This is a video of the Beech Forest Centenary Clebrations in 1984
Video of parade through town
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This is a video of the Beech Forest Centenary Clebrations in 1984
Video of parade through town
Video covers excursions on the Beech Forest Line. It covers the period 1956 to 1962.
Film showing the Beechy Line and activities
Video covers excursions on the Beech Forest Line. It covers the period 1956 to 1962.
railway narrow gauge
Shows footage of G42 at work in the Otways.
Brief history of Australian narrow gauge lines including G42. Film of G42 at work through the Otways.
g41 narrow guage railway
Old film of Beechy Line shot from Train and from near the line.
History of Narrow Gauge Lines in Australia during the 1950s and 1960s. They include the Colac and Beech Forest lines. Shot in the 1960s.
Beech Forest and Lavers Hill Events / Beech Forest Farming / Colac Kanyana / Otway Football
Home videos of People and Events in the Otway Ranges. Taken between the late 1950's and early 1970s. Original footage taken by Mary Dow.
beech forest / lavers hill / otway football
Lake Elizabeth was formed when a landslide slid into the valley damming the East Barwon River.
Interviews with people who remember the formation of the Lake.
30 Minute video of the creation of the lake in 1952
lake elizabeth forrest east barwon
Home made video of the 2007 ANZAC Day Service at Beech Forest
anzac, anzac day, beech forest, otway
ISBN 064623241 Cliff's story of his racing career in his own words.
Zappelli "Best Wishes, Cliff Young"
The lectern is said to have been used by John Flynn ('Flynn of the Inland' - 1880 - 1951) when he was stationed in the Beech Forest - Lavers Hill area prior to his being ordained as a minister of the Presbyterian Church. Flynn arrived in Beech Forest in 1903 as a home missionary, and for around two years he conducted services in homes, camps and public halls in the Otways. In 1912 Flynn established the Australian Inland Mission, setting up hospitals and hostels across inland Australia, and inspiring the Royal Flying Doctor Service
This item was purported to have been used by Reverend John Flynn for services in various locations during his time in the Otways area prior to his more well know work in inland Australia.
A blackwood timber pulpit with folding side panels, designed to be portable. Simple carving on centre front panel, and a lectern stand for Bible or other book.
Simple trefoil engraving on centre front panel. Small metal plaque reads "Lectern 1910 Lavers Hill Pres. Church. Local Timber by Tom Parsons Esq."
john flynn, churches, pulpit
James Robbins was born on 9 February, 1869. He married Martha Owen (nee Burch) on 9 October, 1889, in Adelaide, South Australia. After having two children by her first marriage James and Martha went on to have seven children of their own, all except one surviving. James settled in Beech Forest in 1887, travelling to and from Tatura for two years before finally settling in Beech Forest. He had a number of jobs including Director of the Beech Forest Butter Factory, farmer, bullock wagon driver, and butcher. He died in Colac. James' predecessors and his successors are spelt out.
Ancestors and descendants of the family of James and Martha Robbins, 1760-1990. Doris Robbins. Self published; Colac (Vic); 1990. 67 p.; illus. Soft cover.
james robbins; martha owen; beech forest; tatura; colac; rushworth;
Hector McKenzie and Abigail (nee McLean), his wife, lived at Ullapool on the shores of Lochbroom in the far north-west of Scotland. They were married on 8 March, 1821, and had several children. Three of the children, Murdoch and his two sisters, Isabella and Lexcy, emigrated to Australia from Liverpool on the ship "Hornet" on 29 July, 1854, along with 434 other assisted passengers. They arrived at Geelong on 23 October, 1854. Later, Murdoch married a like-named Margaret McKenzie on 23 May, 1861, and had eight children. At the time as the children were thinking about branching out on their own the Otway forest was surveyed and opened for selection. In 1890/91 Murdoch, a son, Duncan, and a daughter, Abigail, selected blocks at Weeaproinah.
McKenzie. Colin and Margaret McKenzie. Self published; Weeaproinah (Vic); 2007(?). 54 p.; Illus; maps. Soft cover. Loose-leaf A4.
James Robbins and Mary Jane Ellery were married on 23 April, 1829, in Stoke Lane, St Michael, Somerset, and had six children. James died aged 51 on 7 December, 1845. Mary married again to John Boyce less than twelve months later, and they had a further three children. John and Mary Boyce (Robbins nee Ellery) came to Port Adelaide, South Australia, on the "Flora Kerr" on the 4 March, 1855, with eight of their nine children. Hannah Robbins stayed in England, probably married. On the same ship another daughter, Ann Robbins, came out with her husband, John Treasure, who had already been to Australia searching for gold. From these unions, several generations of children were recorded, the book exploring their lives.
James Robbins, 26 November 1794-7 December 1845, and Mary Jane Ellery, 1810-5 September 1889. Doris Robbins. Self published; Colac (Vic); February 1998. 560 p.; illus. Soft cover.
stoke lane; st michael; somerset; port adelaide; victoria; tatura; castlemaine;
William Evans, being born in Anglesea, Wales, in 1829, migrated to Australia in 1857. He was appointed Assistant Lighthouse Keeper at Cape Otway Lighthouse in 1858, and married Catherine Carmody on the 14 May,1860. William and Catherine spent 22 years at Cape Otway. From this union, until August 1998, eight generations of children were recorded. The book explores the lives of these children.
William Evans (1829-19 Jun 1885) and Catherine Carmody (1833- 14 Jan 1909), Doris Robbins. Self published; Colac (Vic); c.1998. 238 p.; illus, maps. Soft cover.
william evans, catherine carmody, cape otway, lighthouse
Photograph, B/W, A4. Near the Weeaproinah railway station (later known as Dinmont railway station) in 1907. Note the trolley with two men aboard following the line on the left-hand side.
weeaproinah; dinmont; railways;
Photograph, B/W, A4. Railway bridge over the Gellibrand River with people standing at the right-hand end, a railway water tank nearby on the left, and a tent underneath on the left.
gellibrand, gellibrand river;railways; bridge;
Six surveyors and a horse posing outside five tents somewhere on the Beech Forest line in approximately 1901.
Photograph, B/W. Railway survey camp, Beech Forest line.
survey camp; beech forest; railways;
In 1903, before the extension to Crowes, Beech Forest Railway Station was the terminus, already 3 roads wide with Station building, outshed, Goods Shed, and three small departmental residences. An NQR wagon near the Goods Shed is loading timber while a further NQR wagon sits outside the station building.
Photograph, B/W, 174mm x 267mm. Beech Forest Railway Station, 1903.
beech forest; railways; station;
Photograph, B/W. Locomotive G41 derailed at the "Black Stump" at Crowes on 7 August 1942. Actual photo: 169mm x 276mm
crowes; garratt; g41; derailment; "black stump";
In 1902 a ballast siding was opened 4km south of Gellibrand to provide materials for track construction. A spur siding, with points facing Beech Forest and a capacity for six trucks, was cut into the side of a slope. Above this was erected a loading bin and chute. The stone proved to be of durable quality so the siding continued in commission after 1902 for track re-ballasting work. By the mid-1920s Victorian Railways found it more economic to use ballast from Penshurst, so the siding was closed by 1925 and the rails lifted.
Photograph; B/W. Gellibrand Ballast Loading Site
gellibrand; ballast; railways; siding;
In 1938, the Otway Football Association initially comprised Beech Forest, Gellibrand, Wyelangta and Carlisle, but altered when Wyelangta and Johanna amalgamated to form Hill Imperials in May, 1938. In the grand final, Hill Imperials and Carlisle met, with Hill imperials emerging victors 13-4, 82 points, to Carlisle 7-15, 57 points, to become 1938 Premiers.
Two-handled urn-shaped cup with knobbed lid. Square bakelite base added later.
Otway Football; Association, Lavers Hill Imperials. Premiers 1938
otway; football; lavers hill imperials; carlisle;
A cardboard kindergarten case used by Lyle Marriner in the early 1950s
Brown cardboard kindergarten case.
case; kindergarten; cardboard; lyle marriner;
The terminus of the railway, and the southern-most station on the Australian mainland, was Crowes, approximately 2 kilometres from Lavers Hill. The line ended at "The Black Stump". Crowes was designed as a fully functioning terminus and received a complete instalment of facilities. The site was laid out with three roads plus a dead end siding for a locomotive shed and ash pit. Goods sheds, a platform and livestock ramps catered for freight loadings, while on the north side was a station office, waiting room, parcels shed and passenger shelter. Three departmental residences were also provided. The resident Station Master was withdrawn in November 1916 and the station closed with the line on 10 December 1954.
Photograph. Terminus of the Colac-Crowes at Crowes.
crowes; terminus; "the black stump";
Forming the headwaters of the Johanna River and noted for its majestic Myrtle Beech and Blackwood trees, in 1921 the property came into the possession of Mrs Jessie Fry, wife of Mr Thomas Fry, a well-known and respected local bushman and timber getter. Here the family lived and it was Mrs Fry who named the place 'Melba Gully'. Sometime in the late 1920s Mrs Fry was approached by Pioneer Tours, the bus company, to see if she would provide lunches and afternoon teas for their passengers travelling between Apollo Bay and Port Campbell. Mrs Fry rose to the challenge; the Melba Gully Luncheon Rooms were built adjoining the Fry home and she was in business. Mrs Fry was unfailing in her courtesy and kindness. She was also a splendid cook, known for her feather-light scones and sponges. Home-produced strawberries and cream were a special treat. Visitors were also taken on a tour of 'The Gully', often guided by one of her young sons. Melba Gully Visitors Book, running from November 1937 until the end of 1958, is testimony to her many satisfied customers. Tom and Jessie Fry sold the property on her retirement in 1947 although the tearooms continued to operate. It again changed hands in 1958 to Otway residents Mr and Mrs Axel Madsen, when it finally closed, and in 1975 they made the magnificent gesture of gifting the 48 hectare Melba Gully to the people of Victoria..
Melba Gully Visitors Book. Foolscap, leather-bound, lined pages with margin approximately 30mm from left. Added, 24 p. unlined quarto.
Full of inscriptions, cover to cover
lavers hill, melba gully, jessie fry, thomas fry, axel madsen
When he arrived in 1903 Charles Trew saw the need for a boarding house in Lavers Hill which he called "Cavan House". Originally two rooms it gradually increased with more accommodation and stables. In 1918, Mr. & Mrs. Jack Hobson leased Cavan House and later bought the premises. Cavan House quickly became popular as a guest house, with many guests returning year after year for holidays. Ensuring the comfort and well-being of guests was appreciated. Mrs Hobson provided generous meals for workers and teachers on a semi-permanent basis as well as meals for the travelling public. After the Hobson's retirement in 1953 a succession of operators followed. The Visitors Book covers ther perion from 1936 until 1945.
Visitors, Caven House. Leather-bound, quarto, pp. 242.
Names of visitors from cover to cover.
lavers hill; cavan house; jack hobson; charles trew;
This booklet is an incomplete collection of family histories of the early days of Lavers Hill and District. A short history of the Lavers Hill Hall building is also provived.
Early Otway residents. Lavers Hill Hall Committee. Lavers Hill Hall Committee; Lavers Hill (Vic); 1989. ii, 36 p. Soft cover.
This book is the remarkable story of the world's tallest tree species, the Redwood, growing in the Great Otway National Park in Victoria's south-west. It was originally planted by Victorian foresters for experimental purposes on land abandoned by the early settlers. The Coast Redwood, native of California, is now thrives in the Otways alongside the famous eucalypt, the towering Mountain Ash. The majestic Otway Redwoods, still in their youthful growth phase, have withstood adversity caused by fire, landslide, lighting and chainsaws, while the ongoing political debate about the conservation of the valuable forest resources continues.
The redwoods of the Otway Ranges. Roger B. Smith. Lothian Custom Publishing; Middle Park (Vic); 2015. ii, 202 p.; illus., maps, appendices, notes. IBSN 978 1 921737 13 8. Soft cover.
With best wishes from Roger Smith.
June 2012 represented 50 years since the Colac to Beech Forest to Weeaproinah narrow guage railway was closed. The last goods train ran on 27 June 1962, and the last passenger excursion train on 30 June 1962. The railway was the lifeblood of the West Otways for several decades, enabling farmers and saw millers to bring into economic production the natural wealth of the region. Timber, butter, wool, livestock, potatoes, fodder and minerals flowed out for the benefit of Victorian consumers.
Closed 50 years ago. The Colac to Beech Forest narrow guage railway. Commemorative booklet - 30 June 2012. Norman Houghton. Norman Houghton; Geelong (Vic); 2012. iv, 52 p.; illus., maps. Soft cover.
colac; beech forest; weeaproinah; railway;
From the beginning of World War 1 in August, 1914, until it ended in November, 1918, teachers from across Victoria enlisted for the Australian Imperial Force and embarked for overseas. Anzac, the Sinai Desert, the vast fields of France, and in Palestine the Education Department soldier-teachers toiled manfully thoughout. Of the 752 enlistments 724 were teachers, two were School Medical Officers, one was a School Nurse, one an Inspector of Schools, while the remaining 24 belonged to the clerical division employed by the Education Department. 146 died. But it was not only teachers who contributed to the war effort. Children and parents gave 400,000 articles of comfort sent abroad, contributed as a rough estimate 460 tons of supplies to hospitals at home, made contributions of £50,000 to The Young Workers' Patriotic Guild, and £217,419 for the war savings effort in the schools, and £422, 470 in general school subscriptions.
Hardcover book, bound with brown cloth cover and gold embossed title containing 306 pages, black and white photographs and illustrations and text.
This book, published to keep before teachers and children expamples of service and sacrifice in a great cause, is presented to the Hordern Vale School. It should be kept in an honoured place as a souirce of guidance and inspiration for successive generations.
great war, wwi, victoria, education department victoria, teachers, enlistments, honors, decorations, war service records, first world war, world war one
From the 9th April until the 8th July 1896 the Victorian Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railways, chaired by Mr. Cameron with members from both houses, took evidence on three narrow gauge extensions from broad gauge railway stations in the area, the Beech Forest Extension from Colac, the McDonald's Track Extension from Warragul, and the Drouin and Poowong East Extension from Drouin.
Minutes of Evidence, Beech Forest Narrow-Gauge Extension. Minutes of Evidence, McDonald's Track Narrow-Gauge Extension. Minutes of Evidence, Drouin and Poowong East Narrow-Gauge Extension. Victorian Parliamentary Papers; Melbourne (Vic); April-July, 1896. 60 p. (VPARL1896-97 No 42)
For two years after the opening of the Colac-Beech Forest railway line trains were preceded by a ganger on a trolley to ensure no landslips or wash-a-ways created a danger to the trains. Afterwards the trains continued on their own. The line was built as cheaply as possible, "a mere skeleton of a railway" as one Victorian Railways spokesperson commented. With earthworks specified to the bare minimum landslips in the cuttings and wash-a-ways in sloping areas were always a problem, particularly in the early years before the works had time to settle. The line to Crowes was built to open in 1911 and a wash-a-way between Lavers Hill and Crowes was only to be expected.
B/W. 8A locomotive, with driver and fireman, and a mounted repair gang attending a wash-a-way just past Lavers Hill in 1913.183mm x 260mm print.
B/W. Tracks 1 to 4 at Beech Forest, an NA-class locomotive and goods on No.1, an NQR wagon on No.4, and a station building in the right, in the early 1900s. 167mm x 280mm print.
beech forest, train, wagon, railway, tracks, train station
Victorian Collections acknowledges the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and the traditional custodians of the lands where we live, learn and work.