Tag Archives: Berowra Station

Old Red Rattler

Old Berowra Station

Old Berowra Station

A big thank you to former resident Ken Bruce for his gift of a set of copies of his photos of Berowra in 1960. Ken captured this image 55 years ago at Berowra Station, looking north to Cowan. The electrification of the line had happened in 1958. Here we can see a now infamous “Red Rattler”, a far cry from our much more comfortable trains of 2015. Note the clothing of the various passengers who have left the train at Berowra and the woman standing and waiting perhaps for another train or another passenger.

Ann

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Heralding The New Virtual Museum Exhibition Berowra: Going Postal

Now on view at:

 advertising-image-minus-text

This exhibition retraces the history of postal services in our suburb of Berowra being initially part of the duties of the railway attendant at Berowra station to a thriving venture. These services expanded to meet the demands of our community and step-by-step the post office developed into a successful business. This exhibition is only the first stage so continue to watch this space and enjoy the virtual journey of Berowra: Going Postal.

Robyn and Rhonda

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An Historic Bridge ‘Link’ Worth Celebrating

Photo courtesy of The Past Present (www.australiaspastpresent.com)

Photo courtesy of The Past Present (www.australiaspastpresent.com)

This weekend events are being held at Brooklyn and Dangar Island to mark the anniversary of the opening of the first Hawkesbury River Bridge 125 years ago on May 1st 1889.

The following extracts are from the souvenir programme The Opening of the Hawkesbury River Bridge 1st May 1889 produced by the NSW Government Printer.

. . . it was announced that the 1st of May 1889 would see the bridge publicly opened for traffic,and continuous railway communications afforded between the 4 principal and progressive cities of the Australian continent . . . and in the words of our writers, the iron way shall ‘bind us closer,bind us ever’.
It was felt that the opening of the bridge surrounded as it was with so much that was noteworthy and important,should not be passed over without a demonstration worthy of the occasion. The government took the matter in hand ,and representative men of all colonies were invited to attend the celebration,which took place on the Hawkesbury on the date already named . . .
The day was one of autumnal splendour . . . the people of the Northern and Southern Districts meeting at the bridge . . .
His exellency the Governor, Lord Carrington,P.C. briefley and impressively ‘declared the bridge open for public traffic’. The National Anthem being played to complete the opening ceremony . . .

Extracts above quoted from a printed account of the Official Opening Day and are courtesy of Library of Victoria

Robyn

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Another Rail Accident

Photos -NSW Railway Records-SRO NSW

Photos -NSW Railway Records-SRO NSW

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD   Friday 16th May 1952   (front page)
Another Rail Accident

A driver and fireman escaped injury last night when their locomotive plunged over an embankment between Kuring-gai and Cowan stations,on the main northern line about 25 miles from Sydney.

The fireman jumped clear but the driver stayed with the engine .The trucks following were smashed and tossed in all directions and hundreds of tons of coal was scattered about.The mishap occurred about 11.30pm.

Breakdown gangs started work soon after midnight but railway officials said the lines could not be wholly cleared before midday.

The 2.17am train to Newcastle from Sydney was delayed for half an hour.

FIFTH SINCE MAY 7

It was the fifth train accident in and near Sydney in eight days.

Photos -NSW Railway Records-SRO NSW

Photos -NSW Railway Records-SRO NSW

Robyn

 

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Berowra’s Version Of The Tardis!

Slide_0002

This photo, by local resident S. Collins, is a photo which I couldn’t resist sharing with our readers, particularly our younger audience. It comes from a slide, and shows the Police Post which once proudly stood outside Berowra Railway Station. It may not be as glamorous as the Police Box used by Dr Who as his Tardis, but it is a wonderful glimpse into Berowra’s past.

This small building is something of an enigma – although we have two great shots of the building (courtesy of our intrepid photographer S. Collins) we do not have many recollections which relate to it. If you have a story to share about this little building, or any other aspect of Berowra’s history, leave us a comment.

Perhaps you even know why it appears slightly scorched in this photo!

Elissa

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Steaming Into Berowra’s History

The Age of Steam

This very interesting image of Berowra Station and surrounds was captured during the Age of Steam. It shows a short passenger train which has stopped near the old steps, longer trains stopped further along the station. Note the old glass lamps! The photograph was made available for us to copy by Kath Baigent, a long term Berowra resident who is now living in Queensland.

You can see a very young Kath in her 1929 Berowra Public School photo in an earlier blog. Click here to visit the image and story.

The significance of Berowra Station in the growth of Berowra and areas beyond can be traced by going to our Museum exhibitions: TourismVisiting and The Mother, The Father and The Matriarch clicking into The Father- George Collingridge.

Why not take a leisurely trip to Berowra Station of bygone days by browsing through blogs on such well loved friends as The Squirt! Click here to have a look.

Have you, like Kath, got photos or stories of Berowra Station we could all share?

Ann

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Mystery Solved – June/July

Object submitted by Neil Davis

Object submitted by Neil Davis

This object was found by me, a long time Berowra resident, during road work in the early 70’s.  It was at the bottom of the eastern embankment at Berowra railway station.

I remember when I was a young boy electricity was first connected to the railway station. It was approximately 1936. Quite high wooden poles carried the wires. On top of each pole was fitted a decorative weather cap made of zinc to keep water from rotting the pole.

Quite some time later these wooden poles were taken down and replaced by steel ones. I can only assume that at this time the caps were just thrown over the edge and down the embankment where this one was found by me.

Neil Davis

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Welcome To Berowra

“The Squirt” at Berowra Railway Station.   Photo courtesy of Kath Baigent

“The Squirt” at Berowra Railway Station.
Photo courtesy of Kath Baigent

How many of you have encountered railway stations with as much charm as this in Australia or around the world? Doesn’t Berowra Railway Station of yesteryear look proud of itself with its spotless platform, flower beds, palm trees, splendid lamp and water tank. In earlier times railway gardens vied with one another in inter-station competition!

Our image also shows the little railmotor, in service before the electrification of the line. The railmotor carried passengers between Hornsby and Cowan and was known as “The Squirt” and “The Tin Hare”. With the increase in passenger numbers extra carriages were added. Berowra resident, Jim Hatfield has happy memories of railmotor journeys to and from school in Hornsby, in the early 40’s.

Perhaps you have memories to share also. Do leave a comment or a question.

Ann

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On Cowan Creek

Postcard Berowra Cowan

This postcard is by Charles Kerry, who was photographing at Cowan in the 1890s. The postcard itself is circa 1905

The following article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on Tuesday 14 August 1894. The journalist using the pen name of “The Spectre”, accompanied by a photographer − we assume is Charles Kerry as indicated on the postcard − travelled by train to Berowra Station to then make the arduous journey down to Waratah Bay. The following extract sourced from the original article provides a unique insight into the beginnings of tourism in this area made possible by the construction of the train line between Sydney and the Hawkesbury region. Berowra Station opened in 1887. The article also refers to Indigenous occupation of the Cowan Creek area evidenced by the various rock engravings and burial sites described within the piece.

Slumberland boat Cowan Creek

This image, showing a houseboat at Cowan Creek, is by William Henry Broadhurst

On Cowan Creek

By The Spectre

The low scrub and the Australian heath are all around us, and as the train stops it seems as if we had halted in the wilderness. There is not a sign of habitation, only the little shed which serves as an apology for a railway station, and far below us we can catch a glimpse of blue water, a boat here and there glancing over its surface. This is where the dozen or so passengers who have just gotten out of the train are bound, for there is nothing to tempt anyone to stay on the platform. Berowra, at present is little more than a name, the nearest stopping place on the railway line from which one can reach Cowan Creek. There are no settlers here about; in fact, there is little to induce any one to settle, for the country, ever since we left the fertile patch around Hornsby, has been of the same arid character. The Hawksbury sandstone is remarkable for it’s fertility, and here one has it at it’s best, or rather worst, for the soil is only good enough to grow bottle brushes and epacris, and cultivation is out of the question. The passengers are merely passers through, fisherman bound for the creek, and as a highly- coloured and slightly imaginative signboard informs us, we can obtain boats below.

But the signboard does not tell us one thing, the nature of the path, which has to be faced before the creek can be reached. It is almost a precipitous descent, winding down the mountain side and exploring the recesses of a gully, which under its natural conditions must have been pretty well inaccessible. A friend of mine, after his first visit, assured me that it was much easier to ascend than descend the path. The next time I met him he was toiling upwards, laden with a heavy portmanteau and a miscellaneous assortment of fishing gear. As well as his scanty supply of breath would allow him, he frankly admitted that he had quite changed his views on the subject, and would, after his present experience, make half a dozen descents than one ascent!

The fact remains that the path is a terrible to all but the stoutest climbers. It is the one great drawback of this route, which is much the speediest way of reaching the best fishing grounds of the creek. Hence there is little or no luggage to be seen; the fishing enthusiasts have only there bags. The boatshed at the bottom (Windybanks) is a curious and picturesque jumble, looks as if it had been made out of odds and ends of timber, roughly put together, on the hillside, amid a profusion of flowers and ferns. The ducks and geese, fat with the fish from the creek, which they will persist in eating despite all orders to the contrary, ramble at will about the place; and a big beagle hound, when he is not away in the bush hunting wallabies, receives you with the gentle courteous hospitality peculiar to his breed. The bees on their laden way back to the gin case, which serves as a delusive and constantly robbed home, flit in swarms across he path. They are so energetic in their actions, and honey-yielding plants are so plentiful in the bush, that they actually succeed in filling their case with honey.

The passion fruit vine clambers at will all over the sheds, and the abutilon, which blossoms down here all year round hangs it’s bell like flowers in tempting proximity to your hand. But the fishermen notice none of these things. They are, poor fellows, possessed of the fishing fever, which, when once it enters into a man, drives out all sense of the picturesque, and blunts, or entirely destroys, the sensitive side of his nature. Your amateur, when he is badly attacked, thinks more of black bream than of bush beauties: Schnapper, in his opinion, is vastly more important than scenery, and he rushes to the boats like one distraught. In an incredibly short space of time every craft belonging to the place is filled, and the parties are soon scattered about the branching creek, which has inlets enough to bide all the boats in Sydney harbour.

Turn which way you chose in Cowan and the outlook is always superb. Certainly there is room for the charge of sameness so generally brought against Australian scenery; but then the sameness is majestic, and one would hardly wish to vary it. Once past the heads, leaving the oddly named Jerusalem Bay on the right, the inclining shores shut out all view of the open waters beyond. For the rest of the time one is landlocked in a lake of the brightest blue, hemmed in by huge masses of precipitous rock, clothed with the dull dark green of the eucalypts.

It is no new discovery this Cowan Creek, though many people, on hearing that the Government  had very wisely made a second national park of the surrounding district, imagined that an entirely unknown country was to be opened up. For years past the creek has been a favourite resort for yachtsmen, but until the northern line was taken through to the Hawkesbury, it was difficult to reach the place in any less expensive way. Even then, though the creek was brought within little more than an hour’s journey from Sydney, it was not so easy to get about it, since no boats could be obtained. Two or three years ago, however, an enterprising boat builder (Edward Windybank) noticed the deficiency, and the result is that any part of the creek can now be visited at a minimum of expense, and with less difficulty than is involved in getting from one suburb of Sydney to another. Dark openings on the hillside indicate at every turn the presence of caves, and in these weather worn hollows one will almost invariably find traces of the modern camper, the inevitable jam tin and beer bottle, or it may be the ashes of a recent fire. Naturally the picnicking Harry, like his prototype in the old country, leaves his name behind, as if it were a matter of interest for anyone that he had slept and shivered there for a night or two. The only value attached to these inscriptions are the dates, showing that over thirty years before people had the determination to find their way into this region, which must have been almost inaccessible. All this however, is a matter of to-day, since 30 years counts but as a moment in the real history of the place. The very name which Mr. Copeland has given it is indicative of its previous occupancy, though for how many centuries the Ku-ring-gai tribe lived and fought and fished and lived out their lives among these cave-pierced hills no one can tell. On every hillside, beneath every hollow in the rock, one sees growths of the long, rank grass which flourishes on kitchen middens of the Aboriginal [people]. One can see clearly, as a section is made through the stuff, the places where the aboriginal fires were lit, perhaps centuries ago; then another layer of ashes, which must have been years in accumulating; then again more ashes and so on.

The whole version of the article can be accessed at:

http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/print

David Lever and Rhonda Davis

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Travelling To Where? Shirley Collins Interview

Today, people travelling to Berowra are secure in the knowledge that it is a flourishing community with a well known railway station. Indeed, as many trains begin their journey or terminate in Berowra, it is quite an important railway station. Ask for a train ticket to Berowra and you can guarantee that the computerised system will know where you’re talking about, and the staff probably will too.  In the past though, this was not the case. There was no computerised ticketing system and Berowra was a small community in ‘the country’, a location which many people had never heard of, including railway staff.

Traveling to Berowra first for fishing trips and later as her parent’s built the family home, Shirley Collins remembers a very different experience to today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bjZ8hgyYxY&feature=youtu.be

Elissa

Photo courtesy of Shirley Collins

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