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Windeyer Village

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Windeyer (Co. Wellington) 32°47’S. 149°33’E., 21 km S. of Mudgee, on Long Ck; Richardson’s Point till 1859; surveyed by John Alexander Horatio Price and village gaz. 1859; formerly gold (disc. 1863 by Charles Leffley), then wool, orchards, fossicking; Angl. C. 1859, ruinous by 1865, new one (Holy Redeemer) b. 1866-73 by T. H. Price, d. by Henry Tebbutt, renovations 1927; bushfire 1952; cemetery (139 graves 1856+) 1863; Chinese joss house; FB; measles epidemic 1909; miners’ riots 1854; mines: Bill Adams, Crystal Palace, Dog Trap Reef <1875, Jubilee, Old Gully Claim (Charles Leffley) 1863-1913), Ottis Line, South Hill; PO 1854: Presb. C. 1866; PS (incl. lock-up) 1855, closed 2007, reused; rifle range (2 km S.) 1914, abandoned; Rom. Cath. C. (St Kilian’s) de. By John Job Copeman, and graveyard (87 graves 1872-2004); school 1859, additions and repairs 1885 by W. Batten, new building b. 1899 by Walter Murphy, closed 2014, sold 2015; storm 1913; telephone 1896; TX 1927, automatic 1985; pop. 594 (1871), 368 (1891), 388 (1903), 207 (1911), 167 (1933), 90 (1947), 106 (1954), 118 (1961), 441 (2011)1 .


13 April 1901
A Holiday Out Back.
A Trip to Windeyer.
It is always a source of pleasure for one to visit the scenes of earlier days - the town or district in which the bulk of his or her school-days were spent. Consequently, in visiting Mudgee and Windeyer last week the writer, after an absence of 15 or 16 years, experienced some of those pleasures - and of course a little sadness - for he had an opportunity of renewing old acquaintances, of making fresh ones, and of seeing places that were familiar and dear to him in the long ago. On arrival in Mudgee (which, by the way, has grown pretty considerably since your humble servant last saw it) at an early hour on Tuesday morning breakfast was duly negotiated, and then the Windeyer coach-driver was looked up. He turned out to be an old school mate of the writer - in the person of Mr. J. Reay. Well, to make a long story short, a start was made, for Windeyer about 10 a.m., and though that journey at the best of times is a tiresome one, with a companion such as Jim Reay proved to be - whose recollection is good, and whose tongue ne'er grows weary - the time flew by unnoticed, and the quiet little hamlet of Windeyer was reached about 5 o'clock in the evening. Tuesday night was spent at the "Good Woman Inn," the destinies of which are, and have been for many long years, presided over by Mr. and Mrs. W. Mulholland. But the glories of the hotel, as well as those of Windeyer, have long since departed, for the gold-diggings are well-nigh worked out, and money is now a scarce commodity. However, many improvements are noticeable in the vicinity of Windeyer. A substantial bridge has been erected over the Meroo - the 'rocky' Meroo; the telephone system has been extended to the township; they have a public school and teacher's residence which would do credit to any town, and many other things which space will not permit us to deal with. A Court of Petty Sessions is also held there, but as the people of the surrounding district are a law-abiding lot, the local Js.P. - two of whom are Mr. W. Mulholland and Mr. C. Winter - are not over-worked. The Constable who keeps law and order at Windeyer (his name has slipped our memory) is looked upon as a smart and capable officer, and is held in high esteem by all but wrong-doers. Ex Constable Moran, who was stationed at Windeyer in the good old days, still resides in the vicinity, having retired some years back from active service. Many of the old hands, and also some of the young ones, - for young lambs go to market as well as old sheep - with whom the writer was previously acquainted have since been gathered to their fathers," and a walk through the Church of England Cemetery at Windeyer and the R.C. Cemetery on the road to Long Creek proved what changes a few years will bring about in this world of ours.
On the morning after arriving at Windeyer, we took a walk to Campbell's Creek, and interviewed Mr. J. H. Bell and several other identities of that locality. Things have changed considerably at Campbell's Creek - and truth to tell the change has not been for the better. So marked has been the alteration, in fact, that the writer scarcely recognised the spot where he once lived - where the happy days of childhood passed away all too quickly. However, a right royal welcome was extended to us by all, upon whom we called, and amongst these were Mr. J. H. Bell, Mrs. Best, and Mr. W. Hooper. A couple of days' stay was made at Mr. Hooper's homestead, and that gentleman and his family were very kind indeed. Messrs A. and W. Winter live close to Mr. Hooper's place; they are going in for farming and fruit-growing, and it should certainly pay better than "fossicking" for gold - and finding it not. The former (Alick) is an ardent politician, and they do say that he yet hopes to take a seat in the Parliament of his country. As far as politics are concerned, the Windeyer district is a freetrade stronghold, and those who favor protection are few and far between. But to the point again. Like everything else in this vale of tears, our stay came to an end. On Good Friday morning, after much hand shaking, we shook the dust of good old Windeyer from our feet, and in company with the genial Jim Reay negotiated the 28 miles which separate the mining village from Mudgee. After having tea at the Federal Hotel (kept by Mr. Hall) the train was boarded a little before 7 p.m. and Parramatta was reached at an early hour on Saturday morning. Altogether the holiday proved a pleasant one, and the thanks of the writer are due to all those who contributed to make it so2 .


14 January 1915
A District Whose Glories Have Gone,
(Written, for the "Mudgee Guardian.")
(By "The Wanderer.")
The silent warder of the brain Unlocks its hidden places, And from the past brings back again Long vanished forms and faces.
It does ones heart good to trip it back once again to the scenes that were familiar in the days when the blood of youth coursed freely through the veins. This writer did recently, in company with one (Mr. J. W. Murray, of Wingham - and Wingham is one of the prettiest little towns on the Manning River, or for the matter of that, "this side of the line" - and don't you forget it .) From Wingham to Mudgee, and Mudgee to Windeyer, is a fairly good step - but still we stepped it. And now, Mr. Editor, let me tell you this: -
If it's solitude you're after, and for fear you do not know,
Out Windeyer way you'll find it - should you happen there to go;
Bill Raskey runs the mail coach - takes parcels out as well,
And sometimes has a passenger for Gorrie's new hotel.

Mulholland's pub has vanished - the building still is there,
But old age has crept upon it - and it's much the worse for wear;
What thirsty souls are living where diggers used to dwell,
Have now to wet their "whistle's" At Gorrie's new hotel.

They were roaring days, don't doubt it, when Mulholland kept the Inn,
And the diggers had "the needful" - when the gold was there to win;
But the place now looks forsaken, out at Gorrie's new hotel.

The ancient ones will tell you, and in sorrow shake a head,
How they sluiced and got the metal from the creeks and river bed;
They'll welcome you when coming, and when going back as well,
For they like to meet a stranger out at Gorrie's new hotel.

Wingrave's house and garden are relics of the past,
They rank amongst "the changes," and are disappearing fast;
The Chinese store's still going, and it's doing pretty well -
At least, that's what they told me out at Gorrie's new hotel.

Life is slow and easy, and you mightn't meet a soul
For miles along the highway, whene'er you take a stroll;
But "a drap" you'll get to cheer you - might sadden you as well -
If you take a trip with Rasky, out to Gorrie's new hotel.

The place is deadly quiet - but few old friends remain.
And I scarcely think I'll coach it out to Windeyer again;
The spirits of the ancients often haunt me, truth to tell,
But they're angels to the spirits at Gorrie's new hotel.

Hooper's well and active - Towell's and Bell are dead,
And a chap who's near a hundred, I think is "Honest Ned";
Some tales about the golden days "Old Honest Ned" can tell,
And no doubt he's had "a soda" at Gorrie's new hotel.

They told me there'd be races in another day or so,
And I'd meet a lot of faces whom perhaps I ought to know;
But Dowell's coach came rumbling down the road I once knew well,
And I boarded it that morning at Gorrie's new hotel.

Good luck to all the "boys and girls" - the friends of other days,
The Wells' and the Murrays' - the Adams' and the Greys,
Just toast their heads in soda - your heads will never swell,
If you drink it straight and seldom at Gorrie's new hotel.

And when you're in the humor, I know you'll treat me fair,
And send regards to Nicholas and genial Jack O'Hair;
Let's see, they live up Campbell's Creek, where spooks and such things dwell,
And they sometimes "crack a soda" at Gorrie's new hotel3 .


1 Simpson, Phillip. Historical Guide to New South Wales. North Melbourne, Vic: Australian Scholarly Publishing Pty Ltd, 2020, p. 794.
2 A Holiday Out Back (1901, April 13). Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1965), p. 10. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85857336
3 WINDEYER AND ITS SURROUNDINGS. (1915, January 14). Mudgee Guardian and North-Western Representative (NSW : 1890 - 1954), p. 30. Retrieved April 17, 2023, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article156859489

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