Our next stop for 28th February 2023 was the town of Skipton, about 183 km (by road) west of the city of Melbourne, and 48 km southeast of Ballarat.
Above:- Map showing the location of Skipton. Map c/o Google maps.
We last stopped at Skipton late last year on our way home from Geelong after visiting Tasmania.
Marija and I stopped at the Skipton cafe and had a very nice lunch and a cup of coffee. The meal was excellent and the owners were very friendly.
In 1838 a pastoral run was established in the Skipton area. A hut was built beside Mount Emu Creek which became the site of the township of Skipton which was surveyed in 1852. It is believed that Skipton was named after Skipton in Yorkshire in England. The old English Scip-tun means sheep town. In 1858 the Skipton Hotel was built.
Francis Ormond was the owner of Borriyalloak station near Skipton. In 1853 he became a territorial Magistrate and he regularly sat on the Common Bench at Skipton and other nearby towns. In 1855 he and two other prominent landowners in the area formed the Skipton Agricultural and Pastoral Association. During the mid-1850s he started a class for the children of the employees at Borriyalloak station, as they were often left to their own devices whilst their parents worked the land. In 1856 Ormond commenced lengthy talks with the Presbytery of Melbourne, with a view to the establishment of a parish in Skipton. This resulted in the opening of a small brick church in 1857 at Skipton.
In 1864 a school was built at Skipton. Between 1865-1870 a Methodist church was established, a Mechanics Institute in 1880, and a Catholic Church in 1897. Until the 1890s Skipton’s population barely exceeded 150 people, but it gained a school (1864), a Methodist church (1865-70), a mechanics’ institute (1880) and a Catholic church (1897). Following the First World War, there was a Soldier Settlement in the area.
The 1903 Australian Handbook described Skipton as follows:-
Sir Henry Edward Bolte GCMG (b. 1908. d. 1990) served as the 38th Premier of Victoria. To date he is the longest-serving Victorian premier, having been in office for over 17 consecutive years. He spent the first 24 years of his life in Skipton and attended the Skipton Primary School. There is a bust/monument in Skipton to honour Bolte.
Melbourne Cup and Victoria Derby winning horse Skipton, is named after the little town. Skipton’s owner Myrtle Kitson was given the horse as a yearling by her husband after he had purchased the horse for 25 guineas. Kitson intended to name the horse Monaco, after visiting that country. However, relations with the British Empire were strained at the time, so she named the horse Skipton. She and her husband owned the Grand Central Hotel in Hamilton, and they would often travel through Skipton on their way to Melbourne. Mrs. Kitson is reported to have said: “This town is a pretty little place with a river and overhanging willows’.
Above:- Portion of an article from the Sporting Globe, Melbourne, Wed 10 Dec 1941. c/o Trove.
According to the sign out the front, the Skipton Hotel was built in 1856. Various websites have the construction year as 1859. Sadly this beautiful bluestone watering hole is now closed. I suspect those bar walls could tell some stories. The stables at the rear were used by Cobb & Co as a staging point.
Christ Church in Skipton stands at the top of ‘School Hill’ at the eastern entrance to Skipton. The church was built in 1924, with the first service held on Sunday the 30th day of November 1924.
There are numerous other historic buildings in Skipton, and it is certainly well worth a stop and a wander around this historic little town.
On the bridge that crosses Emu Creek, there is some artwork on the bridge pylons and information boards with history about Skipton.
We then drove to the Skipton silo on Station Street, on the southern side of the town, and activated the silo for the Silos On The Air (SiOTA) program. The silo is operated by Harwood Grains and Stockfeeds. We operated from within the 4WD, running the Icom IC7000, 100 watts, and the Codan 9350 antenna.
Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-
I worked the following station on 80m SSB:-
- Victorian Places, 2023, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/skipton>, viewed 30th March 2023.
- Skipton Victoria Australia, 2023, <https://skiptonaustralia.org/>, viewed 30th March 2023.
- Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Ormond>, viewed 30th March 2023.
- Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Bolte>, viewed 30th March 2023.