Tuesday, July 31, 2018

M2 Meet The Rellies Charles Alfred Clifford Bradshaw

What is a Family Reunion?

Simply put it is a gathering of people associated with links and heritage to the same set of grandparents, who wish to connect with their previously unknown relatives.  Or it can be a boring time, where we stand around and become disinterested because we have no idea of who is who!!!! 

We hope that the Jillett/Bradshaw Reunion will be interesting, and that you will learn more about your pioneering family.   In order to do that, each week, will bring a story of one of your cousins.  These stories are a compilation of researchable facts, and follow the same pattern in each story.

While it is impossible to research every person, there are some whose contributions have been recorded in different mediums, and which today are easily accessible.

This  a chance to provide a snapshot of the different people who descend from those grandparents, and hopefully their extended family can provide more interesting facts about their lives.

When we consider that the descendants of Robert and Elizabeth are generally 5th generation Australians, the number of people in the extended family relationship is quite large.

As it is impossible to know what the first generation of children looked like, nor what Elizabeth or Robert looked like, we are lucky to have a photo of Thomas Jillett.

The rest has to be up to  your imagination.

The first family to meet is one of William Bradshaw's great grandsons.  Charles Albert Clifford Bradshaw, known as "Cliff".

His family would be able to expand on his story, with their own personal antidotes, and it is those that we hope you will be able to provide when you meet the cousins!!

Charles Albert Clifford Bradshaw

William Bradshaw and Mary Gunn/John Bradshaw and Maria Bacon/Norman Percival Dennis Bradshaw/Ada Lyon/Charles Albert Clifford Bradshaw.

Charles Albert Clifford Bradshaw was born 6th March 1906, in Maryborough Victoria.  His father Norman was a piano tuner and they were living in High Street Maryborough in 1912.  His parents were married in 1901, and sadly his mother died in 1913, possibly after the birth of the youngest child Noel.

In November 1916, Norman was arranging the Musical Examination, in Maryborough.

Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), Wednesday 15 November 1916, page 2
MUSIC EXAMINATIONS; Practical Examinations at Maryborough on Saturday, November 18 Mr, Norman Bradshaw representative of the Associate Board to the R. A M. and R. C. M. of London in our advertising columns this morning notifies local entries and school examinations to be held in 1917 The practical examinations will be held at Maryborough on Saturday November 18 Dr. C. H. Lloyd being examiner Dr. Lloyd was educated at Rossall School and at Magdalene  (now. Hertford College) Oxford. ...
Then three months later he died suddenly.

Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), Monday 26 February 1917, page 2

DEATH OF MR N. BRADSHAW PAINFULLY SUDDEN END. Townspeople were deeply shocked on Saturday afternoon to know that Mr. Norman Bradshaw, the well-known proprietor of the High-street musical depot, had died suddenly at his residence. At about 2 o'clock Mr. Bradshaw was seized with violent internal pains and a vomiting fit. His eldest boy, Clifford. went to Mr. J. F. Ogle, and asked that Dr. Greene should be telephoned for. This was done, and the doctor was immediately in attendance. He examined Mr. Bradshaw. and advised him to go to bed, assisting him to his room. Mr. Bradshaw sat on the bed, and the doctor and Mr. Ogle commenced to help him to undress. Mr. Bradshaw said he thought he could manage by himself, and started to take his coat off. Mr. Ogle, however, assisting him. Almost immediately he collapsed, and Dr. Greene's efforts to restore animation were fruitless. It was only about a quarter of an hour from the time the message was sent for the doctor till life was pronounced extinct.

The late Mr. Bradshaw was 45 years of age. He was the fifth son of Mr. John Bradshaw, and was born at Oatlands, Tasmania. He was educated at Horton College, Ross (Tas.), and was for some time a telegraphist in the employ of the Tasmanian Railway Department. He came to Maryborough about 20 years ago. and set up business in Nolan-street in the musical line, all his family having musical talent. He married Miss Ada Lyons, of Laanecoorie, and his wife predeceased him three years ago last December, leaving the youngest child an infant. There are five children, four boys and one girl, the ages ranging from 15 years to 3.
The youngest child, Noel has been in charge of deceased's sister-in-law, Miss Lyons; since his mother died. Telegraphic messages -were sent to a sister of deceased and to Miss Lyons, and both ladies arrived in Maryborough on Saturday night. Deepest sympathy is felt, for the bereaved children. Deceased had four brothers and two sisters resident in Tasmania. The funeral will leave deceased's late residence. High-street, at 3 o'clock this afternoon for Maryborough cemetery.

His sister Ada Marion Bradshaw became the guardian of the children after his death.  She later married her cousin Copeland Bradshaw, and they lived at "Ravenshaw" Magra.  She died in 1949.
His son Charles Bradshaw, became known as Clarry Bradshaw, and he was quite an adventurer, in an industry so far removed from the arts, but ironically now sought by the musical industry, for the exquisiteness of the huon pine for making musical instruments.

Bradshaw Pioneers of Queenstown

Cliff carried out some amazing feats in his time, and if you can get a copy of this book, his partner on many of the stories was Frederick Smithies.

Mr. F. Smithies's Achievement !
Summit Reached

Mr. F. Smithies, of Launceston, who recently gave on interesting lecture in the Metropole Theatre, Queenstown on "The Heart of Tasmania," has added another notable achievement to his already long list of mountaineering exploits by successfully reaching the top of Frenchman's Cap, 4,700ft. high. This is the first successful attempt for 15 years.

Mr. Smithies, accompanied by Mr. Cliff Bradshaw, set out from Queenstown, and motored to Darwin. They walked to the foot of the mountain, 30 miles distant, where camp was made, the weather being very rough and stormy. After several days' delay, owing to the conditions, the ascent was made, after a most hazardous and trying experience. Mr. Smithies stated that the old track was hardly discernible, and only by groping through the thick undergrowth and fallen timber for hours were they able to pick up the trail. Fortunately, the weather' cleared when the summit was reached, and some very fine photographs were obtained. The view was described as magnificent, and Mr. Smithies said he had seen nothing finer in his varied experience of mountain scenery. Nine lakes were counted in the valleys and ravines, which  seemed inaccessible to reach, as snow was encountered. The top of the peak was covered with white marble quartz stone, and this may disprove the fallacy that Frenchman's Cap is always snow clad. Approaching the summit a train of stones was discovered, with an old weather-beaten hoard, showing the date 1858;with a name that was not decipherable, but it clearly proved that as far back as 1858 adventuresome spirits had reached the summit.
Mr. Smithies paid a tribute to his companion Mr. Cliff Bradshaw, and stated that he did not wish for a better mate under such trying conditions. He was sure he could not have accomplished the task without Mr. Bradshaw's assistance.

Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Thursday 24 March 1932, page 6
QUEENSTOWN BY CAR   Trip by Mr. F. Smithies

Rotary Club Address
How-he earned, the distinction of being the! first man to drive a car through to Queenstown 'by way of the new North-West Coast Road was described by Mr. P. Smithies, a well-known mountain climber, at the weekly luncheon of the Launceston Rotary Club yesterday. Leaving Launceston on March: 2 Mr. Smithies arrived at Queenstown on the following afternoon, and the towns-people, realising tho significance of the trip, gave him a rousing reception.

Mr. Smithies said that the expenditure on the road had been questioned; but, apart from the fact that communication had been made with the West Coast, tho facilities afforded prospectors , to penetrate further into the little-explored country should more than justify the expenditure.

Describing the trip, Mr. Smithies said that his object had been to do some mountain climbing, and to secure photographs of places hitherto unvisited, rather than to be the first to travel over the new road. With Mr. Cliff Bradshaw he made across country to the Cradle Mountain, climbing Eldon Bluff en route.

Tremendous gorges had to be crossed, and at times the conditions were deplorable. Eldon Bluff had an elevation of 4,500ft., and the summit was reached on the afternoon of the fourth day. The journey lay, for the first three days, through some of the worst scrub in Tasmania, presenting almost insuperable difficulties. Horizontal scrub was encountered almost throughout, and it gave place to even worse conditions. They had to cover less than four miles a day at that stage, and frequently had to travel over the top, sometimes 10ft. or 12ft. above the ground. The view from the mountain was superb.

The main obstacle between Eldon Bluff and Cradle Mountain was the great gorge of the Canning River, from which an ascent of 3,000ft. had to be faced to reach the foot of Perrin's Bluff, the most westerly outpost of the Pelion group. The crossing of the river was an exacting job, as the rapid torrent, more than waist high over a boulder-strewn bed, offered; a precarious foothold. The long climb took the best part of a day and a half.
Mr. Smithies said that one of the extraordinary features of the trip was a dead forest. Over an area a mile across the whole of the gum trees were dead, killed, it was believed, by some exceptional frost some years ago. There was no sign of charring on the trees, which were bleached white. A new forest had sprung up, composed of myrtle trees, which were about 3in. in diameter and about 15ft. high. They were growing in such close formation that the area could not have been penetrated had it not been for the fact that thousands of dead gums lying on the ground provided natural footways. Sir John Franklin, 90 years ago, encountered a similar phenomenon, except for the new growth, on his trip across Tasmania to Macquarie Harbour. The explanation then given was that frost was the destroyer.


On top of Cradle Mountain with friends. c 1932    Linc Tasmania

Queenstown in 1940's Mt Lyell  
Photos from Linc Tasmania
(Check out the rear tyres)

Reg Morrison lining a punt on the Huon River and the Bradshaw Mill 1940's
Bradshaw Horses at work salvaging timber later 1950'-1960

.A mother’s opposition to her children being brought up in a pub has led to a third-generation sawmill operation working with some of Tasmania’s finest timbers.  One of those children, 82-year old Bernie Bradshaw, is still actively involved day-to-day in the business now managed by son Ian.
For another timber cutting business which is now in its fourth generation, it was drought in Victoria that led to Britton Brothers being established in Tasmania’s north-west at Smithton.

The Bradshaw family, who own Tasmanian Specialist Timbers at Queenstown, is one of three operations in the state’s west licenced to “harvest” the Huon timber which is lying on the forest floor after being discarded by timber cutters many years ago.

Wandering through the mill, the smell permeating from the different timbers lying on the floor, stacked in racks and leaning against the wall is quite intoxicating.  Bernie says lifestyle changes have led to people being more interested working with the timber that was originally viewed as rubbish.
“In the real early days people could get a licence from the police to go and cut huon pine down. I think it cost two shillings (20 cents).   “All you had to do was satisfy the policeman that the tree could be sold after being cut down.

“The millers were that particular about the quality - Dad (Cliff) told me that if they could poke a pencil into the wood they would throw it away.” The burls and interesting knots and curves in the huon, which now command the big money, were not wanted then by those building boats and using the timber for other constructions.

An early photo of Bernie with another timber cutter shows the two working on a felled piece of Huon which easily dwarves the two men. A similar piece measuring approximately two-metres long and a metre in diameter lying on the timber mill floor had one potential customer of Bernie’s stating that it was probably worth around $5,000.

This was before anything had been done to the log which would probably end up in the foyer of a city building or possibly in a boardroom as a feature.

It is a far cry from when Bernie’s father Cliff first went logging and then set up a sawmilling operation at what was then Princess River building several cottages. They were forced to move to Queenstown after the flooding of Lake Burberry.

While the Bradshaws are working with fine timber at Queenstown, further north at Smithton, Shawn Britton is overseeing a sawmilling operation which supplies timber products such as veneer to the top end of the market.

Shawn as manager is the fourth generation to be involved in the running of Britton Brothers.
Around 1906 Mark Britton had headed off to work in Tasmania, and was soon urging his older brother Elijah to join him. Tired of battling drought in Victoria’s Mallee, the senior sibling didn’t need much convincing to cross Bass Strait to seek his fortune.

Elijah along with his wife Annie and two children were soon living at what is now known as Britton’s Swamp, around 20 kilometres from Smithton, where the brothers set up a sawmill.
The operation is now long gone from the area which is now renowned as great dairy country, with Britton Brothers on the outskirts of Smithton. At the present site there are stacks of high quality timber, which often finds its way into boardrooms, expensive tables or features in offices and homes.
The wood, which includes Huon and myrtle, is left to cure before being kiln-dried with some of it cut to paper-thin thickness and again run through a kiln to be later used for high quality wood veneer.
One couple spent several days in the shed choosing different timber to be used in various ways in the home they were planning to build. Other wood ended up as a table that occupies pride of place in the Hawthorn Football Club’s board room.

The work, which was carried out by local artist Toby Mills-Wilson, has wood similar to the colours of the Hawk’s football jumper. While Britton’s timber may be found in boardrooms, there is another wood that Bernie Bradshaw’s company works with that is also a favourite amongst musical instrument-makers.

Like Huon, King Billy pine is protected and may only be taken from the forest floor which similar to Huon had been discarded many years ago, as the felled log may not have been regarded as suitable for the building demands of days gone by.

Huon is a slower growing tree and because of its high oil content is harder to work with compared to King Billy which has around the same growing rate.

While it is light due to a larger cell configuration, tests revealed that it is exceptionally strong.
“CSIRO likened it (King Billy) to steel once it was dried. There is virtually no movement in it.
“Much sought after for musical instruments, stringed instruments generally they look for the fine grained wide sections if they can find it.” Both Bernie and Shawn are passionate about their involvement in the timber industry.

Despite the years of uncertainty and debate over the industry’s sustainability, Shawn says there is increased demand for the specialist timber. This has prompted the firm to upgrade various parts of the operation helped along by a federal government grant.

"We could sit back and wither and die and get fed up with the situation and walk away, but that is not where we want to be that is not us, we want to put our best foot forward - we want to expand."
Bernie is worried that those in the specialist timbers whether they be people like himself, furniture-makers and sculptors could miss out on being heard amidst the arguments from some of the more dominant industry and environmental groups.

Given the two families histories, regardless of where the industry heads, it is likely the two will be involved for some time to come.

Bernie Bradshaw https://vimeo.com/15540513

Cliff Bradshaw started his sawmill in 1936, harvesting eucalypt firewood, Huon and King Billy pine from the King River Valley and its surrounding mountains. Cliff became a legend in these parts as a resourceful bushman, and was sought after to build roads, bridges and structures, as well as guide visitors to scenic highlights such as Frenchmans Cap.

The sawmill he established on the Princess River east of Queenstown became a small village, hosting several families, but in 1992 – with the mill now being operated by his sons Bern and Henry (Curly) – the area was flooded by the Hydro Electric impoundment caused by the damming of the King River. While many thousands of tonnes of Huon pine were salvaged prior to this flooding, the Princess River mill buildings were in the flood zone, and the entire operation was moved to a location at Lynchford, east of Queenstown.
It was there that the Bradshaws set about establishing the most efficient and professional operation they could develop on this larger site….which meant going into partnership with Randal Morrison.


By the time Cliff Bradshaw brought his family, which would grow to 12 children, to set up their sawmill settlement on the Princess River – another tributary of the King – in 1936, the Huon pine tree was a monster; many parts of it dead, but timber still beautifully intact. Cliff became well known in Tasmania for his outstanding bushmanship, leading explorers and surveyors on journeys through the rugged western mountains. In the 1950’s the mill employed 21 workers, who, with their families, created quite a village at the Princess River. The fire-killed King William pine trees on the Raglan and Eldon Ranges were the major focus of Cliff’s logging activities, and our Huon pine tree on the Traveller Creek remained unmolested.
In 1990 fate brought the Bradshaw sawmill and the ancient Huon together: both of their homes would be inundated by the rising waters of the hydro electric impoundment on the King River which became known as Lake Burbury. Huon pine and other valuable timber were removed before their habitat was flooded, and Cliff’s sons, Bern and Henry, undertook the careful operation of removing the tree and transporting it to their new mill location at Lynchford on the western side of Queenstown.

Boys – now old men – who had grown up in the King River Valley were now custodians of an ancient tree which had lived its life in the same valley.
Eventually the log was sawn into slabs, and patiently seasoned for years in the racks at the mill. This beautiful timber is a testament to the sawmiller’s craft and a measure of the respect with which we honour the life and history of the unique Huon pines.

As a young man I was drawn back to work at Luina and Renison Bell and spent over two years working at the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company and living in Queenstown. The old single men’s quarters my first Queenstown residence is now part of a motel. I can remember as if it was yesterday: the two–up games there on a Sunday afternoon and the beautiful taste of savoury mince on toast that was part of the fare in the dining hall. 

Always I am drawn back to the West Coast; if I don’t get there for eighteen months or so I get itchy feet.  I am never content until I return again, until I see coming up the Lyell Highway the outer limits of the West Coast world –the site of Bradshaw’s sawmill. This is now quaintly remembered by newly named Bradshaw’s Bridge over the ersatz Lake Burbury snuggled at the foot of Mt Owen and cradled in the Linda Valley. To reconfirm my arrival I will walk in the rainforest during or just after rainfall – the refreshing smell of wet rainforest and the audible new torrent of waters rushing to the sea from some nearby brackish creek remind me I am home.

Bradshaw Bridge  Lake Burbury

The scheme produces about six percent of the output of Hydro Tasmania's power system.
The new lake inundated six kilometres of the old Lyell Highway. The highway has been relocated and
a spectacular bridge which crosses Lake Burbury has been built. The 350 metre-long Bradshaw
Bridge was named after a well-known west coast identity, Cliff Bradshaw, who for many years had a
sawmill at the Princess River.

“The Bridge was named after Cliff Bradshaw (CHARLES ALFRED CLIFFORD BRADSHAW) as he was very well known. He had 3 sawmills in total over the years at Princess River. In the early 1980's the sawmill was re-located to Lynchford because the Princess River was flooded due to the Darwin Dam being built. The Princess River is now under the waters of Lake Burbury.

The bridge that goes over Lake Burbury was named after Cliff Bradshaw for this reason. Cliff was also the one who built the 1st road into the West Coast from Hobart. He also had many major treks into wilderness places such as Frenchmans Cap & many more. He is talked about in many books that have been published & was a well known companion of another great Tasmanian, Fred Smithies.”

[comments by Wanita Bradshaw Potito to Ann Williams-Fitzgerald]

Cliff's sons: Bern and Henry Bradshaw.  Granddaughter: Wanita Bradshaw Potito
Direct line back to Thomas Bradshaw & Elizabeth Bradshaw-Jillett

Lake Burbury Salvage Operations

Long before Hannibal took elephants across the Alps a Huon pine tree took root on the banks of
Traveller Creek, close to where it joins the King River, east of Queenstown. While human civilisations were rising and falling, wars being fought all over the globe and technologies rapidly developing, the tree stood silently, gradually developing girth and height.

By the time Cliff Bradshaw brought his family of 12 children to set up their sawmill settlement on the
Princess River - another tributary of the King - in 1935, the Huon pine tree was a monster; many
parts of it dead, but timber still beautifully intact. Cliff became well known in Tasmania for his
outstanding bushmanship, leading explorers and surveyors on journeys through the rugged western
mountains. In the 1950's the mill employed 21 workers, who, with their families, created quite a
village at the Princess River. The fire-killed King William pine trees on the Raglan and Eldon Ranges
were the major focus of Cliff's logging activities, and our Huon pine tree on the Traveller Creek
remained unmolested.

In 1990 fate brought the Bradshaw sawmill and the ancient Huon together: both of their homes
would be inundated by the rising waters of the hydro electric impoundment on the King River which
became known as Lake Burbury. Huon pine and other valuable timber was removed before their
habitat was flooded, and Cliff's sons, Bern and Henry, undertook the careful operation of removing
the tree and transporting it to their new mill location at Lynchford on the western side of
Queenstown. Boys - now old men - who had grown up in the King River Valley were now custodians
of an ancient tree which had lived its life in the same valley.

Eventually the log was sawn into slabs, and patiently seasoned for years in the racks at the mill. The
beautiful, wide slabs are a testament to the sawmiller's craft and a measure of the respect with
which we honour the life and history of the unique Huon pines.

Working in the timber industry in the area was also members of the Belbin and Triffett family.
Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), Wednesday 15 March 1939, page 8

West Coast News and Views  HEAVY FINES  IMPOSED  Lit Fires During Danger Period
Heavy Cases were imposed at the  Queenstown and Gormanston Police
Courts on Monday, when four men .were found guilty of having unlawfully lit fires on Crown land. Tho fines totalled £40.
At Gormanston the Police Magistrate (Mr. M. Gibson) and Mr. C. Schulz J.P., were on the bench, and Inspect! T. A. Canning prosecuted.
Thomas William Belbin and Clifford Leonard Mc Grath pleaded guilty, an Francis Joseph Triffett not guilty, having, on February 15, on Crown land near the Collingwood Hiver, on th West Coast road, unlawfully lit scrub.
The cases of the defendants, who pleaded guilty, were heard first.

Inspector Canning said that in the evening of February 15 a fire was started in the bush about half a mile from the Collingwood River. Tho district forester (Mr. C. W. Fidler) and assistants were in the vicinity, and were successful in extinguishing the fire after about three acres of scrub had been burned. The two defendants late were interviewed, and admitted having lit the fire. It was fortunate that Mr  Fidler was in the vicinity; otherwise a large area of timber might have been destroyed. The two men were employed by Triffett, and were in his company at the time. Tho fire had not cause any damage, but a valuable forest could have been destroyed. Defendants had stated that they "lit a fire to burn on a snake, but it was the opinion of witness that the fire was started chiefly to make a way in for a belt of timber. The fire was lit during a proclaimed fire danger period.

In the case of Francis Joseph Triffett, who pleaded not guilty, Charles Walter Fidler, forestry officer, gave evidence that with three assistants h arrived on the scene, and put out the fire in about an hour. Later defendant in an interview, denied having lit the fire, and said that on the day in question he was with a man named Marshall. Witness had previously secn Marshall, who said he was on his own on that day. Defendant was told of this, and said: "Marshall will tell you a different tale when I seo him."When  going up to the fire, witness said, he saw the clear footprints of three men.

Trooper G. C. Sproule stated that in an interview on February 20 defendant said that until 11.15 a.m. on February 15 he worked on a tractor at the lone landing. He then went into the bush and had dinner with Marshall. Late he went towards whom tho fire was lit Belbin and M'Grath lit fires, but he did not. On February 10 defendant was further interviewed, and admitted striking a match, which, ho said, went out before any fire was lit. Belbin and M'Grath were under the control of Triffett.
The P.M. said Triffett was the employer of the men, and the fire was lit on a working day.

Triffett was found guilty, and was fined £20, and was ordered to pay £6/17/1 witness' expenses and 11/ costs. The other defendants were each fined £5, with 8/ costs.

A fine of £10 was imposed, and defendant was ordered to pay 8/ costs.


In the Gormanston Police Court Charles Albert Clifford Bradshaw pleaded guilty to a charge that he, being the holder of an exclusive forest permit in the vicinity of the Traveller River, failed to record particulars in the log book of every log cut.

Inspector Canning stated that on January 24 a forestry office wont to the mill owned by defendant, to inspect the log book. Tho book was not at the mill, and there were a number of logs on the skids which had not been checked and numbered as required by the regulations. Thr entries wore necessary in order to compute tho royalty due to the Crown. Defendant had been previously warned about tho matter by Mr. Fidler.

Defendant admitted that tho book should have been at the mill, and he stated that he had instructed au employee to bring it.

Senior Forester J. M. Firth said the log book was supplied gratis by the Forestry Department, the revenue of which depended on the honesty of the people concerned.
Bradshaw was fined £5, with 8/costs.


Erie Welsh did not appear to answer a charge of having, on January 7, taken green timber, tho property of the Crown, from a forest reserve along the West Coast road.

Mr. Fidler said he saw defendant cutting green timber on the side of the road near the Collingwood River. Welsh had a license to cut dry wood only. Defendant had previously been refused permission to cut green timber which, he had stated, he wanted for a camp. Myrtle and leatherwood trees about 7in. or 8in. in diameter had been cut.

Raymond Bower, employer of defendant, stated that Welsh was in hospital and was unable to attend tho court. The timber had been used for a camp.

Inspector Canning said tho case had been brought on us a deterrent to others. Defendant had had a good spin from the forestry officer, but abused it. As a result of such happenings the timber on the reserves was fast disappearing.

Raymond Bower pleaded guilty to a similar charge.  He stated that the spars were cut for a camp, and they had not thought they were doing any harm. Welsh was his employee, but defendant was responsible.

Each defendant was fined £5, with costs. Bower, in asking for time in which to pay, said that as he was responsible, he would have to pay both fines. He was allowed 14 days.

Noeline Bradshaw interviewed by Rob Willis in the Rob Willis folklore collection.  1999 May 6.

Noeline Bradshaw was born 1938 at Queenstown. She recalls her parents background; children in the family - good neighbourhood - playing games; schooling, the discipline imposed; leaving school at 14 years to look after sick mum for 2 years; Community Life- adequate money in the 1940's and 1950's; economy on the town; real estate in the town; hydro built houses; dances - dancing classes at St. Martins Hall - square dancing; orchestras playing for the dances; dances danced; Balls - picture theatre - football. Family Life- married at 18 years of age; moving to live where father-in-law lived; saw milling- explains the timbers cut leases - changes in the industry.

Bradshaw recalls the social structure of the town; staff mixing in different groups; unions - story about husband having to join the union when he did a job for Mt. Lyell Co. ; railway stopped in 1962; school trips to Strahan- the carriages and the trip; songs/​poems of the 1912 disaster; road from Hobart - isolation - first trip at 10 years of age; bus trip to Hobart about 8 hours; the Environment: revegetation "nature has done it without help"; "as kids we didn't notice it, just accepted it"; smelters affecting the vegetation. Bradshaw speaks of her views on tourism; comments from tourists; her involvement in the museum- Eric Thomas began museum in 1983; the volunteer committee that runs the museum, the variety of displays and good foundation of photographs- seem to be successful; music strong with the in - laws both as singing and playing whistle.
·        Recorded with Olya Willis.
·        Recorded on May 6, 1999 at Queenstown, Tas.
·        Digital master available ; National Library of Australia ; nla.obj-217326997.

Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 - 1842), Thursday 19 March 1829, page 2
Tasmanian News  (From the Colonial Times.)

In our last number we promised the public some account of the Lieutenant Governor's recent excursion to the Westward, and have now redeem the pledge, as one of the party has favoured us with the following narrative :-

The party, consisting of His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, Captain Montague, Mt. Frankland, Mr. Arthur, Mr. Scott, Master Frederick Arthur, and Mr. Reves, left the Military station at Westbury, on the 14th Jan. and proceeded in a westerly direction, having Quamby's bluff and the great
range of mountains on their left. The road which the Company's agents have cleared, and by which the party travelled, first leads through a succession of rich plains separated in some instances by forests, and watered by the river Meander (Western river) with its numerous subsidiary brooks.
The travellers did not, on the first day, go farther than the plain known by the name of "Simpson's Run" to the southward of that spot, and divided from it by on inconsiderable ridge, lies a tract of country of the most valuable description, and of great extent. Accustomed as we are to hear of the difficulties in finding unlocated land, one cannot fail to be astonished and gratified when first these beautiful plains burst on the view, with their thick, green sward, their scattered clumps of ornamental trees their rapid streamlets, and their magnificent purple back-ground of mountain. The present occupants of these fine tracts are sufficiently fond of them in do their best to remain in possession. The public, there-fore, must not be surprised at hearing of the excessive ineligibility of the situation ; the floods, the cold, &c. The rapidity of the streams sufficiently shows how far the first objection can extend, and shows far be obviated. These lands, which were named the "Dairy plains," do not lie on the road, and the traveller, to visit them, must quit the beaten track for two or three hours ; they are about thirty miles from Launceston.

At an early period of the second day's march, the party after traversing number series of splendid, open plains, reached the river Moleside, and here first met with strata of compact limestone, beautifully veined, and protruding from the ground within nearly vertical dip ; its course being N. W. mid S. E. The settler who locales this land, will of course build himself a palace of black marble for such this rock is. From the Moleside to the Mersey, the whole formation is limestone, and the ground is consequently everywhere and there, dimpled with singular, conical pits, some fall of water, others dry ; they are, with few exceptions, perfectly circular, and vary in size from a diameter of about 200 with a depth of 60 feet, to a width of 4 feet. These last remind one of Burmese entrenchments, for they will just contain two men, and cover them breast-high. Many of the larger pits are split into immense fissures, and yawning caverns. Into one, some of the party descended, and hearing a great rush of water in the bowels of the earth, they groped their slippery and obscure way onwards, and downwards, expecting to meet King-Æolus, or at least a devil (a species of bear, so termed in Van Diemen's Land). At length they readied a torrent of water, bursting and foaming through the cavities of this singular grotto, aiming we knew not whence, and going we knew not whither!
This remarkable place lies in a small clear plain of about 60 acres, surrounded by forests, and lying north of the extreme Western bluff, from which it is distant about six miles. It was here that the party halted the third night.

The river Mersey, with its clear, broad stream, and romantic ford, was reached the next morning, and here commenced the real labours of the pack horses ; for immediately after crossing the river, the road ascends Gadshill, which for abruptness surpasses all other hills that reasonable creatures are supposed to clamber over. A horse's hind legs should be at least twice the length of his fore legs, to enable him to keep the load on his back.

A cameleopard made in walk up backwards, would be just the thing. This formidable hill divides the Mersey from the Forth, a river somewhat similar, but more shut up amongst the hills. After crossing the Forth, the road ascends about 1500 feet, and does not again materially descend before, you reach the Surrey Hills.

The fourth night was passed at a wretched spot named Epping forest, where the foggy air sufficiently reminded the travellers of their elevation.

Early on the fifth day they arrived at the Middle-sex plains, a high cold region, extremely pleasing to the eye, but apparently but ill adapted to agricultural purposes ; herds of kangaroos were seen in the plains, but they quickly bounded away when they perceived the horsemen debouching from the wood. The scenery of Middlesex plants is extremely park-like ; it is prettily wooded, well irrigated, and the soil is of the finest description, although from the extreme height of the situation, a great portion of the turf is composed of moss, and it is to be doubted whether corn would ever ripen in so uncongenial a position. A few more miles very boggy ground brought the travellers to the entrance of the vale of Belvoir, which suddenly discovers itself on your left, while on the right lies another similar valley in which are perceived, sparkling in the distance, two beautiful lakes. The vale of Belvoir, like the rest of the North-western country, is abundantly watered by the purest streams, running over beds of gravel, and here and there losing themselves in fissures of the lime rock, which again occurs here. After crossing the valley, and ascending the ridge which bounds in on the west, and which is termed the Black bluff range, the view which is obtained is such as to excite the admiration of the least enthusiastic lover of natures fair works. Towards the south-east you behold those two remarkable mountains "The Cradle" and Barn's bluff, towering above their neighbours, while the closer scenery is made up of clear sloping hills, studded with dark green myrtle-woods and clumps, with here and there a little silvery streams curling round the rising grounds. This indeed was a fit residence for an Estelle or a Galatea, but alas ! the kangaroos and a couple of stray cows were the only tenants found in the vale of Belvoir ! From the same range, but looking to the north-west, the view is more extensive, and of different character. The eye ranges overall immense extent of country towards Circular head, and no part of the island is so free from hills, St. Valentine's peak being the only mountain of consequence which is observable in that direction.

In the evening of this day the party reached Burleigh, the Company's stock but at the Surry Hills. It lies in an open forest which has but little feed for sheep, and nothing to recommend it either in picturesque or useful point of view. The sixth day was passed in travelling from the Surry to the Hampshire hills, over a dreary and uninteresting country, over-grown with the grass tree.
The beautiful coup d'oeil which the Hampshire hills first afford, is enhanced by the dull monotony of the previous journey. The Company's house lies in a valley surrounded by slopes and groves, and divided by the river Emu, while the course of every little brook which falls into it is gracefully indicated by rich rows of luxuriant shrubs, giving the whole scene the appearance of a highly, ornamented park ; but unfortunately the climate here is so variable, and the seasons so backward, that the corn in the ground holds out no prospect of ever being reaped; neither has the country been found favourable to sheep. On the seventh day the party proceeded to Emu bay, a distance from the Hampshire hills of twenty miles. The road leads through a splendid myrle forest, the soil of which is of the richest nature.

Those who are accustomed to the dull brown tints and struggling branches of the gum trees of the settled districts, can ill imagine the beauties of a myrtle finest. The general appearance of the tree is very similar to that of the English elm ; the shade which they afford is most delightful, and it is only here and there that a stream of sunshine can find its way through the thick foliage. Innumerable fern trees decorate the lower part of the forest scene, and arch their palmy leaves over the road, growing to the height of 25 or 30 feet, while occasionally a large stringy bark, the lord of the forest, rears his stately  head far above all his fellows.

Emu bay is a pretty crescent shaped beach, but no harbour. The western extremity is formed by a beautiful and very extensive causeway of basaltic columns. Here the Company have an establishment of workshops, stores, &c. From Emu bay the party returned to Westbury is five days, by way of the coast. Nothing very worthy of notice presented itself on this route, which how-ever led along a very picturesque shore, sometimes over a sandy beach, sometimes over basaltic pavements, and sometimes through very thick brush- wood.

As far as Emu bay the travellers had passed over the road which has, within the last year, been formed by the Company ; and considering its extent, and the nature of the country through which it passes, it is impossible on viewing it not to admire the boldness of the undertaking, and the certainty with which it has been accomplished. The Colony has certainly reason to be grateful for a walk which has laid open so large a portion of rich and interesting country, before inaccessible, and which has so much facilitated geographical discovery, that important branch of knowledge which is so unaccountably backward in these colonies.

Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), Tuesday 11 March 1884, page 1

The ascent of Mount Roland, Devon (4,047ft.), calls for fair muscular effort, but is not nearly so severe an undertaking as locally represented. The Rev. Mr. May, Sheffield Wesleyan Church, and your correspondent left Sheffield on a recent morning, about 9 o'clock, on horseback, and after an hour's delay, catching a horse for a boy who volunteered as guide, trotted off toward the Claude road. Beyond the Dasher bridge a timber track traverses a mile or more of  poor stony land covered with burnt scrub, and leads to the base of the mountain.

The spur where the real ascent begins has good soil, profusely overgrown with musk, dogwood, ferns, and occasional sassafras and myrtle, besides the tall heavy gum trees overtopping all. The guide, at the margin of this country, moved a general dismount, that the horses be tethered, and that we should track up the spur, through scrub and over fallen timber afoot. As the timber track continued, and must lead somewhere further up, a dinner was made, and as we had a working majority and, no mean item, the lunch, providently tucked into our wallet by lady guardians, his motion was lost and we rode more than a mile further up to where a recently deserted splitter's camp terminated the road. Here the horses were tethered and the climbing began, upward and slightly to the right, to strike where the best information placed the regular track. This was the hardest part of the work, for besides the surface being very steep and stony, and covered with a succession of dead fallen timber, it had also a tangle of dead scrub worse than useless as an assistance to climbing, for it snapped with the least strain. It was a little past noon when the old camp was left, and by one, or thereabout, we struck the track which is just the bed of a steep water-course. I remarked to my companion that this road required as much knee work as that leading to the place he was commissioned to direct men to.

 It was hard work, but nothing compared to our first 600ft. upwards through the tangle. The overhead view of the cliffs, forming the gates of the defile we approached, was worth all the exertion expended in reaching this altitude. The farmsteads of Sheffield were spread out below; paddocks of 40 or 50 acres seeming the square of small gardens only, and houses - known to be tolerably roomy - appeared no bigger than bandboxes. We estimated the elevation here at 3,000ft., and for a few minutes halted to take in the sight above and below. The rock in this vicinity is quartz conglomerate in great blocks thrown about in regular irregularity. What few trees there are, are dwarfed and stunted, more like shrubs than trees. Mosses of infinite variety, and heaths, and a hundred subjects of the vegetable kingdom have taken the place of the undergrowth of 1,000ft. lower. In a mossy cavern, formed by a number of huge bodies of rock locked around, was found a cool sparkling basin of water, fed by a tiny rill, so the halt is   extended for luncheon.

To the enjoyment of a sandwich thoroughly, a rocky cavern on a mountain side 3,000ft. above the sea level, and the hunger engendered by attaining to it, are grand accessories.

From this the ascent is a succession of winding rugged steps. The sinuous upward path leads between walls so close together that anything over 14st. should fast till safely through. Some of the outlets of the caverns are like chimneys - all climbing hand, foot, and knee work. The shrubs here are living, strong and convenient for hauling oneself up by. Two towering cliffs occupy the sides of the pass, the gates mentioned. At about 3,800ft. shrubs larger than gooseberry bushes become scarce, and the remainder of the climb is up a gently graduated slope carpeted with thick moss, heath, lemon, thyme, etc., the latter all in bloom. There are many varieties of wild flowers, which give the finishing effect to what is otherwise beautiful, but with them glorious.

The conformation of the mountain top is that of a crater walled round by serrated ridges, the edges of overlapping strata of red crystallised sandstone. There are two plateaus with a southerly slope, the upper containing 70 or 80 acres, and the lower, a deep step below the south-west, perhaps a couple of hundred. This is covered with kangaroo grass. The father and brothers of our little guide periodically visit this table land after kangaroo, of which there are large numbers. The upper plateau has little beyond moss and a few clumps of dwarfed gums, myrtle, and baura.

We ascended a crag on the north side, and got telescope, map, and compass out. The bird's-eye view within our horizon was inexpressibly grand and comprehensive. Sheffield, immediately underfoot, was, of course, easily distinguishable; also Latrobe,   except the western end, hid by the Badger-hill. Eminences we had traversed in the neighbourhood, and thought stiff climbing, from this height look the veriest pimples. Part of Deloraine, Elizabeth Town, Chudleigh, etc., on the east and south-cast, are plainly visible and the coast, except where obscured by intervening hills, from Badger Head to Table Cape. Several bush fires near Badger Head and the Asbestos Ranges made a deal of smoke, which carried south in the light northerly wind blowing. From this cause many points of interest, as George Town, places near Launceston, in the Longford district, etc., could not be seen.

On a perfectly clear day, with a good glass, the prospect would be more extensive. We made many places out during an hour's stay. The furthest point easterly is Lyne's Sugar Loaf, near Bicheno, more than 90 miles away. The haze on the sea in Oyster Bay, and the smoke mentioned, prevented our seeing the South Pacific. Of hills and mountains we   saw everything within a radius of 90 miles visible from our altitude. The country, as a whole, below the western table lands, looks like a billowy expanse of dark olive green. Oases there were, slightly breaking the monotony in the form of clear spaces, with to appearance a few band-box dots strewn around. Those are the homesteads and villages. Among the mountains, though it would be tedious to catalogue all, there were, Arthur, Direction, Barrow, Ben Lomond, and St. Paul's Dome eastward, and the chains of hills from above Seymour round to Ringarooma. Towering above the table lands, south and west were a Rugged Mountain, Ironstone, Cradle Mountain, the highest peak in Tasmania 5,069ft.,   Romulus and Remus, and crags and peaks sufficient to satisfy a Tell.

The descent was accomplished without further adventure than attacking a snake with stones, and proving ourselves poor marksmen. One stone, big enough if properly directed to kill an ox with the hearty impact given scotched him, but the succeeding volley fell almost harmlessly, and he got away down hill like a flexible arrow, looking downcast and spiteful in passing, out of his wicked eyes. There was no stick about, only dead and decayed billets, crooked as dog's legs, and brittle. The horses were found after a little trouble in hitting the track where we ascended, and we reached in our temporary home, Sheffield, about 5.30 p.m. By following the splitters' track, and striking to the right to the gully where the proper track is, without trying the oblique course we adopted, any ordinary pedestrian can reach the top in an hour and a half, including halts to breathe and notice features of the mountain side.

A Mr. McCoy, the father of our guide, informs me, that there is another spur up which it is possible to ride nearly to the top.

Mount Roland is named after a certain Captain Roland of His Majesty's 3rd regiment Buffs, who lost his way here in 1825,  during Governor Arthur's time. Mr. Surveyor Evans found him. Kentishbury is named after Mr. Surveyor Kentish, who originally surveyed this part. An old resident, who was in the Fields' employ 24 years, before settlement began, informed me that  the survey party was divided into two parts, and it took the whole time of one to supply the other with food. There is a man  in the neighbourhood of Kentishbury named Hercules Hanten, who in the good old times wheeled a barrow all the way from Deloraine with a bag of flour. The few settlers who occasionally traversed the bush track leading to Deloraine seeing a single wheel track were sore puzzled to account for the phenomenon. Those who know the Tasmanian bush will admit the feat was an extraordinary one, quite in keeping with  Mr. Hanton's Christian (Heathen) name Hercules.

Barrington in many respects resembles Kentishbury, though a section of its upper part is comparatively poor land. It is good   for grass, though not for cultivation. There are many hundred acres of first-class land,however. Mr. Pullen, the schoolmaster, a Mr. Cooper, Mr. Acklin, Messrs. Cotton, and others, have good farms. The exceedingly heavy timber is the drawback, for after scrubbing and rough clearing, when these big fellows come down, it makes heart-breaking work to get them out of the way by cutting up and burning. Mr. Pullen and myself got upon the trunk of one tree which had fallen across a paddock towards the roadside. The top had been destroyed. Its bole, where we mounted, would be about 6ft. diameter, and we walked along about two and a half chains towards the upturned roots. The diameter here would be perhaps 10ft. In the same paddock laying about were a dozen similar giants, some partially burnt away. I think powder offers the easiest means of destroying such trees if they happen to be sound, but many are merely a shell of 2ft, or so thickness, and the balance wet, rotten stuff.

Mr. Pullen, assisted by a daughter, conducts the school. Several of the children I noticed as particularly intelligent, such as a teacher might take a real pride in. With the imperfect means, or, I should say, absence of means, to secure attendance in our our vaunted system of education, bright boys and girls come to school, or stay at home, for weeks as the spirit moves the parents, and under the very best teachers necessarily obtain but the shallowest inkling of what the State says it provides and secures to every child of the common wealth, but doesn't.

In the Barrington school, as in others throughout the country districts, there is no map of Tasmania bigger than two by two and no book under official sanction containing more historical, geographical, geological, zoological, climatic, religious, social, commercial, or other information whatever about this colony than about Nova Zembla or Cuba. My impression of what I have seen of Tasmanian, so-called responsible Government, in this particular at least, is, as I fail to see where the responsibility comes in, that the word responsible is a trifle misleading to one not up in diplomatic constructions and meanings of words.

From a point near the junction of the Nook — Barrington, and Tarleton roads to Tarleton the land is next to worthless. There are a few hills to the north where farming is followed; but under great disadvantages. There is a track of land, about 8,000 acres, having for its centre a point near the head of Melrose Creek. On its western and south-western skirts are 30,000 acres more, the most of which is right down first-class land. The former is called North Barrington, but ought to be distinguished from the other Barrington by a more distinctive name. The whole 8,000   acres is settled on, and has a population of about 300 souls. There is no school. There are no roads either skirting or intersecting it, and as many of the blocks were surveyed in years gone when the idea of possible want of roads did not enter a Government noddle, none were reserved. The thought has not since got into a Government head, or if it did, failed in the hatching.

In this ostracised block are many creditable farms. A man named Jeffrey has one which, considering his advantages under responsible Government, shows well. It is a good bush farm, and has a neat house and buildings on it. But for the Don Co.'s tramway, which bisects this land and affords a way out, and the good nature of neighbours allowing their farms to be crossed, the 300 people on this 8,000 acres would be in as bad case as lobsters in a pot. There is not even a bridle path one may legally follow to any known line of road. Among these farmers are men of intelligence and sufficient clerical accomplishment to plead their own cause. I wonder one of them does not undertake the labour of love in our columns.
My duty is more with generalities. I find, however, several of them have marked a track out along practicable grades, and have informed the proper quarter of the fact. As might be expected, their communication  has been pigeon-holed. The route of this track reaches deep water at Formby in about seven miles, or Spreyton or Tarleton in 5½. One of the latter seems preferable, as a highroad must be out to Formby soon, and either Tarleton or Spreyton will meet all purposes. It must be noticed that, though these farmers send no hoof or wheel along any road, they pay rates just as if they did.

The Don Company has done incalculable good to this section in opening a highway for traffic. I would like in this paper to give some particulars of its magnitude and operations, but find I must defer till next for want of space, so will continue a few items relating directly to the people. The company, however, is interwoven with the very existence of the country bisected.
In the search after timber for sawing, many valuable blocks of land were found and taken up, and as the timber became exhausted these blocks have been sold or let to tenants. Two years ago a family named Allison entered upon the occupation of a 150-acre farm, purchased from the company, and reaped the advantage, consequent on a large proportion of the timber having been taken away. I simply noticed two out of several paddocks of grain on this brand new place one 7 acres of magnificent wheat just ready for the sickle, and another 17 acres of oats.

By appearances, if a moderate price is obtained, this crop will pay for the land it stands on. Last year 8 tons of potatoes were sold off each acre, and left enough to fatten a number of pigs. Alisons have other paddocks of grain, but I only noticed those; they have also 12 or 14 acres of potatoes. The farm is hemmed all round, and were neighbours nasty, and inclined to distort the law of trespass they could get neither in nor out. Jeffrey, in his adjoining block, is in a like fix, and broadly I may say all the settlers are similarly fixed. The Don Company's tramway is the only outlet, and although no fault is alleged against the company by the settlers, although no charge is laid of its taking undue advantage of its tramway either as a purchaser or carrier, these men cannot be called free. What is described as obtaining among the farms named with sundry ringings of changes and ramifications affects the whole section. No roads, no schools, no quid pro quo in return for taxes exacted rightly.

Mr. Bramich has lately entered upon a 600-acre block adjoining the tram for which he pays rent, £250 a year. This is a dairy  farm where 40 to 50 cows are milked and other stock fattened. Only part of the land may be rated first-class. The cattle are in excellent order, and the farm, by its conformation should, and, I believe, does carry green feed all the summer, and is warm in winter. If southern or trans-straits holiday makers want a trip I can recommend Formby for boating and sea fishing, Kentishbury for mountaineering and kangarooing, and either the Forth, by the confluence of the Wilmot, or Mersey by Kimberley's Ford, for fresh water herring. A gentleman a week ago secured over six dozen of those fish near the former spot, many of which exceeded half a pound in weight. Blackfish are fairly plentiful also. My next will be about the Don, and the company's enterprises.

Examiner (Launceston, Tas. : 1900 - 1954), Saturday 27 April 1912, page 10

CRADLE MOUNTAIN. Messrs. Charles Riggs, of Forth, and Gustaf Wiendorfor, of Kindred, have lately returned from a visit to the Cradle Mountain District, and the former on being interviewed expressed himself greatly pleased with his trip to this part of our state. According to Mr. Riggs the Cradle Valley and surrounding hills are a botanist's paradise, where months could be profitably spent examining the flora. Great beds of King William pine were noticed, and it would appear that the Anthrotasas Laxifolia is a hybrid between the other two species, A. Selaginoides and A. Cuprepoides. For joinery, boat building, etc., there is very little if anything to choose between the three species, which are equal in many respects to American clear pine, which often realises as much as 6d per foot. Mr. Riggs noticed a shrub Riches Pandanifolia in this district, which is locally known as the "prospector's friend," owing to the ease with which it can be burnt.

 Even in the midst of a snowstorm or blinding rain it will flare up if a match is applied, and will then burn for some time, and allow the storm-beaten traveller to collect wood for a night's fire. Our evergreen beech (Fagus Cunninghami), often erroneously called a myrtle, greatly resembles the Fagus. Antarctica, which grows in Patagonia, South America, and would lead one to wonder if at some remote period of the earth's history Australia and South America were connected. Mr. Riggs mentioned that a glance as a map of the World shows that this possibly was the case, and that the line of islands between the two continents are now all that remain of the connecting link. He also says that the other species of beech (Fagus Gunnii) is the only deciduous tree native of Australasia, and does not grow outside of the mountainous parts of Tasmania.

During the present month the leaves of this tree assume a bright yellow hue, and at a distance. the hills appear to be sheeted with gold, which is set off to great advantage by the bright green of the King William pines, which grow among the beeches. Well up the Cradle Mountain (quite 4500ft. above sea level), a coniferous Tree (Podocarpus Alpina) creeps among the diabase boulders, and greatly assists the mountaineer who essays the task of climbing to the highest point in Tasmania. This tree has a bright red seed like a native cherry, and grows along the banks of the Forth and its branches from the waterworks at Paloona to the head waters of the Dove and its tributaries far up in the highlands of Tasmania.

It is not perhaps generally known that sea gulls (Genus Larus) find their way as far inland as this point, but Mr. Riggs noticed several in Dove Lake, and approached close enough to see their brilliantly tinted beaks and legs. A platypus was seen in Lake Lilah, quite 3000ft. above sea level, and it is interesting to know that these creatures get so far inland and make themselves at home in mountain streams, which are very different to the practically salt water in the months of our rivers, where the writer has often seen them during the summer months. Several peculiar green-tinted "grass" snakes were noticed at the foot of Cradle Mountain. So far it is stated that only three species of snakes exist in Tasmania, but the above certainly somewhat different from these, and will, perhaps, warrant being classified as another species. Mr. Riggs was in hopes of finding coal near Cradle Mountain, but now thinks the best de-posits will be discovered between Barn Bluff and the Eldon Range. Unfortuately north of the Cradle the car-boniferous strata appears to die out, and the diasbase greenstone is seen resting on cslaeozoic schirte and quartzites.

Frederick  Smithies (1885–1979)    by Ann G. Smith

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, (MUP), 1988

Frederick Smithies (1885-1979), bushwalker and photographer, was born on 16 August 1885 at Ulverstone, Tasmania, son of Wesley Witt Smithies, police clerk, and his wife Selina, née Huxtable. Through his mother he was a descendant of David Collins. As a boy Smithies lived at Beltana (Lindisfarne), near Hobart. In 1902 he joined the South British Insurance Co. at Launceston as a clerk and in 1912 he became manager of the Launceston branch of the Atlas Assurance Co., retiring fifty years later. He also conducted the Tasmanian Finance & Agency Co.

When young, Smithies was a member of the Tamar lacrosse team and reputedly a cricketer and rower. But it was through bushwalking that he made his name. He later recollected that, denied the opportunity of world travel, he had determined to explore his own State. In 1924 with Bill King he made a remarkable motorbike trip from Waratah to Zeehan via Corinna and in 1926 he backpacked from Adamsfield via the valley of Rasselas over the Spires Range to the highest point on the Prince of Wales Range.

In 1931 with Cliff Bradshaw he made the first successful ascent of Frenchman's Cap in fourteen years and next year they walked through 'trackless and practically uncharted country' from Queenstown to Cradle Mountain via the Eldon Range and Canning Gorge.

A close friend of Gustav Weindorfer, he thoroughly traversed the Cradle Mountain district, making the first winter ascent of the mountain in 1924 with Weindorfer and Charles Monds and the 'skyline tour' in 1936. He was also an intrepid motorist, driving his 'A' model Ford in 1932 from Derwent Bridge to Queenstown and later, before a road was surveyed, from Great Lake to Bronte.

Smithies publicized the Tasmanian wilderness and promoted the establishment of reserves through talks, broadcasts, written accounts and photographs. Highly rated as a photographer, he hand-coloured his own lantern slides, took stereoscopic pictures and was an early user of 16mm motion picture film and of the waistcoat (a form of candid) camera. From the 1920s he gave lantern lectures in various States on behalf of the Tasmanian government to encourage tourism; in 1935 he organized the Tasmanian display at the Melbourne Centenary Exhibition.

Treasurer of the Launceston Art Society in 1912-72, member of the Northern Tasmanian Camera Club and the Stereoscopic Society, Smithies helped to form the Northern Tasmanian Alpine Club in 1929 and was later patron of the Launceston Walking Club. He also belonged to the Royal Society of Tasmania, Tasmanian Club, 50,000 League, Young Men's Christian Association and the National Trust (Tasmanian branch). He was a justice of the peace from 1942. Chairman of the Scenery Preservation Board (1941-71) and member of the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair, Barrow Reserve and Northern Scenery boards, he was appointed O.B.E. in 1946.

Smithies married Ida Isobel Heyward (d.1928) at New Town with Methodist forms on 3 April 1912. On 8 October 1930 at St Mary's Church of England, Hagley, he married a nurse, Florence Jean Perrin: from the 1950s they lived and ran cattle at St Leonards.

A persevering man, a great yarn-teller, Smithies gave up carrying heavy packs in his late seventies, abandoned driving when 88 and at 92 deposited his photographic collection in the Archives Office of Tasmania. He died at Launceston on 13 October 1979. His wife and their two sons and two daughters survived him.

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