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Snippets 8 December 2010
Angledool Sketches
9.School of Arts 1903

The School of Arts or Angledool Hall is a pise' building with a high-pitched, rounded top known as a beehive. This was a popular architectural choice with the Education Department of the day and it has been said that Bradfield, who designed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, had some input into the silhouette.

The timbers for the Hall were cut by Charlie Gibson and Jack Prentice with a pit-saw. There was a stage one end, a good dance floor and the lean-to side-wings were added later. For decades, no one knew who owned the building.

The last big ball was held in September 1982 in an effort to raise funds to restore the crumbling main building. The Lightning Flash, 26 August to 8 September, invited everyone to be there when Angledool would let her hair down! The Barwon Bard even wrote a poem, 'The Angledooly Ball'. The Soroptimists of the Ridge did the licensed bar and the Angledool Committee catered. Tickets were $10 with supper per person and only $1 for children over 10 years of age plus $3 for supper.

Next Week: Aboriginal Mission

Barbara Moritz
14 December 2010 04:38pm
Snippets 1 December 2010
Angledool Sketches
8.Mehi Station

Mehi Run was taken up in 1878 by Henry Hatfield and he built the Bark Pub. Then Jim Guthrie was the registered lessee in 1893 and he built the log cabin where George & Patsy Cross started housekeeping in 1948. George's grandfather was George Weldon, a baker, first at Old Town, Lightning Ridge, then in Angledool.

The first mineral lease application was made by Cocky Reed & Patterson (Paddison), the teacher, in 1904 north of Angledool and on Mehi. History tells us ....that denudation has proceeded far enough to expose the underlying sediments into soft sandstone outcrops in a cliff-like form. Shafts to 30 feet have been sunk plus drives into the hill. Opal has a cracky reputation. The prospecting vote in 1924 helped find this field. During 1932-34 sited an appreciable amount of marketable opal by 10 miners in 1934.

Years later, Billy Goat Hill, 1972, and Prentice's Folly, 1988, rekindled interest in the Mehi opal fields for a few years. There were maybe five miners in 1995, a new boom in 1996 and all was quiet again by 1999.

Next Week: School of Arts

Barbara Moritz
14 December 2010 04:34pm
Snippets 24 November 2010
Angledool Sketches
7. Post Office

The survey for a Telegraph Office was made and reported in September 1883 but the agitation over its location went on for years. Hatfield wanted it in the little post office in his private town and Merry had a building for Government-lease near the Court House and Police Station in New Angledool. The Inspector finally took temporary possession of premises at Hatfield's Store for an office but deemed it unsatisfactory.

The construction of a telegraph line was already under way from Angledool via the Finger Post to Goodooga. A Telegraph Master was appointed in 1885. Requests now began for a Money Order Office. This, as well as a Government Savings Bank branch, was authorised from October 1886. A bond placed by Hatfield guaranteed a certain amount of annual revenue that amounted to only half in the first year.

In 1888, both Merry and Hatfield, respectively, submitted bonds and petitions for and against moving the Post and Telegraph Office from its site at Hatfield's to Merry's building, a mile distant. The matter dragged on for another year with the resident Third Class Postmaster recommending the move. However, Henry Hatfield was appointed Telephone Operator in February 1890 and also became the Receiving Office Keeper at his new office named Mehi.

A Telephone Office opened in March 1891 at Hatfield's Store, which still operated as Angledool Receiving Station. The current Postmaster recommended its closure, which was approved in July 1891. There's a gap until 1897. Faces changed several times until Robert Lindores was appointed Postmaster in 1906. He held the position for the next 30 years.

The office was reduced to non-official status from August 1930 with a new Officer-in-Charge and a few more to follow until Sidney Tanner took over in early 1940. His son followed him in 1953 and, when the Post Office burned, he worked out of a garage at the back. Lorraine Molloy was the last to sort mail until April 1974 but she continued working the switchboard into 1986.

Next Week: Mehi Station

Barbara Moritz
14 December 2010 04:32pm
Snippets 17 November 2010
Angledool Sketches
6. Court House & Police Station

The Police Station was established in 1883. One Constable was in charge. Later, when opal mining commenced in Lightning Ridge and all mining claims were registered through Angledool, there was a Senior Constable plus a Constable-in-Charge. In 1908, improvements were added that included a barrack room attached to the Court House at the front of the Police Office, a portable cell in the yard, also stables and foreman's room. The Court of Petty Sessions sat when required; there was no fixed date for the Police Magistrate's visit; Court was held at New Angledool Court House.

There are several leather-bound Court House record books still in the district. They are fragile and could be assembled and deposited in the Coonamble Archives at their Library. Please contact the Historical Society if you are interested in doing this or PO Box 1.

Next Week: Post Office

Barbara Moritz
14 December 2010 04:31pm
Snippets 10 November 2010
Angledool Sketches

The Hospital was erected in the 1890s on the eastern edge of Angledool with a residence nearby, land donated by Henry Hatfield. Teacher Paddison (standing, second from left) was on the Committee at the turn of the Century. The substantial building housed three wards, living quarters for the matron and staff, a doctor's surgery and the operating theatre. The kitchen was attached by a covered walkway. A Bush Nursing Association unit was established in 1935 but was short-lived. The hospital building was relocated to a property after WWII.

Next week: Court House & Police Station

Barbara Moritz
12 November 2010 08:57am