History of Young with Brian James: All about Burrangong

Burrangong is a small community on the north-west edge of Young, never a village but always with a strong sense of community.

A rail siding was opened in 1886 and given the name of "Burrangong."

The area was heavily mined during the gold rush of the 1860's and evidence of this is still seen along the banks of the Burrangong Creek as well as Allandale Gully, Poverty Gully, Milkman's Creek, Dairyman's Gully and New Zealand Gully.

By 1889, fifty-nine children of school age lived in the area and the residents applied for a school to be built as the nearest school was three miles away.

The school was opened in October 1889.

In 1893 the government granted land for a school to be built near the rail siding.

This school operated until 1958, when it closed, and is now the home of Max and Rose Henry.

Some of the teachers were; John Duffey (1905), S. Graham (1921), F. Fordham (1924), and S. Kellett (1925- 1958).

In 1924, Fred Fordham started a fund raising effort for the erection of a public hall, which was built in 1931.

When "Gloria" lights were installed in 1934, Major Reid, MC. MLA. officially opened the building.

After many years of being used for dances and weddings it closed due to lack of patronage and funds.

A Protestant Union Church was built on land gifted by George Whiteman in the late 1920's or early 1930's.

Three trustees were appointed, Messrs. Blair, Donges and McWhinney.

It closed in the late 1950's and its condition deteriorated and accidentally burnt down in the late 1970's.

The only recorded wedding service to be held there was that of Jack and Daphne Henry (nee Alchin) on 18 August, 1934.

St.Philomena's Catholic Church was built on land owned by Mrs Quinn, great-grandmother of the present owners, Frank Byrne and his wife Denise.

It was blessed and opened by Bishop Barry on 4th ,November,1929.

The church was built by W .Vogt for 400 pounds and the first Mass was celebrated by Father T. Lynch.

Garry Waugh and Graham Butt at Tiger Woods Camp Site, Allandale Gully.

Garry Waugh and Graham Butt at Tiger Woods Camp Site, Allandale Gully.

The only recorded wedding service was that of Ray and Margaret Styles (nee Henry) on April 20th,1963.

On the corner of Chillingworks road and Milvale (Temora) Road is a building commonly known as Birch's Store.

This was originally a forty acre conditional purchase granted to a Mr. Lowery whose daughter married Mr. Tonkin.

The Tonkin's built a house on the corner of the block.

The late Miss Tonkin, the well known music teacher of Thornhill Street, was a daughter of this family.

Eventually the Birch's came into possession of the property and in 1912 Madeline Birch decided to open a store in the end of her home.

She ran the store from 1912 to 1947 when she leased half the house and store to Eric and Eva Patrick who ran the store to 1953.

Joyce Birch, Madeline's daughter, ran the store until 1957 when it closed .

In 1977 the Young Council sought to take over the Burrangong Oval for the town dump.

Residents objected and a Burrangong Action Committee was formed to raise money to upgrade the oval.

A toilet block was erected and later a kiosk and change rooms erected.

Over the years many outstanding games of cricket and Rugby League football have been played on this oval, it is now the home of Aussie Rules.

The area is slowly losing its identity as the area from Penrose's bridge to and including Chillingworks road has become industrialised.

A lot of the older residents are either dying or moving out and some of the larger farming area have been subdivided into lifestyle blocks .

We will mention some of the old names here as a way of committing them to our collective memories.

Starting at the corner of Chillingworks road and Milvale road the first thing noticed is the disappearance of Birch's store, left too long to restore.

Back towards Young we had Yardley's Poultry Farm, then Clarrie DeBrit with his timber yard and Andrew Waugh with eight (8) acres opposite, then Frank Waugh's three (3) acres of land he bought from Nickols.

Fred and Jack Waugh lived on Poverty Gully which ran down the side of the hill and eventually flowed into Burrangong Creek near where the Hall is.

We travel back to the main road and continue along until we come to the railway overhead bridge, here we have the choice of three roads, we take the middle road which is McMahons road.

To be continued next week.

Brian James produces his column each week for publication in The Young Witness.