Long stay parking (Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned)

The Old Gasworks site in Yass (New South Wales, Australia) has become a bit of a graveyard for all sorts of ancient wheeled contraptions.

There’s this wonderful old buggy, just waiting for a fairy godmother to turn it back into a splendid coach to go to a ball.

Horse-drawn buggy, in Dutton Street, Yass, New South Wales, Australia

Gone to pieces


There’s also old farm machinery in rusting lumps and bits and pieces.

That’s what I call really-long-stay parking.  ♦


Photo gallery



Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Abandoned’


Photos taken 7 March 2014 with Fuji FinePix S2980

* Long stay parking – parking for a period of one day or more, found especially at airports.

Old Gasworks site, at the north end of Dutton Street, Yass, New South Wales, Australia


Bridge to my past (Weekly Photo Challenge: Abandoned)

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For seven years we lived in Bungendore, New South Wales, a little village about half an hour on the other side of Canberra. We were “blow-ins”, with an unknown surname, not born in the local area. At least we had country credentials but we were still new bloods.

Or so I thought!…

After some family tree discoveries I found I was related to one of the large pioneering families, the Barretts, from a little rural locality just 2o minutes east of our village!!

Boro Creek, Mayfield Road at Lower Boro, New South Wales, Australia

Spanning the generations

My great, great, great grandmother Catherine Doolan and her sister Mary were Irish assisted immigrants and had migrated to Australia together from County Clare in 1841.

On the same ship was a Patrick Barrett. Mary later married Patrick and they took up land on the Boro Creek between the villages of Bungendore and Tarago.

As we do, we had aimlessly driven the crisscrossing dirt roads in the back blocks around our village.

Some of those dirt roads had passed right by the front gates of the Barrett family properties. Boro Creek cut through Barrett land. They held large blocks on either side of the creek between the mid 1840s and the early 1900s.

This is the old disused bridge over Boro Creek, on Mayfield Road at Lower Boro.

I was game and walked its rickety deck – I just had to throw a pebble in the water hole beneath.  


Weekly Photo Challenge, ‘Abandoned’


Photos taken 7 November 2009 with my old Canon Powershot A550

* “a blow-in” – a stranger, or someone who comes from somewhere else

Lower Boro, via Tarago, New South Wales, Australia



My convicts: new Aussie history blog coming soon


Parramatta Female Factory Precinct, Cumberland Hospital, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia

Family on the inside

So what happened to Catherine Dixon my great, great, great, great grandmother?

She was transported to New South Wales and then was ‘sent down’* to the Parramatta Female Factory in 1838 with her six-year-old daughter. I followed her footsteps at the ‘Factory’ with my camera. I looked into what life would have been like for the two of them inside the 16 foot stone walls.

See my earlier posts, A Convict in the Tree and A Convict Inside

And I promised to tell the story of what happened to Catherine and her children next…

And then…

Looking into the records I found something weird…

an odd error turned into something strange, turned into something very fishy…

Are the records the sloppy work of the superintendent and the oddities just a weird string of ‘errors’?


is there a chain of children ‘swapping’ going on?

I’m sorry to keep you hanging but it requires more digging to sort out my suspicions…

And now that my history bent has taken flight on this blog, I’m going to start an Australian history / family history blog for the stories that don’t quite fit here on Daytripper Sippers.

It’ll be a week yet. I’ll keep you posted when it’s up and running.

And Catherine Dixon, my family convict (and others), will have a home of her own.  ♦


* ‘sent down’ – sent to prison or gaol / jail,

In Catherine’s case, she was ‘sent down’ to the Female Factory in Parramatta, a penitentiary, workhouse, refuge and convict women’s hospital near Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

A convict inside (Parramatta Female Factory)

Original 1818-21 wall of the Parramatta Female Factory (2nd class yard), New South Wales, Australia

1818 convict wall, Parramatta Female Factory                        (2nd Class yard)

In 1838 Catherine Dixon found herself on the wrong side of this wall. She was my great great great great grandmother. So I retraced her footsteps, with my camera, to see what life was like for her ‘on the inside’.

Why was Catherine ‘inside’?

She was a thirty year old widow sentenced to 14 years transportation for receiving stolen goods [Lancaster Quarter Sessions 1836 trial register]. Her four young children were sent with her to New South Wales.

(To see a description of what Catherine looked like and more on her transportation to Australia go to Part 1, ‘A convict in the tree’.)

At the journey’s end Catherine had been assigned to M Sparke of Sydney. But soon afterward she and her daughter were sent to this place, the Female Factory in Parramatta.

Continue reading

A convict in the tree

Parramatta Female Factory Precinct, Cumberland Hospital, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia

A majestic old tree sheltering convict and colonial buildings, Parramatta


A little while back I found some convict bricks in my veggie patch. It got me thinking about the Australian ‘royal blood’ or convict blood in my family tree. 

Of my convict ancestors the one that strikes my heart the most is Catherine Hughes, my great great great great grandmother (4 x great). Something about her sad plight touches me. I wanted to know more about her life on Australian soil and to retrace her footsteps.

Continue reading

Convicts in the garden?

Aussie icons series

Old disused veggie garden 2012

When we moved to our land three years ago we set about cleaning up ‘the garden’. It’s 2 and a bit acres, so it’s still very much a work in progress.

Twenty year old trees needed to be thinned, some dead, most crowded. The place had been vacant for a few months so the grass was knee high and the veggie garden overgrown with weeds and blackberries. We are still uncovering and discovering some delightful finds after three years.

But the MOST exciting, the most dumb-struck-speechless-blink-eyes discovery was this:

I was removing the bricks that lined the old veggie beds and stacking them in a pile when I noticed that some I picked up looked very old and worn, handmade, with lumps and bumps.     Continue reading

Holden (‘Aussie icons’ series)

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, AustraliaGrowing up, there were two types of people. Those that loved Ford and those that loved Holden. And ne’er the twain shall meet!

It was a matter of personal and family pride, like a clan war, who was the winner at the Mount Panorama car race held every October long weekend, at Bathurst (New South Wales).

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Holden Wall of Fame, Gunning, New South Wales


So here’s my tribute to a great Aussie icon, The Holden, of which everyone has a fond tale to tell, or two …

I remember sliding across the bench seats going around the corners. Holding on to the ‘Jesus strap’. Seatbelts, what seatbelts!

A column-shift, of course! Big steering wheel with finger grooves.

AM Radio… if you were lucky!

Everyone squashed into the back seat to go to The Lake to swim. 

Windows rolled down for the breeze, if you got the door you controlled the ‘free air’.

The solid-sounding, heavy thud of the door. The boot that always had one smelly sports shoe and a football, no matter whose car it was.

Duco colours that you could find in a pencil set, no metallic this, pearl that. Chrome wherever possible and it always gleamed!

Bailey's Garage, Yass Street, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

A Holden haven

(For a great photo of a line-up of old Holdens out the front of Bailey’s Garage, Gunning, see also  http://oldgmh.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/img_3249.jpg?w=700&h=

FE-HR Holden Owners Club ACT, Gunning Garage and Picnic run, post 2 Aug 2012)


There was a well-known advertising jingle for Holden in the mid 1970s. (It was apparently based on the Chevrolet jingle, by General Motors.) It went like this:


We love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars. (Repeat over and over)

There they go together underneath the Southern stars,

Football and meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars.

And just about every kid I knew did sing it … over and over!  ♦


Aussie icons series 

– To mark Australia Day, on January 26, my posts this week feature good old Aussie icons.

Photos taken 11 December 2013 – coincidentally, the day before General Motors announced that Holden, the golden light of the Australian automotive identity, will be closing its car plants in Victoria and South Australia by 2017. A sad day! See the news report at http://www.news.com.au: ‘Holden to end car manufacturing in Australia and import cars’, December 12, 2013.

Gunning, New South Wales, Australia

Bailey’s Garage, Yass St, Gunning, New South Wales, Australia, http://www.baileysgaragegunning.com.au/

Established 1/8/1945  – [http://www.fastlane.com.au/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=29078]

‘Opposite the Court House [in Gunning] is Bailey’s Garage, which originated with Frank Bailey during the First World War…  Numerous electrical items were also sold such as radiolas, refrigerators, hecla household appliances as well as Speedwell bicycles. The garage was purchased by Vern Southwell.’  [http://strlhistorymatters.blogspot.com.au/2009/06/baileys-garage-gunning.html]

‘Baileys Garage Pty Ltd (company name registered 24 April 1950) is a long established Holden dealership and mechanical repair business that has also operated school buses since the 1950s. It has been owned by the [Southwell] family since at least the early-1980s and is currently managed by Craig [Southwell].’  [http://fleetlists.busaustralia.com/nsw.php?info=BAI]