Warriedar Station

Trip Leader: Bruce Brinkley

When: Foundation Day Weekend, Friday May 31 to Monday June 3rd  2013

Location: Warriedar Station, Yalgoo Shire. W.A.

Participants: Guy & Wendy Lehmann, Trevor and Elaine Best,  Rick & Nancy Ellis, Craig Perry,  Keith Parker, Martin & Karen Archer, Grandchildren Lochie & Alexis, Richard King, Michael and Marion Gilbert, Bob and Bridget McPherson, Richard and Helen Kingston, Bruce & Judith Brinkley, Grandchildren Kane and Gemma.

OK! ….so we didn’t know that to actually flush the “Woo Hoo there’s a flushing toilet at Warriedar“….you first had to start your generator, then drop your submersible pump 20 feet down the  bore, then pump water into a large collector if you had one, then carry your bucketful of water with you when you wanted to ‘go’ and bingo… you had your flushing toilet ! Simple.

Consequently we camped nearer the new His and Hers Dropbox  adjacent the Shearer’s Sheds.
And for once the women’s toilet,  although still being the furthest (you have to be a woman to notice), had the best aspect….it captured all the odour clearing prevailing winds!

The Kingstons were first to arrive on the Thursday . Found their way via Keith’s plotted maps  and so were there to hear Keith, The Archers  and Brinkleys on radio discussing which was the right way in , and so directed us via the easiest track.   There are a number of ways into the Homestead we found.
These three carloads  had left Perth complete with grandchildren about 10.30am on Friday and had taken a leisurely drive north via the Great Northern Highway.  
Those on last year’s Kimberleys Trip would know Barry and Janene who joined the Brinkleys in Broome for the Cape Leveque portion of the trip.
They were in WA for another traveling experience. 
Realising they could be on our same route though coming south, we sent a hopeful SMS and found they were only 56km north of New Norcia and we were only 60km south.
How good was that timing?  Two more for lunch and a catchup….which allowed the kids time to kick a ball in the park and run off some energy.
1.15pm left New Norcia. Only petrol stops now.
Kids were traveling well.
We’d sauntered so long we almost expected Craig, Richard and the Bests to catch us up !!

The rest of the group rolled into the Homestead at varying times of the day and night.
First night was freezing and Saturday morning cold and overcast, but then the sun came out.

Saturday was a ‘do whatever you want’ day …
All explored the homestead and surrounds, kids played, Craig, Guy, Trevor, Richard &.. went exploring the surrounding country sussing out interest for our Sunday drive.

Warriedar Station is a Track Care restoration project and they had asked us to look at  repairing the donkey… to brick up the sides of a water heating drum behind the shearing quarters shower shed.
To support the drum in place, Bruce created  a saddle from metal he sourced from the huge rubbish pile.  Richard King  mixed mortar from cement and red sand sourced from the nearby watercourse (local colour) while Rick, Bob, Keith, Guy and Bruce then supervised.
Bruce played brickie with the blocks and the donkey began to resemble the original.

Next Bruce and Bob turned their hands to joinery by rehanging the door that was standing inside the shower shed, and installed an opaque glass window by wiring it in place, to complete the room’s privacy for anyone to use..even if only to stand under their own portable  black plastic solar showers.

The children spent hours, literally hours, throwing rocks off the top of the high dirt mound, playing in the mud making Pooh Cakes (and I don’t think they meant Winnie), chasing bubbles that the wind and Karen’s bubble maker created, and generally enjoying themselves.


Sunday trip was led by Craig Perry, and Richard King was Charlie…no one left behind at campsite.
Ventured off looking to get to a breakaway (a large visible scar in the side of the hill that could indicate mining)  and some caves they’d seen the previous day.
Great adventure for the youngsters to be down through the gorge, then to clamber up to explore the shallow caves on the other side. 

No evidence of people or digging…just animal droppings and a few scattered bones.

Next we took a new track to see where it went…a good enough reason…and found where big machinery had ripped large boulders of a type of conglomerate seen on kitchen benches.
In fact one could actually think it was artificially composited  if one saw it in a kitchen outfitter’s shop. It was so very different to be so natural.

Fields Find cemetery was our next driving break.
One grave was that of a ‘housewife’, one a baby who died of cholera, four were young men who died when, in 1899 in a mining accident at Fields Find Gold Mine, stored explosives unexpectedly detonated some distance from a charge set further in the mine.
One of the men was a Payne…possibly connected with Paynes Find up the road further?
History is so interesting and entangled but could be so time consuming if you really want to satisfy your curiosity!

Field’s Find Cemetery and stories behind:

BOXLAFF, Mary Parkes. Housewife 1 August 1945 aged 82.
HAYES, George Hopetown. 26 September 1900 – 22 December 1901. Died of cholera.
HOGAN, Daniel. 31 August 1899 aged 22 years. Crushed by an explosion in the Field’s Find Gold mine.
KING, Edward Era (Ned). 31 August 1899 aged 25. Crushed by an explosion on the Field’s Find Gold mine.
PAYNE, William. 31 August 1899 aged 36. Crushed by an explosion on the Field’s Find Gold mine.
SMITH, Frederick. 31 August 1899 aged 27. Crushed by an explosion on the Field’s Find Gold mine.
SMITH, John. 22 September 1900? Aged 55. He was a water carter and committed suicide by strangling himself.
TOBIN, Patrick. 25 December 1941 aged 74. Miner, Innkeeper. Died of heart and lung disease.
WALSHAW / WELSHAW, Robert. 4 January 1927 aged 54. Died of heart failure, and he was a tool sharpener and prospector.
WILKS, Salina Pearl. 17 August 1911 aged 6 weeks. Died from convulsions.
UNKNOWN, Joe. Died 1915. Known as Joe the Pole – Local Character.

Yalgoo, September 1 1899.
The Warden left early this morning for Field’s Find, to hold an inquiry touching the accident reported last night. No further accounts are to hand, but Mr. Chandler, who brought the report in, has stated that the explosion occurred in the main shaft on the night of the 31st ult., at 8 o’clock, or just after crib time, when the four men killed were the only miners in the shaft. Nothing wrong was suspected until a volume of smoke came up the shaft, when the driver in charge of the hauling gear attempted to work the cage and found it jammed. Mr. Martin, the underground foreman, hailed the men below, but receiving no reply, went down the shaft to the first plat and saw that the shaft from the plat down was wrecked. He called for volunteers, warning them that they would carry their lives in their hands. Almost all present volunteered to go down and assist to raise the debris to get at their mates. Four single men were ultimately selected, and they and Mr. Martin were let down. They managed to work down to the second plat and there found Daniel Hogan’s body, which was terribly mutilated. The bodies of the other men must have been blown to atoms, as even no portions can be identified. The plat is described as being like a shambles. The scene on the dump is indescribable. When Hogan’s body was brought to the surface, his two brothers were present, and were frantic with grief. The deceased were all well-known Murchison miners, Wm. Payne being the prospector of Paynesville. King comes from Ballarat, Victoria, Smith hailed from Greenough, and Hogan was a native of Moonta, South Australia.

With Thanks to www.ozburials.com

Lunch was at the Field’s Find mine and so we roamed all around and over  the area. Care was taken especially with the children, as deep vertical shafts were encountered without guards of any type.
We left there to head towards where we’d seen a bright glow at night but the road eventually took us back to Perenjori Road which runs beside the Warriedar Station airstrip..

So we returned to cook, talk, relax… and to congratulate Bruce on such a well delegated Trip!

He then disappeared to mix up some render to cover the block wall and complete the donkey repair.
Lets hope it survives its first firing. I’m sure someone will fire it up for use someday.
The earlier “supervisors”  then began mentally designing a roof catchment for rainwater to keep the 44gal drum supplied.
Next time.
The general consensus of opinion was that Warriedar Station makes an excellent staging point for exploring the area.   Even though we didn’t utilise the actual homestead, the shearers buildings offered the community space and wind break… and drop box.
Also as Guy commented,  if  ever we are there when it rains..no need to retreat to our tents as we must do at Ninghan, we can still socialize in the space the quarters offer.
We could even have Fine Dining in one room, play Poker in another, Monopoly in another? Why not.
Next time.

Bruce went to meet and chat with Lawrence, a man who apparently stays at the homestead off and on.
Lawrence made comment that the more the homestead is visited, the less chance there is of its being vandalised. Let’s hope so.

During the afternoon the plastic bottles were set up as targets along the bottom of the mound …so the kids again spent hours throwing the same rocks back onto the mound.. and co-incidentally tidying up the now less than smooth surrounding ground.

10 to 10.30am Monday was designated departure time, though a few left earlier.
Lunch stop at Dalwallinu… the Cafe adjacent the railway track is up and running with good food, good selection,  freshly made.  And they were open on a Public Holiday !

A leisurely drive back though this time through picturesque Wongan Hills.
Where traveling the Great Northern Highway there is the likelihood of slow miles behind an ‘oversize’, by going through Wongan Hills there is an equal chance of a slow caravan holding up the convoy.  But it allows you to see more!
Home in good time to empty stuff and settle for work the next day.
A good weekend.

Judith Brinkley

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