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Author Topic: Drakesbrook Weir Meander 10.11.2019  (Read 2018 times)

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Offline BigCol

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Drakesbrook Weir Meander 10.11.2019
« on: 18 November, 2019, 07:18:41 PM »
Drakesbrook Meander – 10.11.2019
The Trip for us(me) started at about 7.20, when it dawned on me that, once the car was loaded, Ooppss, forgot to fuel up the night before, we would also have to stop for fuel on the way down…..
Now, don’t just take for granted that Google Maps is your friend, it’s not, it was another 15 minutes of “farting about” to get the correct route, and also the time of arrival. Only from the Swan Valley to Byford (6 freaking roads…..)– imagine trying to do it for Clarkson to Esperance…… especially if you DO know the way.
Any who….
We left a very overcast Swan Valley at about 7.40 and proceeded to the local servo to fuel up, then hit the “frog and toad” to get to Byford before the magic 8.30 meet time. Lovely little drive, nothing to report on that stretch, apart from “oh my goodness…. Look how much Byford has grown on Abernethy road….. WOW.
So we get to the meeting point (the carpark behind IGA, cnr of Abernethy and George st. ok, so it’s been nearly 12 months since I was last there, and the carpark has changed – painted parking bays, islands, etc so it’s not just the roads in and around Byford getting an update, but the parking is as well – good stuff.
Anyway, we arrived at about 8.25, to find BillSTS & Superjac’s already there……… me thinks they did not want to write the trip report, and it worked.
So after several minutes of greetings and what have you, we then started the trip with a “run down” of where we were going, what we may be doing and what was expected as trip members, we also (although we did not need to) checked all vehicles had recovery points, licenced etc.
As the intersection of Abernethy Rd and South Western Hwy was under construction, and you could not turn right, we headed up George St, and turned right at Clifton St (massive Dome is on the corner – 2 stories high, have to visit soon) and right again onto SWH (South Western Highway).
While travelling down SWH, we came across a sign stating that there was Markets at Keysbrook that day, so after consultation with the rest decided, what the heck, we would stop and have a look see at the Markets. Was not a lot on offer, a Lady selling embroidery, someone selling toys and home goodies, a guy selling wood carved items, a display from the local Vollie Fireys, but a coffee and some Vanilla Slices were the order of the day for me…..so without further ado, after about 20 mins of wandering and spending, we set off again for the “first stop” of the trip – North Dandalup Dam picnic area. After travelling again down SWH, we turned off for the dam. Just before we reached the Dam wall proper, there is a little look out on the left, overlooks the Dam, as well as the Valley behind you….. WOW what a view, as it was “hazy” and “overcast”  you couldn’t quite see the ocean, but I do have memories of being able to see the Ocean on an exceptionally clear day. But the view was spectacular. I would have guessed with the weather we had at the time and a pair of binoculars, you would have been able to see Mandurah easy.
So after leaving the Look out, we traveled down to the base of the Dam wall to the picnic area, it was the first time I had seen it with only 1 large group of people there, usually its packed and parking is a premium. That you Lord for over cast weather.
After a “pit stop” (ablutions break) we had a quick wander down to the small Dam wall, as well as having a good look at the picnic area, John and Lesley had said they had not been there before, and I guess they were impressed with it, as it is a lovely little swimming place – however, there were signs saying NO SWIMMING, bugga – not too worry, no one had brought their bikini’s nor mankini’s, so the swimming was a definite NO. After some “gum flapping” and wandering around, after about 30 minutes, we decided to head off to Fairbridge Village for morning tea.
The last time I had driven down Scarp rd from the dam to Del Park Rd, was the late 70’s in an SLR Torana, so I naturally assumed it would be bituminised by now  - WRONG, small section of about 5 kms was dirt track, then back to bitumen. Lovely. So down Del Park Rd to North Dandalup, and turn left for Fairbridge. Again, the drive down SWH was nice, no hassles no peanuts, lovely. The driveway into Fairbridge seemed longer than I remembered, but it was still nice seeing the fertile farm land around there. We stopped at the main shop / welcome centre, and was greeted by innumerable Peacocks wandering around. So into the shop for a cuppa, and again a bit of a chin wag. Once morning tea was done and dusted, we moved up to the old Church. By now the weather had cleared, and it was starting to get warm, and the flies were starting to get friendly. Now for our Atheist friends, the Church at Fairbridge fascinates me as it is stone floors and thick brick walls – and about 10* cooler inside than out. While wandering around the Church yard, we looked at the Rose garden and also the memorial for Kingsley Fairbridge, and the niche walls. Thankfully Pinjarra Fairbridge Farm was NOT tainted with the same problems at the one in New South Wales, over worked and under educated children, Child exploitation, etc. etc. etc. we didn’t get to go look at the museum that is there, as all our bellies were starting to rumble and time was getting on to lunch…. So without further ado, apart from a few piccies of the Peacocks with their tails open, we hit the frog and toad for Drakesbrook, that’s right, back onto SWH and through Pinjarra itself. Again, an uneventful trip down to Waroona and then into Drakesbrook Weir(Lake Moyanup).

The town was originally known as Drakesbrook, and was first settled by John Fouracre in 1891. A railway station on the Pinjarra to Picton Junction railway line with the name "Drake's Brook", named after William Henry Drake, an Assistant Commissioner General and original landholder in the area (1847), opened in September 1893 and the town was surveyed and gazetted by March 1895. The surveyor-general of the day recommended the name change from Drake's Brook to Drakesbrook as "it is more euphonious and would look better on the plan". The change was made official in October 1896, and in the same year a post office was opened.
In 1895 Joseph McDowell built a timber mill in the northern end of the surveyed townsite at present-day Mill Street, near which a railway siding was opened. Due to the unpopularity of the initial subdivision, new lots were surveyed near the mill, which became known as Waroona. This name was most probably a corruption of Werroona near the Bendigo goldfields in Victoria, believed to be McDowell's hometown. (The original word meant "resting place" in the local Djadja Wurrung Aboriginal language.)
The town was boosted by the building of the railway, for which local timber was milled for sleepers. It catered to the needs of the mill workers with a post office, general store, school, blacksmith, a number of hotels come boarding houses, churches, doctor and dentist. The farms supplied butter, fruit and vegetables for the men of the mills, and chaff for the horse teams that hauled the logs. In March 1899, McDowell's Siding was converted into Waroona Station, and figures for rail traffic on the South Western Railway reveal that total earnings of outgoing traffic from Waroona was the highest of any station from 1904-47.
Development was confused in the early years as Drakesbrook and Waroona both persisted in usage - in the 1890s referring to the separate towns 2 km apart (of which Waroona was the focus of most major development) but often coming to be used interchangeably. The two settlements gradually merged into one town, which became known as Waroona. The name was officially changed in 1946.
The first Waroona Dam, now the Drakesbrook Dam, was built in 1931-32 under the guidance of the Waroona Irrigation District by unemployed people on work programmes during the Great Depression. The completion of the dam, together with drainage and irrigation works, were the start of a period of considerable development in Waroona. The present Waroona Dam, further up in the hills, was officially opened in 1966.
The railway cottages, built in 1896 to accommodate railway employees (until about 1970), and which have survived to the modern day and have been heritage-listed, are the only surviving timber and iron clad platelayers' cottages in Western Australia and are among a very small number of nineteenth-century timber and iron railway houses extant in 2003.
•  Shire of Waroona. "Waroona - In The Beginning". Archived from the original on 16 January 2005. Retrieved 6 October 2006.
•  •  Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – W". Retrieved 17 April 2007.
•  "Register of Heritage Places - Railway Cottages, Waroona" (PDF). 30 July 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2006. - includes a broad and very detailed history of the town of Waroona.

So, after putting the billy on for a brew, and getting stuck into our lunches (which John and Lesley were looking for a BBQ to cook their snags) we had a few yack’s about different things, and then lo and behold, Heidi said Gday, as she was down for the day (her kids I think), then after the shock of that, along comes Grover, who was down with his son (who was kayaking, so we didn’t see him) so we again had more yacking and then Grover went to check his son, so the trip was called ended.
As far as I know, we all had a great day, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
DID YOU KNOW......Great Northern Highway links Western Australia's capital city Perth with its northernmost port, Wyndham. With a length of almost 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi), it is the longest highway in Australia

Offline BigCol

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Re: Drakesbrook Weir Meander 10.11.2019
« Reply #1 on: 18 November, 2019, 07:21:06 PM »
some piccies

Peacocks to come......
DID YOU KNOW......Great Northern Highway links Western Australia's capital city Perth with its northernmost port, Wyndham. With a length of almost 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi), it is the longest highway in Australia

Offline Budds

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Re: Drakesbrook Weir Meander 10.11.2019
« Reply #2 on: 20 November, 2019, 07:09:20 AM »
Sounds like an awesome day and a great spot.

Might have to do that one as a club meeting spot (hint, hint)

Even though I wasnt there thanks for taking the time to run a trip for the club Colin, I know how busy you have been.

 :cup:  :cheers: :cheers: :cheers: :cup:
Lest We Forget



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