08 January 2019

From the 4th estate

I have accidentally just rediscovered a slew of newspaper clippings I have downloaded from Trove over the years. They show that a quiet country town can have its fair share of tragedy, natural disasters and entertaining moments over the years. Lets see if I can cover off a few of the rail-related ones.

The first noteworthy incident occurred prior to the official opening of the railway when, on 11 February 1902, a Mr William Carroll was struck by a train from Eumungerie.  The two reports (from the Sydney Morning Herald and Broken Hill's Barrier Miner respectively) differ in the circumstances of the accident. Unfortunately for Mr Carroll, the outcome was his demise later that day. Apologies for the gruesome reporting - it leaves little to the imagination.

In May of the same year drama occurred closer to Eumungerie when the special train returning patrons from the Dubbo show broke down.  The entire train returned to Dubbo to obtain another locomotive.

In 1915 a rail-related death in most unfortunate circumstances occurred when a telegraph linesman fell to his death after the pole he had climbed snapped. The telegraph line ran adjacent to the railway, and through the railway yard. Mr Prince went out in a seriously unlucky way.

It wasn't all death but gloom was no doubt widespread throughout the village in early June 1931 on the morning after the Eumungerie Hotel was destroyed by fire.

Perhaps gloom returned a couple of years later when the local church was also destroyed by fire.  I do think that perhaps the correspondent was having a lend of us by offering the only 'reasonable explanation' for the fire.  I personally can't think of a less reasonable explanation than the one proffered.

Getting back to the railway stuff, Mother Nature played havoc with the line's operation at times.  On at least five occasions it resulted in the Sydney Morning Herald reporting washaways along the line - in March 1914, December 1920, December 1929, November 1950 and August 1952.  All five reports are reproduced below. I think the people impacted by the 1929 washaway, who were put up overnight in the Eumungerie Hotel, probably got the roughest deal!





And now for the other dramas... it must have been a slow news day on 9 December 1933 as a minor derailment in Eumungerie yard was reported.

A potentially serious situation for the people involved in the following report in July 1935 has a fairly humourous backstory - the shadowy criminals at the centre of the story were most likely looking to tap beer barrels stored in Eumungerie yard.

The 'Mr Jones' in the preceding story is one of my paternal great-grandfathers. The other, 'Mr Hewitt', made the news for another effort in September of the next year.

I'll wrap up this post where it started - Dubbo - this time with a collision in Dubbo yard.  Hopefully the typeface is sufficiently legible to convey the circumstances of the accident, which caused another 'Mr Jones' to suffer a head injury.  Yes, another relative of your blogger, in this instance, a grandfather.

Until next time!


No comments:

Post a Comment