Sorell Saleyards

The Sorell Saleyards were first opened in 1876. Brohde’s great Grandparents Faye and Jabez Little with their four children who lived in Forcett attended the Sales for three decades and also in the Seventies with their grandson Jerry (my dad.) They spent many happy times at the Sorell Saleyards.

Everyone that attended the Sales (every second Monday) found it a time to catch up with family and friends. The day the Sales closed for good was in 1984 and everything was dismantled. The Sorell Sales were right in the centre of Sorell, and the purpose of the Sales was like a Market. At the Saleyards they sold things such as cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, and vegetables.

The Auctioneer in the fifties, sixties and seventies and up to 1982 when the Sales were finally closed down was David Stringer. He was also accompanied by auctioneers John Denholm and Geoff Brown. Lots of people went to the Sales. About 300!

The Sales would get their animals transported in a cart. The Saleyards were set out in pens, there was a big shed for poultry sales and stock yards for cattle and sheep, there was also another big shed to keep vegetables in. Farmers used to bring their vegetables that they had grown and they sold the fresh produce to all residents of the local municipality and beyond. It was also very good for the local business people, the hotels would do a roaring trade and the local takeaway shops and bakeries also benefited. The Sales ran for about 50 years but now, there are know remains of the Sorell Saleyards. But then they wanted bigger and better that’s why they wanted to build Woolworths.

Tasmanian Archives, Libraries Tasmania, Arch Rollings Collection, NS1553-1-106

In our days these would be the costings of their products:

Sheep:25 pence
Pigs:80 pence
Cattle:20 cents
Chickens:5 cents
Vegetables:1 cent

Over time, many country saleyards have gone by the wayside, but many of the memories attached to them live on.

Dal Hyland was born at Sorell, but lived at Cambridge, and spent many happy times as a child at the Sorell saleyards in the late 1940’s. The saleyard was smack bang in the heart of Sorell, the post and rail fences are long gone and the site asphalted over, for a supermarket car park.

Dal Hyland can remember regular extended family gatherings on sale days with his grandparents, retired farmers who had moved to Sorell.

“The saleyards were all set out in pens, all post and rail fences; there was a big shed for poultry sales. Another shed for veggie sales and different farmers would bring in their vegetables for sale, market gardeners. I remember Mr Bresnehan from out the back of Forcett driving in with his vegetables with his horse and buggy.”

“There was a gentlemen from Bellerive that had a corner shop, he used to go down every sale day, he would stand up on a platform and he would cut the potatoes or the turnips in half and hold them up, so people could see what they were bidding for, the quality of them.”

Dal says the day was more than just a day to buy and sell; it was also a day to catch up on news and renew friendships.

“It was very good for the local business people; farmers wives would come in and buy their groceries, the hotels would do a roaring trade. I had a wag of a cousin he used to call it handshake day.”

Sources
We interviewed a couple of people: Mary Thornberry and my nan Zelda

Members of the Paynter and Green family gave us most of our information.

Sorell School

The Sorell School Motto:  “Respecting our past, creating our future.”

In 1821 Governor Macquarie chose the site to build Sorell School.

The first building at Sorell School was made of stone and was built where the secondary school library currently is. In November 1888 it was made into a school residence when the original part of the school was completed. The original stone building was used up until 1921 when it got demolished. The school had two rooms and in 1926 whilst the school was being reconstructed an iron roof was put on to replace the old one which was made of shingle.

When Sorell School first opened a total of 57 students were enrolled. Sorell School’s first Headmaster was Charles Edward Hippesley Cox. He was paid £20 a year along with a convict for a servant and he was fed a ration and a half of food. Throughout the years Sorell School has had a total of twenty-nine headmasters and principals.

Now we have so many students I am unsure on the number. We also have both a primary and secondary side. But a long time ago they would put all the people in the one class. They would give you different work depending on your age, but that’s all different now. Our school goes from Kinder – Gr 10 and then you can go on to college.

Fun Fact:
Before Sorell School’s bell was burnt in a fire, it was rang when a convict was escaping.

Interviews with teachers about memories of Sorell School

Mrs Hansen has been going to Sorell all her life and she has been teaching for 14 years so since 1994! She began in kinder at age 5. She lived in the area she was in Lewisham until she turned 11 and then they moved house. There was no school at all seeing that Dodges did not exist yet so Sorell School was built. They used the cane until Mrs Hansen was in grade six! She said that it hurt. Mrs Hansen loved school and her favourite subjects consist of Music, Cooking and Social Studies. She loved helping other people and that’s why she became a teacher but she didn’t decide on this career until uni. Before then she always wanted to become a journalist and wondered what her life might have been like if she had done that! She began by teaching grade 3 but as the years went on she progressed her way up to grade 12 before stopping and teaching grade 6/7. She is very proud of where she is today but she could have never done it without the help of her fellow teachers and family.

From Mr Morley we got some old yearbooks and we read through them and they were very interesting; how much it has changed in so many years. Fashion was a big difference since when we went to school. In the yearbooks they didn’t have much colour because of the cost, but there was a double page of the day that they had the sports carnival, similar to what we have today. Ye old shotput and tugga war all the things that make the day. The clothes so different to what people wear now, like as we call them ” Harry high pants ” being worn it made us laugh. Sorry if you used to wear them but i know you probably think the same. Also looking back to the leavers dinners, we still have them but they are just so different. But I must say some of the dresses they wore back then were beautiful! with the puffy sleeves and everything. The school back then was just one small house type building located where the school library is located now. It was white in colour and very small, but as the years went on we built and eventually this building became what we know it as today!

This report was made by two groups of students: Maddi and Emily, Jenna and Shannan

St George’s Church

Building the church:
St George’s Church provide a link with the past that we cannot ignore. British settlers began to farm in the area (originally know as Pittwater) in 1808. The first service at Sorell is recorded that the famous Reverend Robert Knopwood nicknamed Bobby at an enquiry conducted by Thomas Bigge. The first headquarters meeting was held in a barn. Many people attended, both free and convict as well as a few children. This was in 1820 in the following year the church was completed they decided to use it as a school house.  But in 1823 when the report was submitted it was found that the recommendation had been omitted.

Everyone who died at Sorell prior to 1823 were taken to the St Davids cemetery in Hobart. On the 7th of March 1823 the Reverend Samuel Marsden under the authority of the Archbishop of Canterbury  consecrated a parcel of land and set it aside for ever as a cemetery.
In the month of April of that year the Reverend Knopwood had retired after 19 years to live on his farm at Clarence Plains but he also continued to serve faithfully the church.

The St Georges Church commenced in 1826 at the request of the Reverend William Garrard to rebuild the Church because of its dangers. The builders were set off to do this job and the cost of it all amounted to 800 shillings and 108 shillings for the carpentry work. In 1827 the church was completed all the masonry and materials being furnished by convict labour. The ultimate price of the building was £1,450. The church was built for 600 people, having galleries on three sides to accommodate convicts on muster days.

The first churchwardens were Mr James Gordon P.M of Forcett House and Captain W.H Glover J.P of Horsecroft, Sorell. Mr Gordon and his wife are buried at St Georges cemetery. The year 1832 saw the departure of the Reverend Garrard and the arrival of the Reverend James Norman who served the parish faithfully and well for 35 years. A letter written to J.Morgan, Esq police magistrate dated 9th of April 1835 is continued in the parish file and is in a good site of preservation.

In 1879 the church was pronounced unsafe and the Presbyterians most graciously offered the use of their church in which Anglicans worshipped until 1884 when the new one was built on the same site. It was built to accommodate 215 people at the same time.  Reverend C.J Brammel was in charge of the parish. Services were held at Orielton, Wattle hill, Nugent, Kellevie, Bream Creek, Dunalley, Carlton, Forcett, Green Hill, Port Arthur,  Cascades, Impression Bay and Wedge bay. Mr Brammell resigned in 1894 after 26 years of service.

On Tuesday 23rd of October 1883 the foundation stone of the new church of St George at Sorell was laid by Bishop Sandford. The bishop celebrated assisted by the Reverend C.J Brammell and Canon Mason and Mr Woolnough who walked from Bellerive and arrived a little after 12:30pm. The proceedings commenced with the 100th psalm, the bishop then standing on the stone delivered an impressive address founded on the words (Do all in the name of lord Jesus). The sum of forty pounds was laid on the stone.

The land and its rectors:
The land grant for the Church consisted of four acres, three roods relating to the area generally know as St George’s Square. The Church is surrounded by Gordon Street, Fitzroy Place, Parsonage Place and Sorell Rivulet. There was also a further eight acres and eight perches surrounded by Pelham Street, Cole Street and the Sorell Rivulet. From speaking to a man with a lot of information, we found out that the Church used to own from the creek near Coles to the hall in Gordon Street.

The original parish took into Coal Valley and the East Coast as far as Bicheno. It was reduced by the formation of the Parishes of Richmond in 1835 and Buckland in 1846. From 1950 the rector also looked after the Parish of Richmond. The Longest serving Rector was the Reverend James Norman from 1832 until 1867.

Conserving the church:

The Church is made out of Stone, corrugated iron and has a gothic style according to some. In the last five years it has had conservation work done with the foundations, and replastering costing around $44,000. The condition is fair and the integrity is intact. The dimensions of the church are 34ft with a depth of 64ft and a height of 18ft.

St.Georges church has a high pitched roof, the windows are tall and multi-paned.  There are some structural difficulty and has bad stone deterioration around the base.

Interviewing Andrew Lake

At the moment there is one minister by the name of Andrew Lake. We interviewed Andrew Lake and found out this information:the busiest days of the year are Christmas and Easter, the church is always open on Christmas and Easter day. They have one church bell, which is rang so people know church is starting. The church has about two weddings and seven funerals a year. The decision to build a church probably came from Governor Arthur. He designed it to be big enough to fit everyone in the area including the convicts. The main feature of the church is probably the large Amber windows. There is more than one St. Georges church in Tasmania. Roughly 100 people are buried in the cemetery and about 100 in the columbarium. A Columbarium is place where ashes are placed. Andrew Lake has been the minister for four years.

This report was by two different groups of students: Maddi and Sam, Nicola and Bronte.

SOURCES:
Andrew Lake – Phone Interview- 9/7/08

I found the information in a book called ‘Sorell Heritage Study Site Inventory Volume 5’

There is a book called The Shocking history of Sorell by Robert Cox, Sorell Library has a copy for reference but no borrowing.

Sorell Tennis Club

 


These people are playing at Opening Day at Red courts at the Sorell Tennis Club.

In 1913 there was a public meeting held at Sorell Hall to form Sorell Tennis Club (Sorell Hall is now an antique store). A few years later in 1918 Sorell Tennis Club was opened by Col. Blacklow it is located at Pelham Street Sorell. There were two teams in the Sorell district; they were Sorell and Pembroke. The first President was Dr. Webster. The first Secretary was Mrs. Featherstone. The first Treasurer was Mrs. Peacock.

The clubroooms have gradually improved over the years from a small shed to a larger clubroom to the current two story building which over looks all the courts. There was one court and it was asphalt then later on it was covered with concrete. The second and third court was covered with red crushed gravel from St. Marys mines and brought in by rail and truck. These courts were later reconstructed in “no fines” concrete which allowed water to drain easily and very quickly (Opened in 1980). Two courts were added and laid in “super grass” acrylic fiber. Courts 1 and 2 were later reconstructed with super grass.

Teams from the Sorell Tennis Club play in a A.Y.C night competition against other teams from different clubs. Midweek ladies matches started in 1972. Children tennis lessons are at 3:45, 4:30 and 5:15 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Pembroke Oval

Pembroke Oval was first made in 1883/1884 by the Sorell Sports Committee. This was previously the Sorell Racecourse Ground. The change rooms were built at the same time and they opened in 1884. The reason Pembroke Oval was built because they were looking for a place to play junior football and cricket.

Allan Lovell and Peter Connell were the leaders of the group that built the oval. After 10 years the Sorell Council took over the ownership of the oval off the Sorell Sports Committee.

The way they mowed the oval back then was they used a car towing a gang mower. They watered the ground by using heavy hoses and sprinklers as well. That was all done by Allan Lovell.

Allan invited Royce Hart who played for Richmond in the AFL to the oval for the opening and Allan still has the football signed by him. Some of the other people who play in the AFL now and play for Sorell are Tom Collier and Sam Iles.

In 1967 the oval was destroyed by bush fires and it had to be rebuilt. Later in 1983 the council encouraged the Sorell Football club to go to Pembroke Oval and they did. Sorell played in the league called the South East Districts Association.

What it looks like now:
The oval now looks great and people still play on it today. The sports that are played there now is football, cricket and little athletics. This year they have also built new cricket nets and they are building a ticket box and another gate to go in and out.

 

Pembroke Hotel

The Pembroke opened in 1842. It also got its liquor licence the same year.

The Pembroke isn’t closed on public holidays, they welcome guests and diners.

The Pembrokes facilities are Tas keno (the biggest jackpot was $287,000), the pokies, pool (8 Ball) the Tote and a bottle shop.

The Pembroke also offers a pool tournament if you are interested in pool (8 Ball); we asked how much the Pembroke makes a year with the pokies but it is confidential!

To apply at the Pembroke Hotel as a kitchen hand you must be 14 years old or over. The average income for staff is 35,000-40,000 thousand dollars a year.

There is currently (2008) an ex-student from Sorell School working as a chef in the kitchen he makes really nice food! The Pembroke was involved in a robbery but the security is much better in Sorell now. There is a police station just around the corner.

There are currently no permanent guests at the Pembroke but there is believed to be a ghost. The prices range from $700 dollars a week in a 1 spa suit to $1116.95 for a 5 family apartment but sadly the Pembroke doesn’t have a Valentine’s room.

If you want a great place to stay come to the Pembroke Hotel in Sorell. There is the bird sanctuary, the local park, dance studio, events at the memorial hall (Karate, Dance, P.C.Y.C. etc) and a lot more. Come and stay and meet the friendly staff!

Bibliography:
Pembrokes Home Page
Interview with Pembroke Staff

Researching the municipality

In 2008, when students were using the internet to research their municipality to add to their interviews and images, they were given the following list of useful websites to use:

If you are looking for information on the internet, try some of the following pages.

Sorell Council
Tasmanian archives – you will need to write them an email if using any pictures from here
Tasmanian History links – information about families and land grants
National archives – use the record and photo search sections
Tasmanian Genealogy – great site with lots of useful links on Tasmanian history
Australian War Memorial – if the person has been an Aussie soldier, check it out here
Picture Australia – some great images but you must ask permission to use – check out the FAQs
Trove – check out the scans of original newspapers from all around Australia
Arch Rollings photos of Sorell district – need archive permission to use on this wiki.

Remember to use the Sorell Heritage Study books found in the school and local libraries.

Transport in the municipality

The municipality ranges over a large area of south eastern Tasmania. The early settlements were only able to be visited by horse and cart via Richmond. This trip could take many days. Eventually ferries were used to cart goods and people, roads were built, causeways linked land and water and there was also a fairly short lived railway system.