Much of my time is spent doing
but, i can't help the feeling that i'm mainly just
In search of...
In search of:
early hunters and gatherers from the Fyansford district
In search of nuggets...
bibs-n-bogs, whatnots and memorabelia...
The First peoples of Fyansford
The original hunters, gatherers and caretakers
Click image and arrows to view
Moorabool River Swimmers
Back in the days when ....
I posted, a while ago, a photo by Kurt Zimmermann showing people swimming in the Barwon and asked whether over the years locals ever swam in the Moorabool River.
Within a day I had 34 comments from members of our community who swan regularly at different locations in the lower Moorabool (along with the occasional snake).
Janine Matthey explained there were “plentiful deep holes in the river” and that they had “several swimming places along the river all year round. Sometimes watching snakes 🐍 swim too”.
Steve Hovey described how, “There was a rope swing near one of the walk bridges across from the pub heading to lower paper mills road”.
Dianne Higgins adds, “There was a swimming hole just to the side of the Monier Bridge, right below Truffle Duck. There was a huge tree with a rope and a metal pipe ladder to get out easier.”
Sandra Cominie used to swim there all the time in the early 70’s , She remembers when the river flooded right up to her grandparents’ house (the old Swan Inn).
Rita Busbridge also swam there for a long time ~ until she discovered what was being dumped in the river upstream in the late seventies.
Claire Eldridge remembers swimming in the Moorabool as kids and her mum saying, “Don’t forget your floaties”.
Bill Busbridge observed, “We swam in the rivers often from Queenspark all the way thru to Batesford; anywhere there was a substantial waterhole. The concrete diversions around the back of the limestone quarries were fantastic”.
Sandi Strijland remembers how as a family they had picnics and also swam in the river with Sheeba their border collie.
Just recently Andrew Blunden threw out the tantalising observation, "... and the river has some stories to tell. It nearly claimed me. That was the day I learned how to swim...".
Click to view
This got me thinking...
Though the river appears very tame and relatively safe, is it, in fact, hazardous.
A definite Fyansford Landmark
In a roundabout way.......
For what seemed ages Fyansford for many was just a place to drive through. Those who did stop maybe visited our pub or looked at our bridge.
The main landmark was without a doubt the silos perched atop the escarpment to the east of town.
Now the silos have gone what will signpost to travellers that they have finally arrived at or left Geelong?
Click image and arrows to view
Going down can be a hell of a rush
Going up is hard yakka...
The Fyansford Hill
For contemporary cyclists and joggers Fyansford Hill is without a doubt a real test.
For the old timers wrestling a mob of bullocks or a team of horses ... (or, in fact, for coach passengers) it must have not only been hair-raising but a very real risk to life and limb.
I wouldn't have let Mary tackle it with her old manually-geared Barina.
Hyland Street started out as a dirt track. Once the cements works opened the heavy traffic played havoc with roads. Accidents were a regular occurrence.
A TROVE search of "accidents on Fyansford hill" resulted in 2,299 possible hits.
Click image to view gallery in full size.
From different perspectives
The track got a good workout...
Photo of Cabbage Tree Ned driving the Leviathan coach to Ballarat with about 100 passengers including the first English Eleven. The coach is in front of the Black Bull Hotel Geelong, 5th March 1862
On one occasion Ned was travelling down Fyansford hill when he found the brake was not working. (The brake was used to keep the coach from running onto the rear of the horses when going downhill). Ned told everyone to hold on tight and immediately whipped the horses into a full gallop to keep them just ahead of the coach.
Now I can see why
it's so steep just there.
"Hyland St is a constant 12% gradient
whereas the new extension to Church St is 17% at it's steepest, then 14% last bit before the top".