Gulf Branch Enews update for September 2020:
Gulf Branch Members are still kept busy caring for the Old Borroloola Police Station, maintaining the grounds, opening and closing, banking, etc. and organising fencing materials and work crew for the replacement of the old fence which has suffered damage from vehicles and wandering stock looking for a feed of green grass! Plus the forces of nature, the building is situated on a flood plain with soils shrinking through the dry season then expanding during the wet. As a result, no section is straight!
Our wayward caretaker Glen is on the home stretch and all will be pleased for his return but perhaps the man himself will be pining for the cool green pastures of Tasmania, rather than the relentless heat and dust of Borroloola and this is only the start of the buildup! The temperature was on average two to three degrees higher than average this year.
Gulf Branch members Eddie and Janet attended the reopening of Tuxworth Fullwood House. Some interior and exterior displays are up and running and a credit to the Branch members who have been working tirelessly to put it all together. We were very impressed with the rollout of VIPS, visitors from Alice Springs, founding Trust members and locals to the event. All helped celebrate the re-energized Tennant Creek Branch and are to be congratulated for what turned out to be an excellent event. The new ablution facility looked terrific and blends in well with the grounds. The toilet was deemed functional by the oldest NT Trust member present. Kay Horsburgh and the Barkly Correctional Services Work Crew continue to provide excellent support to our properties across the Barkly, including the precinct grounds at Tennant, Powell Creek and Newcastle Waters and many other Heritage sites.
Photo from 2004, the old wooden slats still intact, but with stock and weather now not much left. North of Renner Springs and South of Elliot is the Old Powell Creek telegraph station, a Heritage-listed property with an amazing collection of old buildings from the 1880s in good repair apart from timber structures doors, and frames eaten by termites. Ceilings falling in the later 1930s Constructed workers and generator rooms. You can still see remnants of the overland Telegraph line, the old cemetery and well.
Now the buildings have a chance to be protected from stock with a fence surrounding the property, combined with the work of Barkly Work Crew maintaining and keeping the site free of long grass and rubbish.
The property is still owned by Consolidated Press, as is New Castle Waters Station.
Up the Stuart Highway through Elliot a Service Town that was established during World War 2 to service the Troops as a stop-over. Onto Newcastle Waters Heritage Township Precinct and Cattle Station, previously a major staging point for stock and a stopover on the early Qantas Air routes across Australia. The National Trust has only one property in the Heritage Precinct “Jones Store”, open all year round as long as you can get across the Causeway but as still currently in a drought, not an issue. The current manager is still very relaxed as he watches over the building despite all the intrusions.
Many a tourist is rather dismayed to find that the Junction Hotel is definitely closed and no drinks will be served or food offered.
The Bottle Wall at Jones store still intact.
The Local AIM Church has had a spring clean and a coat of Paint on the portico, the surroundings all very dry and dusty, but looking presentable after a major clean up by the Barkly Work Crew.
Janet – Roving reporter