What is shell lime and why would the government be needing this in December 1820? Was this shell lime to be used in building the new school house? How much is 400 bushels in modern terms?
Oyster shells were very good to create lime. The area around Pittwater was very suited to this as many aboriginal middens were located there and the bay was very shallow near the shore so convict workers could be sent out in the water to collect other shells suitable for lime making. But this could be dangerous as noted in this newspaper article of 1842. According to Peter MacFie’s research, in the late 1830s, Henry Cooper had lime kilns on his property and it is supposed to be near Pitt Water. Could these be at the end of Shark Point Road? Or could they be the lime kilns mentioned in this advertisement of 1829 by Robert Garrett, a surgeon at Sorell.
The steps to create usable lime:
Collect shells and put in lime kiln
Heat and burn the shells
Slake the lime with water
Many of the kilns were inverted bell types shown in photo from Norfolk Island. This is the same as the one at Port Arthur. But the very earliest ways to make lime was to build up a pile of wood, put shells on top and burn quickly to collect the lime.
I put a question to the Sorell Historical Society Facebook page asking about buildings in the district with shell lime in the mortar and where might the earliest lime kilns in the district be. I then visited a few of these places to take some photos.
Shell lime used as a whitewash on the old barn built in 1826 with convict labour. Originally owned by Captain William Henry Glover, an officer in the 31st Regiment of Foot, who had been appointed Police Magistrate of the Sorell District. Talking to the present day owners, there is also a lime kiln on the property at the top of the hill.
Lime was used in mortars and plaster in early colonial buildings. When mixed with sand, it produced a type of cement. In brick buildings, walls were often covered with a lime plaster and outside fences and walls were whitewashed with a lime solution. But for agricultural purposes, it could be mixed with clayey soil to improve the texture for crops.
Readers: Do you have any shell lime used as mortar or whitewash on your property? If you live locally, you might be able to send me a photo to include in this post. My email is on the sidebar of this blog.
As this blog is now part of the world wide One Place Studies, I thought I would join in their #oneplaceWednesday activity. Every Wednesday I will write a post relating to something found in the newspapers on Trove. I will try to make it close to the date 200 years ago.
The area now known as Sorell was once called the District of Pitt Water.
When teaching at Sorell School, we told the students the school was opened in 1821. According to this article in the newspaper, tenders were being called for erecting a school house or perhaps a place of confinement or maybe both. Looks like they had very little time to contact Major Bell, the acting engineer, to say they would be interested in getting the tender. I wonder how much red tape they had 200 years ago compared to today?
The Sorell to Bellerive Railway operated between May 1892-June 1926 but before it started there were a lot of arguments about building it. People thought it was unnecessary and too expensive they also thought the ground was either too soft, too stony or too hilly and bridges needed to be built.
The railway was as long as 22km but needed a tunnel, a causeway and a bridge before the railway was finished. This made the railway quite expensive at the time (37,800 pounds). The railway was built by nine men and one boy each day! (there were no women building the railway)
The Public Works Department was responsible for building of the railways. When built they were handed over to the Tasmanian Government Railways.
When constructing the line six major tasks were involved:
Bellerive Railway pier with its causeway (100 metres) and a wharf (80 metres)
Mornington Bridge the tunnel (164 metres)
Pittwater Crossing with its causeway (256 metres) and viaduct (582 metres)
Shark Point Cutting (400 metres)
When Tasmanian Government Railways compared construction costs of different lines Sorell came in as one of the most expensive.
Documents listing 261 items were ready in July and in the late 1889 the tenders were called for the construction of the line. R.C. Patterson was the tender chosen out of the ten.
Rails were ordered from England; they were produced in Middlesbrough and stamped “ 1888 STEEL T.G.R-SL” (Tasmanian Government Railways- Sorell Line) These rails and fastenings were already there waiting for the contractor.
By 1889 expenditure had been:
Compensation for land
Plans supervisions and office charges and party cost of survey
In February 1891 an extra 70 tons of rails were brought from the Zeehan stock. In the same month the inspector requested a tricycle presumably to travel the track.
In February 1892 Seabrooks listed their work force in the preceding three weeks:
In February, March and April Inspector TF Rigby complained of poor materials and poor workmanship. Mr Seabrook’s reply in his defence he pointed out that the materials had been inspected and approved by the authorities.
On the 23rd of April 1890 Lady Hamilton the Governor’s wife turned the first sod (the first shovel of dirt to start construction) at Sorell.
A locomotive was moved from the Hobart Railway Station to Bellerive on Wednesday for the Sorell Line. The engine weighed about 12 tons and was placed minus the wheels on a substantial wagon prepared for the occasion and drawn by nine horses to the PS Kangaroo Wharf.
THE FIRST TRIP
The railway was opened on Monday May 2, 1892. There were two trains running every day leaving Bellerive at 10am and 5.30pm and left Sorell at 7.50am and 3.20pm. All trains stopped at Cambridge and the journey was timed to take one hour.
Very few people took advantage of the first trip. On the 10am trip that left from Bellerive Mr Back, Mr McCormick and Mr Lamb made an inspection of the line and were very satisfied with the result. All the track needed now was the traffic to keep it going.
There was a banquet for 35 people put on at the at the Pembroke Hotel after many photographs had been taken.
When the railway was first built there was no tunnel in the hill now called tunnel hill after Cambridge so the train had to travel up the hill and it was very slow on the way up and the children used to jump off the train and race it up to the top.
BELLERIVE TO SORELL
The train left Bellerive at 10am and made its way to Cambridge. After crossing the north western part of Pittwater the train would stop at Shark Point as this was a very popular picnic spot. On some trips many people would get off the train to spend the day’s picnicking and fishing before catching the train back to Bellerive. At Shark Point two major constructions had to be done to allow the railway to proceed to Sorell.
A stone causeway was built to link Cambridge end with the Sorell end.
Then a timber viaduct with 20 metre pilings was built to connect the causeway to Shark Point.
Deep cuttings were necessary at Shark Point in “extremely tough rock”. A cottage was erected at Shark Point in 1893. From Shark Point the railway travelled across two of the major properties of the district. These were: Flexmore and Frogmore. In 1896 a short siding was built at Frogmore and by 1920 this was known as Penna, and a goods shed was built here. At Coopers Crossing, a small shelter shed and platform were provided in 1920-1921.
At Shark Point the train was signalled across the bridge as people used to fish from it.
White flag- clear.
After another crossing over the Cambridge road near an inn called the Three Trunks Inn, an impressive and still standing two metre high stone faced tunnel was built. Another level crossing was then built east of the train station then, they then wound up with two level crossings down to Cambridge on the south side of the Barilla Rivulet.
At Cambridge they had three tracks. A railway cottage, cart dock and a small stable was later built. At the Cambridge office there was a ticket booth with a waiting room and fireplace. The post office, ladies toilets and male toilets where located out the back.
When arriving at Sorell, travellers alighted at the station which is now a private home and used as an antiques store. They found Sorell was a substantial town with a council, two hotels, three churches and five stores. There was plenty to do before catching the train back.The train used to carry grain,chaff,wood, wool and cream from Hanslow’s. This was loaded at Johnson’s crossing which was half way between Bellerive and Sorell, just out of Cambridge. The cream was reputed to be the best in the district.
The people used to drive their produce to the train for carting to Bellerive. Most of the wool, chaff, wood, etc came to Cambridge from Acton.
Researched by Scott R using book about the railway published by the Bellerive Historical Society in 2005.
By 1806 the first farms were under cultivation in Gloucester as Sorell district was then known. Early land grants were given in 1812 to the following:
Robert Alloms or Allomes
Jacob Billett or Bellette
John or James Birchall
Jane Horton (Gill),
R. W. Loane
Sorell was a big farming community. They transported crops and vegetables to neighbouring parishes to sell at markets. There were two wind mills called Nash windmill and Downwards windmill. Farming was an important part of Sorell history and the main thing that Sorell farmed was wheat and most of the wheat was transported to Sydney.
In 1815, so much wheat was being produced that a flour mill was built by Robert Nash.
John Birchall of Marsh Farm, began in 1816 a wheat delivery service from Pittwater to Kangaroo Point on his new schooner ‘Young William‘ at a rate of 1/6 a bushell.
In south, sheep dominated the Bream Creek area around the coastal flats with dairying the preferred industry on the rich basalt soils of the Ragged tier and at Nugent. Dairy properties were generally small family’s properties with produce being sold to the Bream Creek butter factory from 1899. Pigs were also raised at Bream Creek and sold at the Sorell sale yards.
There are a lot of people who have fought and died for their country.
There are a lot of people who honour the people that fought and died for their country.
We are honouring the soldiers who fought for us.
The soldiers of the Sorell Municipality who fought in World War 1.
Albert Harris Bender Went to war 02.03.1916 Died 30.03.1918 25th Battalion
Charles Young Went to war Unknown Died 11.04.1917 15th Battalion
Clement Robert Young Went to war Unknown Died 13.10.1917 40th Battalion
Joseph Allan Young Went to war Unknown Died 04.10.1917 40th Battalion
Keith Doctor Hean Went to war 16.8.1915 Died 19.6.1916 12th Battalion
Samuel Richard Wiggins Went to war 23.3.1916 Died 5.7.1916 12th Battalion
Joseph Henry Millington Went to war 21.2.1916 Died 30.1.1917 40th Battalion
Paul Hamilton Joseph Went to war 29.8.1916 Died 3.5.1918 48th battalion
Morris Pitt Joseph Went to war 6.4.1916 Died 6.10.1917 12th Battalion
The ANZAC’s used a lot of guns and bombs as their weapons. The First World War was the start of a revolutionary weapon making time.
Many weapons were made in WW1 such as the Railway rifle which was situated on the back of the train.
Another piece of weaponary that made history would have to be the tank.
The Sorell Football Club was formed in 1883 and celebrated 125 years of being a club in 2008 when students from Sorell School (Ben and Brad) gathered this information.
Sorell has had three home grounds:
first was past the last house of Sorell on the Arthur Highway,
second was the Sorell Memorial Oval and
third is Pembroke Park the one currently used by Sorell.
Sorell has played in the following leagues:
South East Districts Football Association
Tasmanian Amateur Football League in 1963
Southern Football League in 1996
and finally the Southern Regional Football League.
In the very early days of the club, all country clubs played only challenge games for a trophy.
Sorell were originally called Pembroke in 1881. The major sponsor of the club is Pembroke Hotel. Max Tuttle was one of the best players in the state. His family owned the Pembroke Hotel. In 1933 he was asked to play for Collingwood but instead he went back to Sorell and captained and coached Sorell.
In 2008, Sorell have 20 life members, and with Tim Weir as president they are sure to win another game!
Some photos taken while visiting the club rooms, showing the building, the oval and some of the trophies.
The club has won premierships in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1952, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1983 and 1990. All the premierships are on display at the Sorell Hall. It took until 1932 for them to win their first premiership.
Players who have played AFL
Only three players Royce Hart, Tom Collier, Sam Iles have played AFL football.
Royce Hart was a determined player who was willing to put his body on the line for his team. He was so determined that he got a concussion at least six times each season. When he was at school, he played school football.He was vice captain of the team. He played 187 games and kicked 369 goals for Richmond from 1965-1977. Royce was the Richmond captain for four years (1972-1975) and won the best and fairest in 1969 and 1972. He was an All Australian in 1969 and is in both Richmond’s and the AFL’s Team of the Century.
He also tried coaching for a few years with Footscray (1980-1982) but it didn’t go to well. Footscray only won 7 games in his first two years. He trained the players too hard and sacked the players who couldn’t keep up. He ended up getting sacked and started coaching the Richmond reserves then returned to Tasmania and was a commentator for ABC.
Mark Clothier has the most games played in an Eagles jumper with 410 games.
More information from George Quinn interview
The club is 125 years old in 2008, having been founded in 1883. ( Of interest there was a prior club called Pembroke, which started in 1881, possibly changing it’s name to Sorell).
The Amateurs split into Old Scholars and Southern Football League in 1996 and Sorell joined the SFL. It had one year – 2002 when all clubs played Premier League, after the end of the State Wide league, otherwise it has been in the SFL Regional League.
In the very early days of the club, all country clubs played only “challenge” games for a trophy, but sometimes for a pennant and badge. Rules were made up at a meeting of clubs interested in playing in that year and then a team challenged the club who was holding the trophy. Between 1900 and 1910, Sorell had a very successful team, winning the Brown Trophy, which originated in New Norfolk, in 1904,07,08.
They also won the Ellis Dean Trophy, which was donated by the Warden of New Norfolk Council and MHA, Ellis Dean, in 1908. The game had to be played at New Norfolk.
The Sorell footballers and supporters gathered at the Sorell Station, having walked or coming by horse transport. They packed the Sorell Train to Bellerive, where they caught a ferry to New Norfolk. They all walked to the Football Ground followed by most of the population of the town.
They won the game and headed back to Sorell. On the way back they made up the following poem to celebrate their win :-
“ Dean, Dean, Dean, the good old Ellis Dean
It is the finest trophy that New Norfolk ever seen.
We’re not going to tarry, but we are going to carry
Back to Sorell, the good old Ellis Dean. “
George Quinn, remembers his sister Connie reciting this poem, if New Norfolk was ever mentioned. George still knows the poem off by heart. George also has a photo of Connie dressed as Miss Sorell Football. She looks a bit like Queen Victoria
This amazing team also won the Hean Pennant in 1907. This Pennant originated in Sorell, having been donated by the Warden of the Sorell Council, Alec Hean MHA.
I know of three grounds used for football in Sorell :-
Just past the last house in the Sorell township, on the right hand side of the Arthur Highway, roughly opposite the turn off to Nugent.
The Sorell Racecourse. The team played in the middle of the racecourse.
The Sorell Memorial Oval, between the Sorell Hall and the Cypress macrocarpa trees.
Pembroke Park from 1994 until today. ( Pembroke Park was the Sorell Racecourse, until it was destroyed by the 1967 bushfires.)
Of course there were other teams in our area in past times, at Nugent, Wattle Hill, Forcett Bream Creek, Copping and Dunalley, that I know of. And there is a current club at Dodges Ferry.
There were other successful teams prior to Sorell entering into the South East Football Association .
In 1920, Sorell won the Hart Trophy.
In 1926, Sorell won the Hilyard Trophy.
In 1929, Sorell won the Tuttle Trophy
The Tuttles were the owners of the Pembroke Hotel and their son Max Tuttle was one of the best players in Tasmania at the time. He played for Sorell as a boy, then went to Cananore. He was selected in the 1933 Carnival Team and was asked to play with Collingwood, but declined. Instead he came back to be Captain and coach of Sorell
All of these trophies are on display in the Sorell Hall. They should be on display in the Sorell Football Club and I believe that they should be moved as soon as there is a suitable position for them.
Pembroke Park was built by the Sorell Sports Committee in 1983/1984.
The Changerooms were opened in 1984.
The two grounds and the changerooms were built by volunteer labour led by the committee, who were looking for a place for junior football and cricket. The leaders of this group were Allan Lovell and Peter Connell ( dec.)
They maintained the grounds for another ten years, before the council asked the Sorell Football Club to move over there. The council started to assist with the maintenance and upgrades of the main oval took place. The first mowing of the grounds was done by using a car to pull a gang mower. One of the first cars used was Denis Pigden’s green Woolsley. Sprinklers and heavy hoses were used for irrigation and were all moved by hand. Most of this and the mowing was done by Allan Lovell.
Alan played school football with Royce Hart and he invited him to the opening and still has the football signed by him, on the opening day.
Royce Hart played school football with Sorell. He was Vice Captain of the team. Only a hand full of players, who were Sorell Juniors have played VFL/AFL football. Royce Hart ( Richmond), Sam Iles (Collingwood), Tom Collier (Brisbane Lions). Alexander Gilmour was drafted by Richmond, but did not play a game.
The present Sorell library opened 17th of December 1988. Before that it was at the Sorell Council Chambers and before that it was at the Sorell Memorial Hall. The piano at the Sorell library was donated by the Rotary Club, Lions Club and the Sorell Council on the 22nd of March 1991. Some of the pictures were donated when it was first opened.
Around 1986-1987 the library was too small for the amount of people using it. Eileen Brooker circulated a petition amongst the community proposing that a library be built to commemorate Australia’s bicentenary. This is the building they’re in now. It was built through funding from the local government and the state library. This year 2008 they celebrate their 20th birthday. It was purposely built for a library. Before it was built on, the land was part of the saleyards.
Every now and again they have authors speak at the library. People who have spoken there are Roy Bridges, Neil Davis and some local authors. For 138 years the Sorell library was moved around until it reached the place it’s in now. Until 1978 the libraries were run by the council or the Red Cross. In 1978, it started being run by the state library.
An early record of another library was where the antiques shop use to be, then it moved to the cottage on the corner where Mitre Ten is, then it moved to the memorial hall in the ladies cloakroom, then it was moved to the old Sorell Council Chambers. The children from Sorell School use to go down to the cottage and pick books. During the second World War the librarian use to take the books up to the school in boxes for the children to choose their books.
Around 1980 the library moved back to the Magistrates Court behind the council chambers.
The Sorell Newsagency is at 15 Gordon Street, Sorell Tasmania 7172.
Interview with Lisa Peacock 2008
Ken and Lisa Peacock bought the Sorell Newsagency because they wanted to try something new and have a new outlook. They have four staff at the moment. Their opening and closing hours are 6:30AM till 6:00PM. They, personally, first opened it in August 2007. It has never been rebuilt. It has always been a newsagency. Four people has owned it including them. No disasters have happened. Originally it was bigger but it was split in half to make a lolly shop on one side.
The Sorell Newsagency was built in 1962 and it was built because it was the only one in Sorell. The size of the building is 468 square metres. The wall material is brick veneer. It has got a tile roof and its Valuation Property Classification is Retail/Business.
In 1983 it was sold for $65,000 but in 2004 it was sold for $400,000.