Surrey Hills

A public spat

In Chapter 6 of my book “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I alluded to the acrimonious relationship between James Norton Smith, the Chief Agent for the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL Co.) and William Ritchie, the Chairman of the Mount Bischoff Tin Mining Company (MBTM Co.). In early 1881, the animosity spread to a public spat, …

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From theodolite and chain to GPS – A surveyor’s journey with AFH, APPM & NFP (part 1) by Mike O’Shea

I am very fortunate to have worked as a surveyor during incredible technological development and advances in this vocation. This blog is in two parts; part one will deal with my early years up to the mid-1980s, and then the second part will cover the changes in personnel and technology that occurred and how they …

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AFH’s rough diamond

Terence Alexander Albert Turner, or Snow Turner, was undoubtedly a real character of AFH. Anyone who worked with him between 1960 to 1999, or had anything to do with the company during those years, will know Snow and have a story or two about him.  While small in stature, stocky and as strong as a …

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Fishing at the Pulp Dam: some memories and notes from Bob French’s fishing diaries

Bob French has been fishing every year at Talbots Lagoon for nearly 60 years. Although he has a shack at the Great Lake, Talbots has always been his favourite fishing place. Fortunately, Bob has kept records and diaries to document his experiences. He is recognised through the North West Fly Fishers Club as a measurer …

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How the Emu Bay port played a pivotal role in the development of the Van Diemen’s Land Company

When the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL Co.) owned and opened up their land grants in north-west Tasmania, the Emu Bay port was crucial in developing the area and the company’s fortunes. In my book “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I focussed on the development of the VDL Co.’s estates, principally Surrey Hills. This blog focuses …

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Last Light Lindridge

While finalising a previous blog with Ian Ravenwood on the evolution of aerial operations on Surrey Hills, I was reminded of the tragic plane crash on Daisy Nolan Hill, near Hampshire, in 1983, which killed the sole occupier, pilot John Lindridge. I researched what I could about John and quickly discovered he had a remarkable …

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Airtruks to Squirrels – the evolution of aerial operations on Surrey Hills

Surrey Hills has a long history of aerial operations such as spraying, fertilising, controlled burns and fire fighting. These grew as the plantation estate expanded. An airstrip was built at Basils Road in the 1980s to improve the efficiency of aerial work on Surrey Hills and adjoining land, but by the late 1980s, fixed-wing aircraft …

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