Historical Section


WWII drew miners into service and the opalfields were quiet. The police station closed in 1944. The Cottage Hospital struggled to keep going on community funds. Population dwindled to fifty children at the school. Bert Cooper and family arrived 1943. The Artie Dawsons moved in from Llanillo Station about 1946, and he took over Reeves Store next to the Imperial, opening a butchery next door towards the hotel. He delivered groceries on the field. Late that decade, Jack Francis soldup and went to his property. Les Wharton took over the third post office/general store.

Bob Molyneux returned from Coober Pedy with his family. Full-time telephone service. Big floods! Orme Long, grandfather of the Molyneux boys, developed the first dry rumbler. The Mud Hut was built by Leechman. Harold Hodges came to the Ridge. The first trams arrived. The old hall (where the Black Opal Motel stands) blew down in a mini-cyclone. Dick Brown's Cafe (where Riteway is today) opened late in the decade.

The Tree of Knowledge got too scanty and was pulled down at the main intersection. Dawsons moved across the street into the third post office/general store, living alongside. A syndicate of graziers sank Llanillo Bore 2, today's mineral baths. The police station reopened. Roger Climpson came to town! The airstrip was surveyed, not to be surfaced for thirty years. Electricity arrived. The Bowling Club started about the time the Imperial Hotel was renamed the Diggers Rest. The first motel complex, Tram-o-tel, in operation. Eric Catterall developed the automatic hoist. Permanent water inspired wet puddling. The Walk-in Mine opened as the first tourist attraction, then Tex Moerkel's Bottle House at Opal Village. The Governor of NSW, Northcott, then the Governor General, Lord Casey, visited Walgett Shire. The Flash newspaper began late 1969, and there, recent history is recorded - or at least what you old timers may have filed away in recollections of a fast-changing community!
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Last Update Pre 2006