Fires Farms and Forests

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 …

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The unsung and all-but-forgotten exploits of stockman Donald Campbell Atkinson

Donald Campbell Atkinson was a brilliant and expert horseman who learnt his craft on Surrey Hills during the twentieth century while grazing 2,000 head of cattle. Fortunately, his son, Lindsay, wrote a couple of unpublished memoirs which beautifully capture some of Donald’s accomplishments and amazing adventures. The first, written in 1994, was titled “A few …

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Lines in the sand

I recall reading an article by demographer Bernard Salt a few years ago about Australia being a continent divided by borders, lines, fences and boundaries. As I travel el around Australia I am reminded of his reference to ‘lines and boundaries’. Being a demographer, Salt referred to imaginary concepts based on social or physical elements, …

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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 …

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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 …

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