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GOOD HOPEURALLASYDNEYCAPE HORNLONDON

 

THE DERWENT DIARY - VISIT to URALLA

 

Saturday April 18th   Unload our gunpowder. Have not got ashore yet. Unbent & stowed most of our sails. Sydney Harbour is one of the prettiest places possible. The scenery all round the harbour is magnificent. The harbour is full of bays and islands .

 

Sunday April 19th   Nothing to do all day but write letters. Yesterday there was a regatta held here and the chief race was between Hanlan & Beach and I believe Hanlan was beaten.

 

Monday April 20th    The stevedores came aboard this afternoon to fix up their gear, ready for discharging cargo.

 

Tuesday April 21st    Still waiting in the Bay, because a vessel is laying at Adelaide Wharf now, 7 as there is only room for one vessel at a time, & as we have got to go to that wharf we have got to wait till that vessel comes out which is expected to come out tomorrow.

 

Wednesday April 22nd    Was on gangway duty today so got out of all the dirty work of mooring to the wharf which we did this afternoon at ½ past 2.

 

Thursday April 23rd    We began discharging cargo today. We went ashore this evening & took my letter of introduction to Mr Shadler. He seems a very nice man. He invited me up to tea tomorrow night.

 

Friday April 24th    Went up to tea to Mr Shadler’s. Was introduced to Mrs Shadler & her two younger sisters & brother.

 

Sat. April 25th    As most of the crew have deserted & been discharged the work of washing decks fell very heavily on the midshipmen & apprentices. We began at 12.30p.m. & finished at 4.30p.m.

 

Sunday April 29th    Quite a day of rest nothing to do whatever, and very thankful we all are for it, after the extra hard work we have had lately.

 

Monday April 27th    Went to tea at Mr Shadler’s again & afterwards went to a smoking concert where I enjoyed myself very much. When I got home I found a letter waiting for me from Mrs Woods urgently requesting me to go to Uralla for a visit directly. Found out my cousin Herbert in Sydney and a jolly fine chap he is too. Went to the Australian Wax Works & pretty good they are.

 

Wednesday April 29th    On gangway duty today. Got leave of the captain to go to Uralla, also the money to go with. Packed up my bags & prepared myself for going. Captain gave me leave to go & get my tea so that I might get away directly afterwards. It happened that the other hands were getting the ship astern, & the 1st mate came into our berth and me taking my tea. He flew into a passion and taking up my cup he threw the tea all over me and began jawing me like mad, but when he heard that Captain had told me to get my tea of course he could say nothing more. At 11p.m. I went aboard the Maitland (steamer) bound for Newcastle. Herby saw me off aboard.

 

Thursday April 30th    Got into Newcastle at 4.30 a.m. Had some breakfast and then waited about the station for 3 hours until 8 a.m. Then began the most tedious journey. I did not get into Uralla until 7.15 p.m. & it is only 287 miles, but the train goes like a snail. In some parts anyone could have walked faster than the train went. When I got to Uralla Mrs Woods & Percy & May & Miss Gissing & her sister Polly met me at the station. We got home & had tea and glad enough I was to get to bed.

 

Friday May 1st    Went up to the paddock with the Doctor and saw all the sheep & cows & horses, Amongst the cows there was a splendid Alderney bull; such a beauty! I returned home alone & in consequence lost my way in the bush & after strutting about for 2 hours without seeing a human habitation or being I came across a lone little cottage all by itself & enquired there the way to Uralla and they directed me so that at 7.10 p.m. I came out against the station and made my way home.

 

Saturday May 2nd    Went out for a drive to Gostwick Station with the Doctor. It is considered the best sheep station in New England. We looked over the woolshed and then came home again after the doctor had visited one or two of his patients there.

 

Sunday May 3rd     Lounged about the whole day and did nothing.

 

Monday May 4th    Went possum shooting by moonlight & got one, a very fine one with a splendid winter coat on him.

 

Tuesday May 5th    Skinned my possum today. It took pretty well the whole morning.

 

Wednesday May 6th    Caught 3 Australian wrens. They are the prettiest little birds imaginable being all colours. The Doctor skinned one for me. It was very difficult as they are very small & the skin so tender.

 

Thursday May 7th   Put my wren skin out to dry & one of the cats or dogs had the impudence to run off with it.

Friday May 8th    Pecy & I walked up to the paddock taking his pony’s bridle & saddle with us. We caught his pony & I rode her home.

 

Saturday May 9th     Went out Kangaroo hunting but did not see one at all. They are getting rather scarce within 2 or three miles of the towns.

 

Sunday May 10th    Went out for a walk with Percy.

 

Monday 11th    Went out for a drive all round the “Pocky” where all the gold diggings are, from there we went to Sydney flats and in saw a tremendous lot of goats; in factwe drove about 15 miles altogether.

 

Tuesday May 12th    Percy went away to Emmnaville (alias Vegetable Creek) to his business in the Post Office there. I received a letter from the Captain to say that I might stop here until I received notice from him or until my friends grow tired of me, which does not seem the case at present.

 

Wednesday May 13th    Rode out ½ way to Armidale a distance of 7 miles and a half straight out so that I had a ride of 15 miles altogether.

 

Thursday May 14th    Went to the Parsonage & had some music. The reverend Hugil & Mrs Hugil & Mrs Hurst the organist lives there.

 

Friday May 15th    Rode out to the lagoon, a very pretty piece of water about 4 miles out in the bush. It is covered with all kinds of waterfowl.

 

Saturday May 16th    Went to the Rifle Range and saw a handicap match between the members of a private Rifle Club.

 

Sunday     Went to church in the evening for the 1st time since I have been here. It is a regular tumble down place being very old but nicely filled up. It has been a very nice little church in it’s time. The choir was composed of 6 girls, two of which never opened their mouths another one could not sing, another one howled, & another one shrieked and there was only one that had any voice at all or could sing at all & that was Miss Gissing.

 

Monday 10th    Had a little exercise with a stock whip the lash of which was seven & a half times as long as the handle. We drove a flock of sheep into the sheep yard and then drafted & re-branded them.

 

Tuesday May 19th    Doctor went after a lost wether but we could not find him, he has got clear away.

 

Wed. May 20th    Doctor has turned up ill with congestion of the lungs; it is an old complaint of his.

 

Thursday May 21st    Drove the wethers into the sheepyard and picked out one to be killed; strapped his feet and brought him down in the dray. Have been carting fire wood home.

 

Friday May 22nd    May & Polly went away to Mrs Hudson’s to stay till Monday.

 

Saturday May 23rd    Went out for a drive to Gostwick station with the Doctor to see a kid who was ill but he was dead when we got there.

 

Sunday May 24th    Long live Her Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, The Queen’s birthday. I went out for a walk to the Rifle Range with Percy. He took his gun in case we should see anything worth shooting after. When we got down to the creek we saw two wild Australian buffaloes, so keeping under cover we crept close up to the edge of the creek & then Percy lifted his gun & fired hitting one buffalo in his fron legs and so wounding him that he could not stand. Then he went right close up & and poured the contents of 2nd barrel just behind the shoulder & killed it stone dead. We then chopped the head off & carrying it to an ant hill we threw it on to it when lo & behold in 3 minutes it was cleaned of every bit of meat & nothing but the bone was left. I then took out the teeth and brought them home. The skull was too large and heavy to bring home.

 

Monday 25th    Drove to Gostwick. May & Polly came back in the afternoon. Great excitement of course prevailed therefrom.

 

Tuesday May 26th    Went up to the paddock and came home on the top of a load of wood.

Wednesday May 27th Went & looked over the brick kilns.

 

Thursday May 28th    Caught the pony & attempted to ride him bareback but he bucked & very soon threw me & lodged me in a peppermint tree.

 

Friday May 29th    Rode out to the racecourse lagoon & from thence to the long tunnel. I then took him to the blacksmith’s shop & had his shoes taken off for the winter and then turned him out into the paddock.

 

Saturday May 30th    Shot two bears up in the paddock and brought them home in a sack which deed made me perspire profusely.

 

Sunday May 31st    Skinned my bears in the morning & went to church in the evening.

 

Monday June 1st    Drove out to Salisbury a distance of 18 miles so we had a long drive of 36 miles.

 

Tuesday June 2nd    Went up to the paddock and cut two native cats out of a log. One Judy killed after a long fight & the other we brought home in a sack for the pup “Wass” to experiment on. It got away and ran up a slender tree of about 12 ft high. I climbed up after it& dislodged it when Wass managed to kill it but it was so badly mauled about that the skin was not good so I let the dogs have it to play with.

 

Wednesday June 3rd    Drove out to Salisbury again the scenery is magnificent from the top of the hills and “the plains” are beautiful.

 

Thursday June 4th    Skinned a variegated parrot which we caught up in the paddock

 

Friday June 5th    Drove out to Salisbury again. Percy came home quite unexpectedly in the middle of the morning.

 

Saturday June 6th    Went out for a long walk out into the bush. Saw several kangaroos but could not get near them.

 

Sunday June 7th    Stopped at home the whole day. Drove out to Descous in the evening.

 

Monday June 8th    16 degrees of frost last night, the the sharpest night since I have been here.

 

Tuesday June 9th    Percy went away last night by the 7.15 train bound for Glen Innes

 

Wed June 10th    Drove out to Salisbury.

 

Thursday June 11th    Today is the first rain we have had since I have been up here.

 

Friday June 12th    Dr Mallam from Armidale came here and drove out to Salisbury with the Doctor to see this case that he has out there. It rained heavily without intermission the whole day & night

 

Saturday June 13th    Washed the buggy because it was in such an awful mess after yesterdays travelling.

 

Sunday June 14th   My last Sunday here went to church in the evening. Fine weather again.

 

Monday June 15th    Rained heavily all day. The creek was quite a torrent. I went out in spite of the rain and cut through the arm of a tree that was lying in the water so as to let it go down with the water.

 

Tuesday June 16th    Packed up my skins & luggage ready for tomorrow.

 

Wednesday June 17th    Went off by the 10.45 a.m. train and got into Newcastle at 11 p.m. Mrs Woods May & Miss Gissing came & saw me off. Got on board “the Maitland” at Newcastle & arrived in Sydney at 4.30 a.m., where I got a cab and drove down to Central Wharf where the “Derwent” is now lying.

 

Thursday June 18th     Got on board at 5 a.m. and was just in time for “turn to”. Went up to see Herby in the evening. It was raining heavily the best part of the day.