Tag Archives: Hurstbridge

OTD: Railway Accident at Wattle Glen, 25 Mar 1932

#OnThisDay ( #OTD ) – 88 years ago, Good Friday, March 25th, 1932, a terrible and frightening railway accident occurred for a family on holidays from Cobram whilst passing through Wattle Glen.

As reported on page 1 of the Advertiser, Friday 1 April 1932 and many other newspapers throughout Melbourne and the country.

Railway Accident at Wattle Glen

TRAIN DERAILED IN LEVEL CROSSING ACCIDENT
MOTOR CAR TORN TO PIECES
OCCUPANTS HAVE MARVELLOUS ESCAPES

A sensation went through the district when it became known that there had been a railway accident at Wattle Glen on Good Friday morning. All sorts of alarming rumors were current, and it was a relieved community which learned that, although the train had been derailed and a motor car almost torn to pieces, all the persons who were in the train and car escaped with comparatively minor injuries.
Traffic on the line was completely disorganised for some time as a section of the line had been torn up by the train when it left the rails, and until the line was repaired and the necessary repairs made, a fleet of taxis and a railway bus were used to carry on.

The accident occurred about 11.40 a.m. when the 11.10 a.m. “up’ train was travelling from Hurstbridge to Melbourne. The train was almost entering the Wattle Glen station when the mishap occurred.
Mr. Donald F. Paterson, manager of the Bank of Australasia at Cob-ram, with his wife and two children, had arrived from Cobram on the day before, and had spent the night with Mrs. Paterson’s mother (Mrs. Herbert), whose home is near the station.

Set Out for the Beach

They had decided to visit the beach, and were on their way to reach the Hurstbridge-Melbourne road.

Waited for Another Car

At the railway crossing Mr. Paterson, waited a while to allow another car travelling in the opposite direct-ion, to negotiate the crossing first, and then proceeded. When his car was on the crossing it was struck broadside on by the train.

Hurled Over Culvert

The car was dragged broadside on for some distance, and was then hurled over into a culvert on the west side of the line.
The train, the two leading carriages of which had left the line, continued on, lurching sickeningly as the derailed wheels ploughed up the permanent way.

Post Snapped Like a Reed

The head of the train wobbled from side to side, carrying before it an 18-inch post used to support the over-head electrical equipment. This pole was, snapped like a reed, and did not decrease the speed of the runaway train to any appreciable extent.

All this time the air brakes had been applied, and when the train eventually came to a standstill the leading carriages were canted over at a dangerous angle.

The Injured

The injured were:
Donald Fary Paterson, aged 36 years, manager of the Bank of Australasia, Cobram. Bruises and shock.

Mary Winifred Paterson, his wife, aged 32 years. Broken bone in right foot and shock.

Richard Paterson, aged 6 years, and Betty Paterson, aged 2 years, their children. Slight abrasions and shock.

J. Howse, driver of train. Shock.

Mrs M. Barnes, Hurstbridge, passenger on the train. Shock.

After the Accident

An inspection of the site revealed a mass of torn up line, whilst the car was literally a mass of twisted scrap iron: -The culvert over which the car had been hurled, and where there is a drop of about 12 feet, was badly splintered, and it is a wonder that the train did not follow the car when it went over the culvert.

To the Rescue

Mr. James McCannon, who was working In his garden, nearby, heard the crash and rushed over to give what assistance he could. There were others also in the neighborhood who hurried to the scene.
Mrs .Paterson was limping about, searching frantically for her two children, completely ignoring the terrible pain from her injured foot. Searchers found Mr. Paterson pinned beneath the wreckage of the car, and across his knees was his son, Richard. The daughter Beatrice was found on the road at the crossing, she apparently having been thrown clear of the car at the time of the impact.

In the train were only the driver (Motorman Howse), the guard, and one passenger (Mrs. Barnes, of Hurstbridge).

Driver’s Escape

The driver had a marvelous escape, his cabin being splintered when It struck the pole carrying the overhead gear, but he escaped with bruises and a few lacerations caused by glass from the broken windscreen of his cabin. The roof of the driver’s compartment had been splintered, and the front crushed.

Passenger’s Experience

Mrs. Barnes had a nerve-wracking experience. She was tossed from side to side as the train lurched on its way after leaving the track, sustaining shock and considerable bruising. She was taken to a nearby residence, and after resting awhile recovered sufficiently to return home.

Motorists took Mr. and Mrs. Paterson to the Eltham Hospital, where they were admitted for treatment, and their two children were taken to the home of Mr. Paterson’s mother at Greensborough.

Traffic Interruption

Passengers to Eltham, Diamond Creek on the trains following hear all sorts of sensational rumors of what had happened. At Heidelberg passengers were told that the train was not going any further, but after some time all got aboard again, and the train proceeded to Eltham, where all passengers were again told to get out. They finally re-embarked and were taken to Diamond Creek, from which station they continued their interrupted journeys by taxis and a railways motor bus, which continued the interrupted service. Passengers, who left Melbourne for Hurstbridge at about 11 a.m. finally reached their destination at about 3 p.m.

Restoring the Damage

The aftermath of the railway accident at Wattle Glen, 25 March 1932 (from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

The railways officials were soon on the spot, and immediately work was started to rebuild the tracks and re store the overhead gear. Work continued throughout the day and all Friday night, normal running being resumed about midday on Saturday.

The derailed carriages were not re placed on the rails until a quarter to 6 o’clock on Friday evening. During this operation one of the large hooks of the steam crane pierced the wood work of a carriage, causing consider able damage.

Mr. Paterson said he did not see the train until it was almost on his car, his attention having been occupied in seeing that another car got clear of the crossing before he negotiated it. Had he not waited for that car he would have cleared the crossing in ample time.
Motorman House said that at this spot the line curved. He was emphatic that he sounded his siren as he approached the spot. His view of the crossing was obscured by sap lings at the curve and he saw the first car get clear, but did not see Paterson’s car as it was on the “blind” side of his cabin.

Mrs. Barnes; who is staying at Cr. J. Ryan’s house, is still suffering very much from shock. Mr. and Mrs. Ryan were in Sale at the time of the accident, but returned as soon as they heard of it.

Mr. J. Howse has been off duty since the accident.

The sub-station at Greensborough was also damaged on account of the heavy surge of current which blew the fuses and damaged the switches. It is expected that the damage to the railways will amount to over £1,000.

It is understood that the insurance on the motor car that was smashed expired the previous week.

1932 ‘THE SCENE AFTER THE WATTLE GLEN SMASH’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 1 April, p. 1. , viewed 15 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56737545
Reference:

1932 ‘Railway Accident at Wattle Glen’, Advertiser (Hurstbridge, Vic. : 1922 – 1939), 1 April, p. 1. , viewed 15 Feb 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article56737542

 

MysteryMonday: Dunstan Drive, Hurstbridge, c.1992

UPDATE: Dunstan Drive, Hurstbridge, Milton Way on left and Carlysle Close on right

 

Looking southwest along Dunstan Drive, Hurstbridge, c.1992. Milton Way on the left and Carlysle Close on the right at the bend. Dunstan Reserve on right. (Photo: Unknown; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

#MysteryMonday – Today’s images are again of a residential area, in the Eltham District, circa 1992. The street has a very similar feel to Valonia Drive, Eltham but it is not. The street appears to be running along a slight valley (like Valonia Drive). All the images are taken from the same vantage point. The street curves around to the left and there is a street running off to the left at the beginning of the curve and another to the right at the apex to the curve just past the chicane with the VW Beetle parked on it. Of course this could the entrance to the street  from another one sweeping around from the right to the right.

Looking southwest along Dunstan Drive, Hurstbridge, c.1992. Milton Way on the left and Carlysle Close on the right at the bend. Dunstan Reserve on right. (Photo: Unknown; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

The first two almost identical images have been presented as they provide an overall view but also the street sign for the street on the left does provide a partial clue. In the first image it appears to be ending in “LTON” and could be Way or Mews or Ave. In the second image it could be “SLTON” or “SLION”.  A search of street names for Eltham, Eltham North, Research, Montmorency, Lower Plenty and Briar Hill for a street ending in these combinations has left us stumped for the moment. Perhaps in the past 25 years there has been a name change.

Looking southwest along Dunstan Drive, Hurstbridge, c.1992. Milton Way on the left and Carlysle Close on the right at the bend. Dunstan Reserve on right. (Photo: Unknown; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

This image has been provided as someone may recognise the little girl’s school uniform, which may help identify the locality. It looks similar to that of Eltham College; essentially a Eucalyptus green with white collar and sleeve ends.

Looking southwest along Dunstan Drive, Hurstbridge, c.1992. Milton Way on the left and Carlysle Close on the right at the bend. Dunstan Reserve on right. (Photo: Unknown; from the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

And this image has been provided as it gives a bit more perspective of the possible reserve to the photographer’s right and shows the house on the immediate front right slightly more.

Do these street views strike a chord with you, perhaps you even know someone who may live there. Perhaps the house is yours. Can you identify it? We’d love to hear from you; your thoughts and suggestions as to where it is.

Over to you . . .

ThrowbackThursday: Hurstbridge Shops, c.1989

#ThrowbackThursday – In continuing with our shopping theme from last week, today we time travel back approximately 30 years to the late 1980s and revisit some of the shops along the Heidelberg-Kinglake Road in Hurstbridge. Some have gone, some have changed and some have remained. Those that are featured in these images are  the Coin Laundry (replaced now by the popular Wild Wombat Cafe), Corrigan’s Newsagency, Ian McCubbin and Associates (Solicitors), Jowett Real Estate, Naomi’s Nook, Stoneground Bake House, and the Take away food store.

What are your memories of these times and shops? Any popular hang-outs? Who is still there and who do wish still was?

Take Away Food, Coin Laundry and Solicitors, cnr of Heidelberg-Kinglake Road and Parker Road, c.1989. Present day site of Wild Wombat Cafe (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Wild Wombat Cafe (Google Street View Sep 2016)
Take Away Food shop, cnr of Heidelberg-Kinglake Road and Parker Road, c.1989. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Naomi’s Nook just behind the Take Away Food shop, cnr of Heidelberg-Kinglake Road and Parker Road, c.1989. (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Jowett Real Estate, Corrigan’s Newsagency and the Stoneground Bakehouse, Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, c.1989 (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)
Newsagency and Stoneground Bakehouse (Google Street View Sep 2016)
Jowett Real Estate, Heidelberg-Kinglake Road, c.1989 (From the collection of Eltham District Historical Society)

Community War Memorial Signage

Hurstbridge Memorial Park

The Hurstbridge Memorial Park interpretative signage was launched today by Mr Andrew Giles MP, Federal Member for Scullin with Nillumbik Shire Council Mayor, Cr. Helen Coleman.

The Hurstbridge Avenue of Honour plaque was also dedicated to local soldiers by Cr. Coleman.

Local students from the Hurstbridge Learning co-operative and Hurstbridge Primary School read the poem and story behind “In Flanders Field”. One student, Mia read out a poem she had written herself “Lest We Forget”. The audience were told about the recent Anzac Day commemorations at the Primary School which included crafting poppies and planting an Oak Tree – a descendant from a tree at Gallipoli.

The Memorial park was originally developed by the community’s horticultural group and consisted of 50 trees, three of which still remain. Only 26 names were registered.

Today’s event follows the launch last month of the markers at the historic entrance to the Eltham Gateway and site of the original Avenue of Honour where about 100 trees were planted and cared for by the local community following World War One.

These Anzac Centenary Projects were funded by Federal and State government funds. It is hoped that these new projects not only honour – but create conversations about – local WW1 enlistments, and the communities on the home front and indeed those who worked tirelessly to first build memorials and plant avenues of honour so that Lest we Forget.