Surrey Hills

Going Home

In this penultimate Surrey Hills blog, I have the privilege of providing a deeply personal story from Brian Rollins about his association with Surrey Hills.

While I provided a shorter, more sanitised version of Brian’s Surrey Hills involvement in Chapter 13 of “Fires, Farms and Forests” under the heading Soothing the Soul and Raising Awareness of Early VDL Co. 

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Special ANZAC stories

I have decided to write this blog to commemorate and remember the men from settlements in and around Surrey Hills who fought in wars.

In Chapter 10 of my book, “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I outlined some of the war service by men from Guildford Junction. This blog goes into more detail and includes stories about men from Parrawe and Bulgobac.

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Happy 100th birthday, Wee Georgie Wood!

Like many places on the West Coast, before 1964, when the Murchison Highway was opened to vehicular traffic, the only access was via the Emu Bay Railway. However, Tullah wasn’t on the Emu Bay line, and like the silver town of Magnet, it relied on a tramway spur for a link to the outside world.

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Reclothing fertile acres – a history of Parrawe

Soon the haunting atmosphere of these forgotten farms will be a thing of the past and stately forests will reclothe these fertile acres”. Cath Lott

Introduction

Parrawe is located on the basaltic plateau immediately west of Surrey Hills, north of the Wandle River, and south of the Hellyer Gorge. This tongue of land ranges from 500 metres to 640 metres above sea level.

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Extending the railway to the west coast

Introduction

In my book “Fires, Farms and Forests”, I dedicated a chapter to outline the construction of a horse-drawn wooden tramway in the mid-late 1870s. The chapter focused on the monumental task of constructing 74 kilometres of a new line through some sections of dense rainforest, all cleared by hand.

As I wrote in the book, I believe it is the longest wooden tramway built in the world.

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The silver town that was auctioned off the face of the earth

After James ‘Philosopher’ Smith discovered the rich Mount Bischoff tin deposit near Waratah in 1871, there was a keenness to prospect other areas of the West Coast region. Prospector William Robert Bell was one of them. He was employed by the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL Co.) in May 1875 to carry out prospecting on the eastern boundary of Hampshire Hills following the discovery of tin near Mount Housetop, some three miles away.

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How the Hampshire Hills became a sea of yellow

Gorse was brought to Tasmania in the early 1800s. Its principal use was as an ornamental hedge by settlers hoping to replicate the paddocks of England. The Reverend Knopwood purchased some English gorse at New Town, near Hobart in 1815. Writer, Louisa Anne Meredith, noted the widespread use of gorse for hedges on the east coast by 1841.… Read more

The Hills of Surrey Hills

When writing the book on the history of Surrey Hills, many people worked at AFH who were not mentioned but deserved praise for their contributions. 

One of those was Ross Hills, a Burnie local who rose to a senior position in AFH. As a manager at Burnie during the 1980s, Ross was part of expanding the eucalypt plantation program.… Read more

More memories of growing up in Guildford

Almost all the kids that grew up in Guildford Junction recall there was something magical about their experience. Whether it’s the memories of their one-room school and teachers, the adventures in their big surrounding playground called the bush, the snakes, the cold and the snow, the isolation, the waratahs in flower or just the scented lupin paddocks dotted around the town.… Read more