Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Plans for Hill Station Homestead

I have a soft spot for this historic Canberra homestead.



This interest is probably because I have watched the industrial suburb of Hume envelope Hill Station over 30 years. The property was restored in the 1980s and was developed into a function centre/ restaurant of some note.

I actually missed this Canberra Times Article from April. The plans for restoration of the Hill Station Homestead in Hume.

I still think there is a golden opportunity in this unloved building. It will be interesting who takes advantage

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The state of Dave's ACT

I'm taking the time tonight to mark a bit of a milestone for this weblog which won't probably happen for 24-48 hours but I will be busy.


A bit of a ramble covering 4 years and a recent turnover of 500,000 page views.

Back in 2010 when I first started posting to this blog it was simply to share photos and video & jot a few notes. At the time I had sold a small property in the mountains I lived on for a few years and upon returning was keen to revisit or learn of interesting historical sites, old stories and what was to become a large collection of Canberra centric National Library heritage newspaper clippings.

All the clippings and video are cited to the source although there may be oversights but they would be rare I expect. It used to worry me I was perhaps breaking some copyright law but in due time the blog was indexed by Pandora so I suppose it is not an issue.

I'll also make comment on the thousands of links displayed over the years. It is impossible to check, maintain or update the myriad contained in over 600 individual posts.

Mostly the blog contains that sort of material but occasionally it has simply been my comment on particular issues I take an interest in. I will note for anyone contemplating a blog that this can endear you to some folk and alienate you from others from all sections of society, or at least the society with an internet connection and knowledge of your URL.

To be truthful I have considered deleting the blog in its entirety on several occasions. This obviously never eventuated with absences from posting usually sufficient to dampen the urge. Put simply the implications of publishing ones thoughts and opinions should be carefully considered because once in the realm of the google algorithm a word spoken seems can never be withdrawn. At the end of the day I haven't I believe posted anything I didn't think was worth recording be it about a heritage cemetery, platypus trap or an unsustainable wild kangaroo harvest.

Google's search engine seems happy with me. Recent months more so which seems to relate more to a major theme change than any addition of content.


As you can see the increase has been significant. As of this moment, the stats are thus...


I won't go into individual posts because the blog gets a lot of traffic to older posts. I used to list them as I collected them as a separate list but it hasn't been updated since 2011. Still it will give you an idea of the type of the majority of content contained within.

The History & Heritage page.

So that's about it. A $10 domain, free blogger blog and public soapbox. More than anything it has been the surge in traffic in recent months as it pushed towards this mark that has inspired this post... I'll mention it again at a million. < evil laugh >

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Blundell's Cottage protests.

An interesting recent Canberra Times article mentioning the protests by Canberrans to successfully prevent the destruction of the building last century. Blundell's cottage - Built in history, nestled in time.


Something I wrote in 2010...

"This small stone cottage was built about 1860 as a home for workers on the Duntroon Estate. The stone is the same as that used in St John's Church and Schoolhouse, locally quarried from Black Mountain and Mount Ainslie. A number of families lived in the cottage over the hundred years it was occupied. Located on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra, the cottage is historically significant as the structure dates back to 1860 and is perhaps the last remaining building of that time along the banks of what is now Lake Burley Griffin but what was once the Molonglo River.

The cottage was part of the 32,000 acre Duntroon Estate owned by Robert Campbell (1769 - 1846) (bio here).Ploughman William Ginn and his family were the first to live in the farmhouse they departed ten years later moving to their own selection. The cottage gained it's name from share farmer George Blundell and his wife Flora, (the second occupants) who lived in the cottage from 1874 until George's death in 1933."

Located on Wendouree Drive Lake Burley Griffin of Consitution Avenue Campbell Canberra ACT 2600

Monday, June 9, 2014

Look out for illegal yabbie traps in ACT Waterways

I mentioned this last August in Call to report illegal ACT fishing.


The Canberra Times reports Anglers warned to look out for illegal tabby traps.

Put simply these funnel traps are certain death for platypus. They are submerged and are designed for yabbies to crawl in through a funnel that collapses at the 'ring' opening so that access is easy whilst exit is impossible. For an air breathing monotreme entering for a meal of captured crustacean this is certain death from drowning.


These traps are, and sensibly so, illegal in the Australian Capital Territory. Local waterways and our upper reaches of the Murrumbidgee are prime, and in a lot of cases recovering, habitats for Platypus.


Anyway... At the time of the August post I mentioned to the goodly Minister of the time the daftness of allowing these traps to be sold in ACT stores. From memory I was fobbed off politely.

Once again I'm not going to get hung up on it but these things are available here to kids for under 10 bucks. It's a ridiculous law when supply isn't restricted but that's up to the Pollies.

Unfortunately these traps often go unnoticed as they are not always conspicuous. If people on their walks simply keep an eye out for ropes/cord secured to the river bank in some fashion. Pull it out and report it please.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Namadgi National Park from the air

I liked this.


Just a link to a short video that popped up in my email alerts for Namadgi from the Canberra Times media section. A bit of a window into the plains and valleys of the ACT's highlands. I'd like to see a longer version.

The Canberra Times media section link.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

An update on Hill Station Homestead

Inspired by an article from the Canberra Times describing the disgraceful deterioration of a majestic heritage property surviving in what is now a southern Canberra industrial suburb.


What is sad is the building would suit any number of commercial activities seeking a unique environment to operate . This is some information I collected on the buildings history in 2010. This building has been left unused a long time now...

"The main homestead building of Hill station dates back to circa 1909 but the property was part of the 1830s rural expansion in the district. Hill Station is recorded as an entity in 1862.

Driving through the front entrance you see a large homestead and a small hut to the side. The single-room hut was erected around 1862 with later additions including a second room, window frames and a floor of bricks made at the Yarralumla Brickworks.

The main homestead was built in 1910. Hill Station was part of the larger Woden Station holdings. Three members of parliament have been associated with Hill Station. The first was Dr James Fitzgerald Murray who was appointed to the NSW Legislative Council in 1856, the second was Sir Henry Gullett and the third was Sir David Fairbairn. Both were cabinet ministers during the Second World War.

In its heyday the main homestead entertained many diplomats and foreign dignitaries."

Not going to make a song and dance about it but in a city only 100 years old it would be a shame to lose the heritage.

Early Snow in the Brindabellas

The plan was to camp at Flea Creek Campground but the onset of wet weather made the notion of a steep incline on a greasy, clay fire trai...