is to be replaced by Mr. Klapman.

April, 1926

Bendigo City Council uses 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.

A proposed new railway from Corop to Heathcote and the rail motor service is popular.

The Railways Standing Committee hears evidence from residents of Elmore, Lockington, Bamawm, Runnymede and Myola in favour of a connection from Elmore to Heathcote.

May, 1926

The Bendigo City Council accepts 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 would be from his new quarry operation at Ingham.]

Heathcote Junction is awarded second prize for the best kept garden.

• Weekly Notice WN18/26 of 04/05/1926 advises that Kilmore and Tooborac have been provided with a Staff Exchange Box.

June, 1926

Owing to the high prices being charged for road metal at the proprietary quarries, the Bendigo City Council decides to proceed at once with the installation of machinery and development of their own municipal quarries at Axedale.

July, 1926

The new Bendigo City Council quarries 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.

September, 1926

Bendigo City Council completes the floatation of the £30,000 loan for new works and the establishment of their Axedale quarry.

October, 1926

Axedale Stationmaster, Mr. Curthoys, severely sprains his ankle while stepping off the platform.

The Better Farming train visits Kilmore, Axedale and Heathcote.

Four passengers are injured when the rail motor collides with a loaded motor-lorry driven by A. Sartori at a level crossing close to Heathcote, and is derailed. The cattle pit is smashed and the fence is broken.

November, 1926

The Bendigo City Council's new 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 gives demonstrations at Axedale on its way to Heathcote. Demonstrations include fruit growing, mixed farming and pastoral districts. The horticultural car is inspected by many orchardists. Farming tips and displays are provided.

December, 1926

In connection with the recent rail motor accident and derailing at Heathcote, Mr. Adolph Sartori is charged with having driven his vehicle in a negligent manner and without a licence. He is fined £3 on the first charge, £1 on the second charge, with £2/19/4 costs.

The Railways Standing Committee recommends that it is not expedient at present to serve the district north of Heathcote with railway facilities.

January, 1927

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. It is kept within the confines of the Axe Creek and the Campaspe River but more than 200 acres, fencing and a quantity of timber is burned.

February, 1927

Messrs. Curley Brothers, are dismantling their machinery in the foothills of Mount Disappointment and moving it to Leslie, where they have purchased a site.

April, 1927

Bendigo City Council decides to visit Axedale to choose a site for their quarries and machinery. [This is probably for a site at the Axedale station for their crushing plant.].

June, 1927

The tender of Jacques Brothers (Melbourne) for the supply of an Australian-made air compressor and crushing plant is accepted by the Bendigo City Council for their quarries 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 is a downright imposition on the municipality to impose any rental when the council will be paying freight charges amounting to more than £4,000 a year'. It is 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 Bendigo City Council. In explaining that refusal, Mr. Clapp says 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 is considered fair and reasonable. On present, relative rates, the charge would have been £64 per annum.

July, 1927

Many workers will be thrown out of employment with the impending cessation of operations of a sawmilling company in the Moormbool district. A deputation of residents asks that the existing 10 miles of their tramway be taken over by the authorities and be used for development of forest areas in the vicinity. It is said that it could be operated much more cheaply by the Railways Department than by the present company. A full inquiry should be made.

The Railways Commissioners are only provided with £2,000,000 of the £3,000,000 they expected from the Budget. It may be possible to get more via the Development and Migration Commission. There are nine proposed lines.

Cr. J Curnow still says that Council has been unfairly treated regarding the Railways site fee at Axedale. He adds that the council has to erect buildings and plant costing several thousands of pounds on land [at the Axedale Station] for which the Commissioners refuse to grant more than a six month tenure. It is decided to erect the plant at the station after all.

The State Government declines the offer of purchasing the McIvor Timber and Firewood Company's tramway for £15,000, including all equipment - even though the price is later reduced to £12,000 as a lower price for the track only, and subject to conditions regarding storage and yard accommodation. Mr. Bell, MLC, moves that the line, and a W class engine, be purchased for £8,000, but it is not seconded. Evidence given before the committee gives the value of the line and equipment at only £4,615. An immediate expenditure of £12,435 will be necessary to make the line fit for normal rolling stock, not including £8,250 for regrading. The annual loss on the line is estimated at £1,707.

August, 1927

Large consignments of metal for road construction are being made from Axedale quarries to Northern Victoria districts. The Bendigo City Council is erecting machinery at Axedale for operating their quarries.

October, 1927

• Weekly Notice WN41/27 of 11/10/1927 advises that Kilmore has been provided with a Composite Staff in the Pyalong section a/c High Camp. It also contains a General Appendix amendment: High Camp may open as an Intermediate Composite Block Post in the Kilmore - Pyalong Electric Staff section.

November, 1927

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 Councilors W Ewing, A. Harkness and J.A. Michelsen as a committee of management.

Leonard Moon, an 18 year old employee at the North Bendigo Workshops, has his foot severely crushed by a heavy hammer.

Machinery and buildings at the Bendigo City Council quarry should be completed by the end of January. Meanwhile, the quarries are being opened and large supplies of rock are being stored.

January, 1928

A Knowsley farmer complains of a delay in forwarding a consignment of 500 sheep to the Bendigo market. His sheep are not sent as his agent had informed him. The train had to pick up metal from Axedale Station and his sheep had to wait for a following ordinary train.

February, 1928

The erection of quarry machinery plant at Axedale is nearly complete.

Good progress is being made with about 200 men being employed by the Water Commission at Eppalock. 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.

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 says that he is not aware that a licence is necessary to carry and store explosives at the quarry. He is fined 11/3, being 3d per pound for explosives in excess of that allowed.

March, 1928

• Weekly Notice WN11/28 of 13/03/1928 advises that Kilmore has been provided with a Divided Staff in the Pyalong section a/c High Camp. Also, the Divided Staff which was previously located at Kilmore (or High Camp when open as an Electric Staff station) replaced by new staff located at Kilmore, and a General Appendix amendment that High Camp may open as a Temporary Staff Station by Divided Staff in Kilmore - Pyalong Electric Staff section.

April, 1928

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, will amount to £19,000 which the Council is not prepared to pay. The Railway Department, through the Country Roads Board, is offered £12,000 but it is refused. In Deane's quarries alone, the loss of the contract will mean that 50-60 men will be out of employment.

• Weekly notice WN17/28 of 24/04/1928 advises that the Electric Staff instruments at High Camp have been removed. A General Appendix amendment says that High Camp may open as a Temporary Train Staff Station by Divided Staff.

June, 1928

The Bendigo City Council's new quarry is now open and producing good road metal.

September, 1928

Workmen at the City Council quarry are subjected to furious attacks from a pair of magpies until their nest is removed. The nest, except for a few twigs on top, consists entirely of wire netting, barbed and plain wire, and a narrow strip or two of galvanised sheet iron.

October, 1928

• Weekly Notice WN44/28 of 10/10/1928 advises that the Tooborac Down Distant Signal has been converted to a yellow arm and light.

December, 1928

• Weekly Notice WN51/28 of 10/12/1928 advises that the Heathcote Junction Up and Down Distant Signals have been converted to a yellow arm and light.

April, 1929

• Weekly Notice WN17/29 of 16/04/1929 advises that the Heathcote Junction Stationmaster has been removed and Caretaker conditions by Operating Porter exist.

May, 1929 - The Great Depression starts.

The Better Farming Train once again visits Kilmore, Axedale and Heathcote.

October, 1929

• Weekly Notice WN41/29 of 08/10/1929 advises that at Kilmore, Spur lever points at Up end have been altered to normally lie for the Down extension of No. 2 Road in lieu of the Main Line.

• Weekly Notice WN41/29 of 08/10/1929 issues a General Appendix amendment that High Camp be deleted from the list of Opening/Closing Electric Staff Station where switching instrument not provided.

November, 1929

• Weekly Notice WN45/29 of 05/11/1929 advises that High Camp Up and Down Home Signals are removed.

December, 1929

A tornado, which lasts only a few minutes, sweeps from Axe Creek, through the township of Axedale, to three miles [4.8km] beyond Knowsley, a distance of about 10 miles [16km], on Christmas night. Trees and fences are leveled and several houses destroyed, while others have their roofs torn off and blown hundreds of yards away.

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