Alfred Smith 1831-1917 recollections Windsor St. Cont. 7and8
Continuing along Bosworth street at old Joe Stratford's).
* His first wife died there. I remember the day Joe got married to his second wife. John Cashell also lived there for many years. The little building at the March-street end has been used by differ ent people as a butcher's shop ? among them my old road mate William Sly.
Where Dr. Helsham lives is of comparatively recent date, and was built by the well-known contractor of Windsor, old Mr John Johnson, father of the late Mrs Edwin Pitt.
One more old place was only to be found in this street when I first knew it. It stood just below where. Mrs Alex Benson lives. The first I have any recollections of living in it was a man named George Smith. His wife was a servant to old Mr. Dan Harriskey, and Smith married her from there. Mr Isaac Cornwell owned it for a long time. Afterwards it came into the hands of Mr Henry Turner, and he used it as a bake-house for many years. I think Thomas Allen used it as a bake-house also. A man named Afflick lived in it for a while, in earliest history. Where old Mr. and Mrs. Buckton lived is an old place ; so also is the one next to it.
The other places on the opposite side cannot be included among our old building.
Commencing from Lennox-street ? the old house in which Mrs John Collins lived for some years was built before my time. The first people I remember living there were old Mr and Mrs Thomas Ashton. Mr Ashton was dealing in poultry then. Then old Mr and Mrs George Campling lived in this house for a long time. One of his daughters was a teacher, and well up in the profession. George Smith, the brickmaker, lived in it also. Mr and Mrs John Collins lived there for a long while, and on more than one occasion.
On the opposite side of the street, only facing into this street, was a very large weather board room with a single roof and no verandah to it. In this old place a single man whom I never knew by any other name than old 'Warley Camp' lived for a long time. He was a brickmaker and very deaf. This room was built on the property of old "Scotch John". It has been pulled down many years.
Where Mr Tom Chalmers lives I remember getting built, and the brickwork was the first done in Richmond by the late Caleb Crisford.
In this street there was only one more house standing in my earliest recollections. It was a skillion which stood about where Mr John Cashell is now living. It contained two main rooms, and a little room at the back, with a shingle roof, and no verandah. Thomas Hogsflesh lived there for some time. He was a blacksmith by trade, having served his apprenticeship to Jack Freeman, and had his shop there. He left Richmond, and I think he died at Rope's Creek. I often saw his widow there.
The Salvation Army barracks is not an old place by any means, and is now used by the Richmond Light Horse as an orderly room.
Where Mr Alf Sly lives is a more recent addition to the street, and a few more houses like it would make this street look up. I think it was on this allotment of land where Peter O'Hara had a weatherboard building where he kept a bit of a shop. One of his sons, Harry, kept a billiard room there, and finally, it was burnt down. The old house on the corner of March Street was mentioned when we spoke of March-street, but the blacksmith's shop adjoining Mr. Alf Sly's place faces into this street, and has been a busy little shop more than once. Mr. Fred Small has only left it a few months. Fred is a son of William Small, of Lennox-street, whose reputation as a blacksmith spread far and wide.
The house belonging to some of the Onus family, and rented by Mr Fitzsimons, has been up some time, but does not come in our list of old Richmond buildings.
Coming along the street we have the School of Arts, and when I first knew the ground on which it stands it was a portion of the pound paddock. I was at the laying of the foundation stone. The stone is at ihe corner of the building on the March-street side as you enter the main hall. It was laid by Mary Ann Bowman, who afterwards became the wife of the medical Dr Cameron. A sovereign was put under the stone, a copy of the daily paper was put under it also.
The Presbyterian Church I remember getting built. Mr Long had the contract for the woodwork. Later on Mr Sam Boughton was the contractor for the tower. While the work was in progress Mr. Tom Masters and I went round to have a look at it. Mr Boughton was working about where the clock is, and a ladder was standing up almost as high as the ball on top. Tom was chaffing me about not being game to go up to the ball, and Sam happened to hear him at it, and remarked he had seen me as high as that in the trees out on the common after possums. To show I still had nerve left, up I went and placed my hand on the ball.
The Commercial Bank, which faces into Windsor-streets is a comparatively recent ornament to the town. So also is the police station.
Years ago old Mr William Stevenson kept a shop in a weatherboard place close to where Mr Les. Wheeler lives. He dealt in poultry as well. The houses on the same side as Mr Wheeler's have been up some years, but are not the oldest.
The opposite side of this street was much improved by the two new cottages built to the order of the late William Sullivan. The skillion next to these cottages is not a youngster, though I remember when it was vacant land. William Douglas has built himself a comfortable home close by. He is a great gardener, and what he grows on his small plot shows what can be done both in quantity and quality.
The Public School is in this street, and as I see the youngsters playing about in such numbers I think of the big difference there is now for a child to get an education and when I was a youngster. If they do not get a good schooling now it is the parents' fault.
East Market Street
Commencing at the Lennox street end, we have the old place where "Granny" Ashton lives, which dates back before any time. When I first knew it there was only one room, and in it Mr.and Mrs. Johnson lived. This would be 'Bill' Johnson's father and mother, Afterwards they went to Londonderry ? 'Town's paddock' in those days ?where they lived for years. After they left it was done up for the Presbyterian Church, and services were held there for a long time. I have heard Dr. Lang, Dr. Fullerton, and the Rev. Mr Adam, of Windsor, preach there. The pulpit stood at the end of the room on Lennox-street side. As you went in at the door, on the left side along the wall, there was a long cedar seat with a back to it which was occupied by George Bowman and his family. William Bowman, his wife and daughter, Ann (who married a Mr. Caddell) went there to worship also.
On the opposite side of the room to the Bowman's seat was another long seat where William McAlpin and his father, Peter McAlpin, sat. On a front cross seat, facing the pulpit, sat Mrs. Field's father, John Henderson. He, too, like McAlpin, was a great singer, and his voice was always loud and clear during the singing. Mrs. Martin had a Sunday school there, and taught a few children.
The old weatherboard house which stood by the fig tree which grew in the paddock at the back of the Imperial Hotel I remember getting built. It was an old place, and has been pulled down many years. Among those who have lived there we have with us in Richmond to-day Messrs. Ernest Marlin and John Ashton. Mr. Sam Farley lived there also. Mrs. Elliott lived there for years, The good old lady went to her last resting place some few months ago.
The railway station is in this street, but though built a goodly number of years looks different to my boyhood days. What is to be found in the way of buildings below the Royal Hotel is the outcome of later years.
We will start in this street at the College end, and up to the corner of Lennox street there was only two houses when I was a boy. George James lived in one and Thomas Silk in the other. About where Mr John Cornwell now lives there stood a very large bushy apple tree, which were plentiful on the common then. On Sunday evenings people used to sit there in the hot weather. The blacks were about then, and had their camp not more than a hundred yards the other side. All about there then was a wild bush, but just about that spot it was principally gum trees.
About where Mr Dan Carter lives there, was a saw pit where they used to cut timber for the town. It was kept by a man named Robert Westmore. Before Westmore came here he worked at Cockle Bay, and here he was known as 'Cockle Bay Bobby.' His wife used to help him saw, and at work in the pit he acted as top sawyer, his wife underneath. To prevent the sawdust getting into her eyes she wore a veil.
Coming along towards the railway there was only the old white house standing. I have no recollection of this getting built. These were the only three houses facing into this street in those days.
The large hole in Paget street between where Thomas Richardson lived for years and the double house just mentioned, is the result of brickmaking. Many a kiln of bricks were made there by Jack Short. Speaking of Jack Short reminds me we had at that time living in Richmond Jack Short, Jack Long, Jack Large, Jack Small. Jack Short was short, Jack Long was short, Jack Large was a big man, Jack Small a big man also.
In my earliest days no houses. Later on Charley Roberts kept a butcher's shop between March-street and the railway line for many years-His first house was close to the butcher's shop, but some time after he built another house lower down and facing into March-street. His wife died in the latter house, so also did old Charley.
The few other houses in this street have been built long enough since I first knew it.
We have now been round the town, a street at a time, and dealt mainly with it in the very early days.
A casual jaunt around it in more recent years will not be out of place before we leave it.
Where James Moulds now lives (the last house in Lennox-street going towards the Blacktown road) Ned Kidd kept a blacksmith's shop alongside it for many years. His wife died there.
the corner house where Tom Richardson lived Mr William Mitchell lived for some time. It was on this spot Mr. Mitchell laid the foundation of what afterwards developed into the famous coachbuiiding, horseshoeing, general smithing and implement making business. When he first came to Richmond he worked, I think, for William Price. He then started on this own account on the corner I have just mentioned. His wife's brother, named Ross, who was a clever man, used to do woodwork and painting. Mr Mitchell was by no means a man of money then, but he was a great tradesman and a very hard worker. It was nothing unusual for him to work all hours of the night, and he got along by degrees.
I have just alluded to Nedd Kidd's blacksmith's shop in Lennox street, and at one end of the shop Fred Thomson had his wheelwright's shop and carried on his work for some time. William Heath, 'the old taiior,' as he was often called, lived in the skillion a little this side of Kidd's blacksmith's shop. Years after two brick rooms and a verandah were put on the front of the skillion, and Tom Kewen lived there for years. Tom was a fetler on the line, Heath lived there for years and did his tailoring. I think it was from here Dan Carter married a grand-daughter of Heath's. I often met his son John in after years while I was droving. The last time I saw him was at Gunnedah where he was keeping a pub. Before he started pub keeping I often camped at his place at Middle Island.
In the house on the corner where Mr Mitchell first started in business ? Mr Swinbourne, Mr Collins, and McCredie lived at different times. John Waldren, a blacksmith, lived in this corner house for a time also. When he left Richmond he went to Rouse's, at Guntawang. Tom Masters went up with him, having agreed with Mr George Rouse.- Tom was striking for Waldren up there. I shall never forget one little thing which happened to Mr Roland Ducker in this locality. He had been out to the 'three holes' to get their mare, "Busy," and could not catch her. He asked me to go and help him catch her, and we succeeded. Both of us mounted her bare back and came along alright till we got about where Mrs. Magick now lives-?plenty of trees and stumps there at that time ? and I wanted to get off.
As I was getting off the mare started to buck and I fell off unhurt. Roland was thrown, and as he fell the mare kicked him on the forehead. He bled a good deal and was unconscious for about half an hour I called Eliza James and Mrs. Martin to come over, and with a jug of water they bathed him and brought him round. I have no doubt Mr Roland Ducker carries the scar today.
Close to the College avenue entrance stood the old pound. I remember Tom Pryke being poundkeeper there many years ago Harry Gunton kept it for a long time. He also kept the present pound many years.
Opposite to this old pound is the old house which has been there many years, but which I remember getting built. Mr Dean lived in it for a long time and had a tan yard. The old shed, which still stands, was built for Mr Dean, and in it many a score of hides I have seen hanging up to dry. George Dean, his son, was married from there. Both of his sons, Billy and George, were very venturesome boys with snakes. I have often seen them catch a snake by the tail and pull it out of a log and kill it. They would then cut the heads off and take the body home. These their mother boiled down for the oil, which was considered a cure for cer tain complaints in those days. Old Mrs Dean died in this old house. George was always a jolly chap and ready for a lark. He played a good one on Johnny Roberts one day. We had been out in the bush and had brought a good lump of a snake home, and after I left him he saw Roberts coming. He knew Roberts would have to go round Richardson's corner on his way home, so he laid the snake about a couple of yards round the corner across the footpath with the head part of the body in some rubbish against the fence. He called me over and told me what was in the wind. Roberts was coming along the Paget-street footpath so we waited and watched him turn the corner. He came on to the snake unexpectedly, and got a great fright. He pulled a rail out of the fence and started to settle the snake, when he found out it was dead. When he saw its head had been cut off no doubt he had his, suspicions as to who played the joke.
cannot pass this part of the town without mentioning a good old woman whom we knew as "Granny" Roberts. She was grandmother to Charley Roberts, of Clarendon, grandmother to the late Thomas Primrose, of Windsor, and several other well known and respected people in the district.
The house I am living in I remember getting built. About where my big gate is there was an old weatherboard place which was nearly down when I first recollect it. The bricks were made on the allotment by 'Tim, the brickmaker'. Mr William Sbarpe, 'Daddy', as he was often called in after life, often told me he helped 'Tim' to make the bricks. The bricklayer was Henry White who lived in Silks old bouse in Paget-street. He was a married man, but had no family. A man by the name of Clayton, a tailor, lived in Silks' house before White. The house was built for Mr Baines He pre viously lived in the Lodge at "Fairfield," Windsor. Baines died in this house, and Mrs Baines died there in June, 1867. Then their son, Johnny, lived there. Johnny, like his father, was a chair-maker, but didn't work much at it. It was the rush bottom chairs in those days.
If my old stable could only speak it could tell some very funny tales about the gaffing schools they carried on in it. It was here that ' Bricky ' Colley stayed with us, and not at the old pub, as I stated when speaking of my pub-keeping days. I shall never forget 'Bricky' giving me the tip about Sterling for the Metropolitan once. He told me, bar accidents, he was going to win. Sterling was a 10 to 1 chance, and I decided to go down and have ?5 on him. But a day or two before the races I had to start up country, and as Tom Masters was keeping shop round the corner, I commissioned him with instructions what to do, as he intended going down. As I was going up country I met the mailman as asked if he had, heard what won the Metropolitan, and he told me Sterling. When I got up country there was a letter from home and I learned Tom had not gone to the races, so I was as far off as if 'Bricky' had never given me the tip.
Old Mr. and Mrs. Baines had two daughters and one son. Emma married William Crowley from here, and as tin kettling was all the fashion then they got a good one. Louisa married a Mr Wood, who was a brother to the late Mr John Wood, of the Grose River. Wood was a saddler and lived for years in Singleton. Mrs Baines was a dressmaker, and the present Mrs Henry Powell, senr., learned the art from her, Sam Freeman lived in Francis-street.
He could tell some stirring tales about the old rimes. I knew Sam very well and for many years. I remember when he was a boundary rider for Mr. A. Town for years at Bomera. He also worked at Lakeville for some time for Mr Town, who had the property rented. After leaving Bomera he came down over Bell's Line ? known as Maddocks' line then ? and got lost for two days. It was a cold "shop " to be lost in, and when Sam got out of it he was nearly done up. When he came to Richmond, after this adven ture, he stayed with us for fully a month. Sam had seen a deal of the old convict days, and the treatment the men received. He was a jolly old fellow, and it didn't take much to start him going about the flogging days. And it was no secret about town how to start him, and when one felt inclined they only had to say to him, "Where is Dr. B -??" The answer he would give you was, "Dr. B-? 's in hell." Then he would tell you about the brutal work, and the scant regard this doctor had for human life. Sam never forgot to tell you that Dr. B-? would say, "Men's no object to me. If there's 50 killed to-day, I can get 50 more to-morrow". Sam was a brother to Tom and George Freeman, who kept a Public house in Windsor. The Town family thought a lot of Sam, and other families were good and kind to him, while the boys found him interesting and amusing.
In Richmond we had another Sam Freeman, but in no way related to this one. He was a carpenter, and lived for some time in the weatherboard house where Robinson, the carpenter, lived, which stood on the ground where the two skillions stand next to where Jim Shields and his sisters live in Bosworth-street. His sons William and Jack were blacksmiths. William left Richmond and secured property on the Comleroy Road, and was living there when I was at the punt. He kept a public house there. Billy sold the property to Michael McMahon, now ' Garryowen.' He then went out somewhere about the Cockfighter to live. While out there he had the promise of a great crop of wheat one year, but the grain got blighted. He mowed it and made it into hay and I have heard that this was the first time he found out the value of wheaten hay. He later came to live on what we call the Grose Farm which lies between the Grose and Nepean rivers, now occupied by Mr Donald Clemson. I hear his father, Edward, owns it. Billy left there and went to live in the old bouse by the river, on a farm belonging to Mr George Williams. There he lived till he accidentally met his death. He reared a large family. The boys were a fine big lot of men, and the girls were good styles.
Among the family I knew Bob, William, Joe, Tom. George, Wellington and Annie, who married Mr W. Maughan and still lives in Richmond. Charlotte was another of the girls, she married Mr John Devlin, who is still living at Agnes Banks. George is still at Riverstone meatworks and liked by all who know him. Bob and Tom are dead William, Joe and Wellington are still living at Agnes Banks, the latter occupying the same house as his late father and mother.
Then not long ago there died an ex Richmondite who took great interest in town matters when he was here ? David Cobcroft. He was for years an alderman in the Council, and the opposition side wished him out of it many a time. In those days party feeling in the Council was very strong, but the Onus side carried the sway. But for all that, Dave fought them, and, if he couldn't best them, often tormented them.
He lived in the two-storey house in March street which stands about half way between East and West Market streets. He was a good chemist and had his shop there. Before he took up chemistry he was in a bank. One time I was going up to Warrah and had a five pound note I wanted to change, so I went into a bank at Muswellbrook, and he was in charge of it. Before he came to live in the two storey house in March-street he lived in the old long house in Windsor-street which belonged to old Mr Long. He was married to a sister of William Benson, senr., who has been dead many years. The loss of two sons cut him up very much. One fine young fellow accidentally met his death at South Creek railway viaduct one encampment at Gosper's Groves. The other one died at home after a lingering illness. After Dave left Richmond he was in Sydney for years, and died somewhere in Forest Lodge.
R. B Hughes, "Bobby" Hughes as he was generally called, was a good chemist and as good as plenty of the doctors with some complaints. He often saved a poor person the expense of a doctor. I re member him coming to Richmond. At one time Richmond was lively on Saturday when German Charley, the doctor, used to visit it. He was a queer old sort in many ways, but could cure many things. He used to attend patients at my place, and I have seen as many as 18 vehicles in front ? from Penrith, Kurrajong, Pitt Town. Wilberforce and Free man's Reach.
Old ' Bob ' Eggleton, the wheelwright, who was buried quite recently, was reared up Kurrajong, and when a lad of about 14 started to serve his apprenticeship with William Small who had a wheelwright's shop on the pro perty Mr Bowman Douglass owns and occupies.
Johnny Madden served his apprenticeship to the wheelwrighting to the same man and at the same time as Eggleton. Bob lived at one time in the old house in Lennox-street where I lived and saw the ghost. He was there for a long while. Later on he bought the ground opposite, the Roman Catholic Church at the Windsor end of Richmond. Here he built, and carried on business as a wheelwright and blacksmith for years. He was a good tradesman. Bob was a good sportsman ? a great pigeon shot, quail shooter, wild duck hunter and an ardent fisherman with both the rod and the net. The latter he could make and was considered a good hand at hanging them. He had an old gun ? and good one it was ? he kept for duck shooting which they called 'Long Sal.' He married a Miss Roberts who died some time back. They reared a family of fine big children. Among the boys I knew Jack, George, Bob, Ted ; and Kesiah, the girl. Jack was for years in charge of the Hawkesbury racecourse, and could do wheelwrighting as well. Bob was a great hand among horses. George is in the railway service.
I was at the punt when the railway was opened to Richmond. Among the station masters in Richmond I remember Mr. McKenzie, who is buried in the Church of England cemetery here. Mr Morris was here, but had to leave on account of ill-health. Mr Lackey was here for many years, and is now in charge of Burwood station, I think. The present station master's residence, at the corner of Bourke and March streets, was built for him. Then We had Mr. Gazzard for a while. Mr Stafford was a great bike rider, and used to take part in the bike races on the park, which were all the go here at that time. Then Mr. Chivers was here for years, and when he left took charge of Blacktown station where he is at present. Then came Mr. Cox, who stayed with us till he retired from the service, when he was given a hearty send-off by his fellow railway men only a month or two ago.
Tom Cavanough was here for some time and was head porter, and afterwards worked up to be stationmaster.
Among the men on the engines who have been in Richmond, a man named Frost was the first driver from Blacktown to Richmond, and lived in the old house in Lennox-street occupied by Tom Miles. Then there was old Mr Ritchie who spent many years among us and was well liked. (To be continued).
Some Ups and Downs of an old Richmondite,
by Mr. Alfred Smith
Chronicled by Robert Farlow
Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954)
Saturday 16 April 1910
Saturday 23 April 1910
Transcription, janilye, 2012