Teesdale Sheaoak Nature Conservation Reserve VKFF-2206

It was now Tuesday 7th March 2023, and it was time to leave Geelong. We had booked in to stay at Ararat for one night before heading back home. Today we had a 180km journey ahead of us, with some planned park activations.

Above:- Map showing the route between Geelong and Ararat. Map c/o Google Maps.

After breakfast, we headed to Fyansford, a small township on the western edge of Geelong. It was named after Captain Foster Fyans who came to Geelong as a Police magistrate in 1837. We wanted to have a look at the Fyansford cement silo which had silo art on it. Sadly, when we got to its location, there was nothing there. We sought some help from Google and sadly found that the silo had been demolished.

The Fyansford silos were the 14th silo to have been completed in the Australian Silo Art Trail. The silo artist was Rone, a world- renowned street artist who came from Geelong. The silos were demolished in April 2020.

Fortunately, Marija and I did get to see this silo art some years ago in 2018 when we were in Geelong.

Just around the corner in McCurdy Road are some magnificent old homes. One of those is at 210 McCurdy Road. It is a beautiful stone mansion dating back to 1855.

We left Geelong and headed to Inverleigh along the Hamilton Highway. This small town is about 30km east of Geelong. We have been to Inverleigh before and it is a beautiful little town with quite a bit to see.

Prior to the construction of the Hamilton Highway, the road was known as the Lower Leigh Road and was an early track to the Western District of Victoria. An Inn was built in 1843 by William Lawson near a ford, across the Barwon River. The area was prone to flooding and due to the silt left by floodwaters, the land was perfect for farming.

Between 1851-1853 Lawson built a new hotel, the Horseshoe Inn. In 1853 the township of Inverleigh was proclaimed. In 1855 a bridge was built over the Barwon River at Inverleigh.

Inverleigh took its name from the Leigh River which had been named by the Colonial Surveyor, John Helder Wedge in 1835. Inverleigh is believed to mean ‘mouth of’ or ‘against’ the Leigh River.

Above:- John Helder Wedge. Image c/o Wikipedia.

Inverleigh has a number of historic buildings. They include the Inverleigh Presbyterian church erected in c. 1861, and the Inverleigh school which is on the Victorian Heritage Register.

One of the most impressive buildings in Inverleigh is the Inverleigh Hotel. It is a magnificent bluestone building which dates back to 1856.

The former Inverleigh Police cell can be found in Lawsons Park. About 200 of these cells were located around Victoria at small and one-man police stations. They were first used from around the late 1870s until the early 1960s. The Inverleigh police cell dates from about 1888.

The former Lawson’s Horseshoe Hotel can also be found in Cambridge Street.

The Leigh River runs through Inverleigh. It is a major tributary and catchment of the Barwon River.

Another interesting site in Inverleigh is Lawsons Tree. It is a magnificent River Red Gum and is the site of William Lawson’s home.

Marija and I then took a short drive out to the confluence of the Barwon River and the Leigh River. It was a beautiful drive along the dirt track (River Track) following the river.

We left Inverleigh and headed to our first park activation for the day, the Teesdale Flora Reserve VKFF-2206.

Above:- Map showing the location of Teesdale. Map c/o Google Maps.

The park is located in the heart of the town of Teesdale. It is on the eastern side of Shaws Road, just to the north of Teesdale Grassy Woodlands Reserve and Don Wallace Reserve.

Above:- Aerial view showing the location of the park. Image c/o Google Earth.

The town of Teesdale was surveyed in 1852 on the Shelford-Bannockburn Road where it crosses Native Hut Creek. It takes its name from an outstation of T & S Learmonth, pastoralists, who occupied the Native Creek run in the mid-1830s. In 1852 a combined store/hotel/post office was built. In 1858 a Presbyterian church and school was built. By 1864 the Leigh Shire Council had an office in Teesdale. By 1874 a Mechanics Institute had been constructed.

In 1903 Teesdale was described in the Australian handbook: 

The park is known as the Teesdale Sheaok Nature Conservation Reserve and is also referred to as the Teesdale Flora Reserve. The park is 4 hectares in size. It is a small piece of scrub to the north of the Teesdale Grassy Woodlands Reserve.

Marija worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3VIN
  2. VK2IO
  3. VK3QH
  4. VK5HS
  5. VK5IS
  6. VK3ANL
  7. VK5BJF
  8. VK7JFD
  9. VK2EXA
  10. VK7HOB
  11. VK3PF
  12. VK1RF

Marija worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO

I worked the following stations on 40m SSB:-

  1. VK3VIN
  2. VK2IO
  3. VK3QH
  4. VK5HS
  5. VK5IS
  6. VK3ANL
  7. VK5BJF
  8. VK7JFD
  9. VK2EXA
  10. VK7HOB
  11. VK3PF
  12. VK1RF
  13. VK5HAA

I worked the following station on 20m SSB:-

  1. VK2IO

We had both qualified the park for the VKFF program, with 10 QSOs each in the log. But we had fallen short of the 44 QSos required to qualify a park for the global WWFF program. This is a park we will have to return to.

References.

  1. Australian Silo Art Trail, 2023, <https://www.australiansiloarttrail.com/fyansford>, viewed 28th April 2023.
  2. CAPAD 2020.
  3. National Trust, 2023, <https://trusttrees.org.au/tree/VIC/Inverleigh/Cambridge_Street>, viewed 28th April 2023.
  4. Victorian Places, 2023, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/inverleigh>, viewed 28th April 2023.
  5. Victorian Places, 2023, <https://www.victorianplaces.com.au/teesdale>, viewed 28th April 2023.
  6. Wikipedia, 2023, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fyansford,_Victoria>, viewed 28th April 2023.

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