APPM

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

Living on the buttongrass plain – a history of Bulgobac

I grew up in a sawmill town on the edge of the buttongrass plain
Beside a railway track in the town of Bulgobac
Where the locos stop for water from the water tank
It also fed the sawmill and the town of Bulgobac

Gravel roads were twenty miles away and people very few
With mountains all around us with panoramic views
At night we sat at the table to a meal of wallaby stew
And mother read the bible at night by the kerosene light its true

Drivers wait from the loco as it headed south to Boco
On the way north they passed our shack in the town of Bulgobac
I was part of a big family with no power to our home
The times are gone but memories live on living on the buttongrass plain

Mother cooked from a wood fired oven Anzac biscuits she baked by the dozen
Life was tough but we never complained living on the buttongrass plain

I still recall the good old days and how we lived back then
In the sawmill town called Bulgobac growing up on a buttongrass plain
I’ll never forget with no regrets of life way back then
The times are gone but memories live on living on the buttongrass plain
 
The times are gone but memories live on growing up on a buttongrass plain

Mott Ryan “Buttongrass plains” from his CD “The Boy from the Buttongrass Plains”

Introduction

Bulgobac is a small siding on the Emu Bay Railway at the 55 Mile.… 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

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

A lost opportunity or a wise decision – the plans for a smelter on Surrey (or Hampshire) Hills

After European settlement, Surrey and Hampshire Hills were utilised for grazing and farming under the ownership of the Van Diemen’s Land Company (VDL Co.). The only significant industrial development on those estates was the construction of the Emu Bay Railway. After ownership changed hands to companies associated with Associated Pulp and Paper Mills (APPM), the focus turned to forestry and major infrastructure works, including the construction of roads and the harvesting of timber.… Read more

Unique partnerships for conservation

I invited Phil Collier to share a story about his experiences with Surrey Hills. My involvement with Phil started when my colleague, James Dick, first told me about a plan to have volunteers do conservation work on Surrey Hills. I was immediately cautious and a little wary. But, as Phil points out below, so were the volunteers! … 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

The Burridge family – synonymous with Guildford Junction

Last month I shared a blog written by Lloyd Wilson, who grew up in Guildford in the 1940s and 50s. This month I want to share another Guildford story from Margaret Brown who was born at Guildford in 1935 and lived there until 1958.[1] She is the longest-serving resident born at Guildford.… Read more

A distinguished north-west Tasmanian

Jim Fidler writes this month’s Surrey Hills blog. Jim was born and raised in Launceston. Educated at the University of Tasmania with a teaching degree majoring in geology, Jim began teaching at Burnie and was also Principal at Waratah Primary School from 1984-87. Jim moved to Beijing in 2000 where he initially was a Lower School Principal and then a High School Humanities teacher at the International School, Beijing.… Read more