They’re facing a bridge battle – and a long trek into town

TEMPTING: Millet crops that were sown in mid-December must look good to a hungry cow.
TEMPTING: Millet crops that were sown in mid-December must look good to a hungry cow.

RESIDENTS on the northern side of Howard’s Bridge at Duramana must be holding their breath as Bathurst Regional Council arranges an emergency crossing of the Winburndale Rivulet for them.

Their alternative access to Bathurst city is via Box Ridge and Turondale: several gates to open and shut and plenty of narrow, gravel road across the ridge. 

I hope the temporary solution has been reached before people are reading this column as the alternative route to work is taking up to 40 minutes longer.

Howard’s Bridge was opened in 1937 and derived its name from Mr James Howard, long-time bridge builder and overseer with the former Turon Shire at Kelso. 

Hopefully, Bathurst Regional Council will retain the name when a new structure is opened, ideally by a family descendant of the Howard family who still reside in Bathurst.

BIG EFFORT: A 78 kilogram shearer versus a 160kg ram seems to be fighting in the wrong division.

BIG EFFORT: A 78 kilogram shearer versus a 160kg ram seems to be fighting in the wrong division.

Luck of the draw

FURTHER details of last week’s cloudburst and flood in the Winburndale Rivulet have come into focus and severe losses of livestock, fencing and infrastructure have been reported.

Some parts of our lovely district are still green and livestock are thriving, while properties close by are not far away from hand-feeding of stock.

A friend who has been involved in drought support for some years tells me that her group “simply rock up to farm houses with donated goods and hope that the farm wife isn’t too proud to accept a few gifts”.

She says “this drought has ruined many lives and businesses and absolutely flattened lots of battling families”.

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Choking up

LAST week’s flash flood in the Vale and Georges Plains creeks gave us an example of where fast flowing floodwaters could go in the future.

The creeks are very obviously choked with weeds and carry an overload of deep sand, giving floodwaters limited areas to go.

The practical solution would obviously be to permit a private operator to sand-dredge both creeks for much of their lengths, but environmental issues can over-ride common sense in modern Australia.

Floods that get to Georges Plains and Perthville very quickly will cause many problems when creek beds are so badly choked up.

Closing doors

THE closure and sale of country churches continues and in every case the given reasons are the same.

Dwindling congregations, lack of interest and loss of reverence are at the top of lists and the small churches are being sold for insignificant amounts of money.

Friends often tell me that they have retired from church because “my church was a place of peace, of family reverence and a weekly social get-together. We see our church now as a noisy rock opera, so we gave up”.

In bad times, our church communities must be meeting places where common problems can be shared.

“The congregation stood about and talked as it had done for years”: this is a line from John O’Brien’s Poem Of My School Days.

Dogged focus

LANDHOLDERS in the Turon Hills are reminded to attend the AGM of the Turon Wild Dog Association at the Box Hill woolshed on Sunday, February 3 at 2pm.

Details from Mal and Jodie Healey on 6337 7751. This group now has 133 members and has an informative Facebook site.

Close now

ONLY a few more sleeps until the Bathurst 12 Hour race for GT3 sports cars and this race has grown rapidly into one of the world’s best events for this type of car.

Local newsagents are stocking an excellent glossy magazine with great photos and lead-up stories of the race.

While at the newsagent, check out Central West Lifestyle Collector’s Edition Volume One.

The cover photo is of Iandra Castle at Greenethorpe and a feature story of the Tattykeel Gilmore family and their Australian Whites Stud should be of real interest to country people.

Diary dates

Friday, January 25: Nerstane stud Merinos at Woolbrook.

Sunday, February 3 at 2pm: Turon Wild Dog Association meeting at 1947 Turondale Road, Turondale.

Friday, March 1: Bathurst Merino Association Maiden Merino Ewe Competition, north of Bathurst.

Wool report

THE wool market had mixed results this week, with the fine merinos being around 25c/kg cheaper and the medium to broad merinos around 20c/kg dearer.

The crossbreds saw the biggest gains, with the fine crossbreds up 80c/kg and the mediums up 55c/kg.

The very broad Downs types were again sluggish, losing around 10c/kg.

Next week will see 41,503 bales offered nationwide, which is 13,000 bales less than last week.

It will be interesting to see whether the drop-off in supply drives the market higher.

Mark Horsburgh, TWG Landmark

Laugh lines

GEORGE was off for another weekend’s fishing in the tinny.

“What’s that daddy is carrying?” three-year-old daughter asked.

“It’s called a fishing rod, honey,” mum replied, “and it has a worm on each end.”

**

N.B. The man who writes the bank’s ads isn’t the same man who does the loans.

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OUR mate is a window cleaner and at the 46th floor a young woman stepped from the shower, right in front of him.

Being a feminist, she stared straight at him for some minutes.

Then he shouted: “What’s wrong with you, haven’t you ever seen a window cleaner?”

**

“And how does your poor husband sleep on these really hot nights?” one lady asked another.

The cockie’s wife replied: “He sleeps starkers with his mouth wide open.”