Discover Bendigo

Becoming qualified
James Lerk
The process of becoming qualified as an engine driver for steam powered mining machinery has already been mentioned. There was no easy way – the time spent in learning, driving and qualifying had to be done as a volunteer. The tutor naturally had to be sufficiently sympathetic to have..
07-Oct-2016
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Learner drivers
James Lerk
In last week’s article the main subject was the Fortuna Hustler’s Mine and mention was made of one of the engine drivers there, William Ernest Richardson. Richardson, like all engine drivers from the last quarter of the 19th century and beyond, had to have an appropriate certificate...
28-Sep-2016
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History in the streets
James Lerk
As we wander about the area bounded by the land off Mitchell, Garsed streets and that off Railway Place at the entrance of the Bendigo Marketplace, we give little thought as to what was located there before. Some people may reflect upon the area in question being occupied by Buckle and Jeffrey t..
22-Sep-2016
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Named in his honour
James Lerk
Earlier in this series I have mentioned the financially successful developing career of John Jepson Stanistreet, who became a partner in the mine legal management firm of McColl, Rankin and Stanistreet. JJ Stanistreet’s entry as a junior partner into the firm which dealt also in real estat..
08-Sep-2016
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A developing career
James Lerk
JOHN Jepson Stanistreet who started work as an errand boy with McColl and Rankin the mine legal management firm, quickly won the confidence of his employers. Stanistreet was serious, conscientious and had a good head for figures, for this reason his employers suggested that he attend book keepin..
02-Sep-2016
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More than an errand
James Lerk
Late in the 19th century the most humble office work was that of the errand boy. You will immediately notice the term “boy”, as no office manager would have, at that time, even considered to employ a girl. The sole female that was associated with the office would be the after h..
25-Aug-2016
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Fountain with a Bendigo link
James Lerk
Artist Charles Summers’ best known public sculpture is that of the Burke and Wills monument now located on the corner of Swanston and Collins streets in Melbourne. Summers was induced by Joseph Panton, a fellow founder of the Fine Arts Society, to share his skills with that of prisoner Wi..
19-Aug-2016
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Panton's artistic side
James Lerk
Joseph Anderson Panton had seen the drawings which prisoner William Stanford had made in a notebook shown to him in the office of the Pentridge Prison governor. Panton was immediately struck by the quality of the drawings from someone with absolutely no artistic training. Panton had req..
12-Aug-2016
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Prisoner with a hidden talent
James Lerk
Last week I left you with the governor of Pentridge Prison and Joseph Anderson Panton seated in the governor’s office with some papers being pushed across the table for Panton to read. As it happened, the papers were written by William Stanford. Remembering, that in 1853 during the fi..
04-Aug-2016
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Back behind bars
James Lerk
William Stanford, the man with a number of aliases and someone who had escaped from a Pentridge Prison work party, found himself once again behind bars. Stanford’s connection with the Bendigo area had been relatively brief, and while here he had the unfortunate accident on horseback with L..
28-Jul-2016
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Captured on the run
James Lerk
The year was 1861, William Walter Tyrell Stanford had just managed to make his escape from an outside quarrying work party of the Pentridge Prison. Stanford had a connection to Bendigo by having had the misfortune during the first Bendigo Cup meeting to have had a collision while riding his horse wi..
21-Jul-2016
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Was the horse stolen?
James Lerk
You met William Walter Tyrell Stanford when he was in the saddle on what was described as “a pony” which managed to clear the steeplechase barriers with supposed ease. William Stanford had the great misfortune of bumping the horse on which Police Magistrate Lachlan MacLachlan wa..
14-Jul-2016
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Men in collision
James Lerk
Administrators of the young Bendigo goldfield who were located in the government camp on Camp Hill have already been introduced in earlier articles. There was a diverse group of characters as previously mentioned, some were extremely able, others very diplomatic and one person in particular ..
08-Jul-2016
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Horsemen of the camp
James Lerk
Last week I wrote about the men of the Government Camp, they were literally camping in their tents on what was referred to and still is known today as Camp Hill. A log lock up was to be constructed on Camp Hill as well as a log store for keeping government issued and supplied materials and ..
17-Jun-2016
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Men and their horses
James Lerk
A very small minority of those who had come to the Bendigo goldfield in its formative years would have been in possession of a horse. The horse was an animal associated with the more financially successful and those in positions of authority. The cost of feeding a horse was excessive in..
10-Jun-2016
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Working in unison
Bendigo Weekly
You have been introduced to a little of the early administration of the law on the infant Bendigo goldfield in the first half decade of the 1850s. I had focused on the newly appointed Police Magistrate Lachlan MacLachlan a somewhat dour Scot, who was to exercise his power in the court in a some..
03-Jun-2016
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MacLachlan’s best detective
Bendigo Weekly
Our first administration here at Bendigo had been regulated from the Mount Alexander or the Castlemaine goldfield. Castlemaine already had a well established government administration and the first appeals from the Bendigo Creek diggings were made to the gold commissioners to the south for ..
27-May-2016
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Magistrate MacLachlan
James Lerk
Last week some indication was given as to the background of Lachlan MacLachlan, the man who was descended from a long lineage Scottish family. He had studied law as well as having attended the Sandhurst Military College. MacLachlan had been motivated through the knowledge of one of his Edinb..
20-May-2016
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Early influences
James Lerk
There were a number of significant characters who were at the forefront of the early development of Bendigo. Many readers will undoubtedly think of a number of names such as that of Richard Larritt who was largely responsible for the physical layout of our city. There were those who wer..
13-May-2016
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Chairman's tale
James Lerk
As seen last week, Michael Thomas’s name as chairman appeared at the bottom of the appeal flyer that was produced by the Jeffrey Family Relief Fund Committee. There were many others as already mentioned who were also committee members, the majority of whom were members of the Methodist..
06-May-2016
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