AFH

Morris “Mort” Bloom – my career with AFH

This month is a guest blog from Morris “Mort” Bloom.

Some of my most memorable days in the bush were marking road lines with Mort. My role was to source timber mostly from private property for the logging contractors under my supervision. Some were easily accessible across grass paddocks in the summer.… Read more

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 flying career, first as a pilot with a flying medical service in outback South Australia in the 1960s, then part of critical freight and transport in the Bass Strait to more flying in Tasmania.… Read more

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 were largely replaced by helicopters.… Read more

Insect pests and fungal pathogens of eucalypt plantations

As mentioned in my blog on Dick de Boer, the main reason for my employment by Associated Forest Holdings (AFH) in 1975 was forest insect pests. 

By the 1970s, the company was starting to become concerned about the ability of its forest estate, and particularly the freehold property of Surrey Hills, to provide an on-going supply of short fibre for fine paper production by the Burnie pulp and paper mill.… Read more

My AFH Experience

This month’s guest blog is by Leigh Titmus, who worked at Surrey Hills between 1978 and 1986.

Leigh grew up as a kid in Devonport through the 1950s and 60s. His father built one of the earliest shacks at Sisters Beach, so almost every weekend, the family would head off there, and they would drive past the Burnie Pulp and Paper mill very often.… Read more

Nursery times – the development of new technologies and practices

Les Baker and Ian Ravenwood write this month’s guest blog. 

Chapter 11 of my book “Fires, Farms and Forests” provides the story of how AFH and North Forest Products were instrumental in developing an industrial eucalypt plantation estate on Surrey Hills. This blog offers specific details of improved nursery techniques and the creation of a world-class nursery, which adds significantly to the Surrey Hills plantation story.… Read more

Sod seeding on Surrey Hills in 1960

Bob Hardy was born and grew up in Burnie. His mother, a Jones, came from a mixed farm at Cuprona, with her Jones line going back to Britton Jones, the ex-convict who built Franklin House. As a twenty-year-old graduate from Hawkesbury Agricultural College, Bob first started working on Surrey Hills in 1960.… Read more

Heading for “The Gates”: memories of the old Hampshire gatehouse

I didn’t provide any coverage of the gatekeepers in the book “Fires, Farms and Forests”, as I had limited information at the time. And yet, you couldn’t tell a story about Surrey Hills and AFH without mentioning the gatekeepers. 

Back in the 1950s, the Ridgley Highway didn’t exist. You could only get to Waratah via the Murchison Highway through the Hellyer Gorge and then onto Guildford Junction.… Read more

The radio electronics maestro

This is a story about a quietly spoken Dutchman who had responsibility for setting up and maintaining a radio communication system in the early days of AFH when access to Surrey Hills was much more limited than today.

The radio system was the only form of communication between the administrative office in Burnie and the workers in Surrey Hills.… Read more