Train to Kiama and back – 16 – Minnamurra to Albion Park

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Lurking there behind the bushes is Dunmore House, about which there is a delightful ghost story recounted on the Kiama History blog, much as my father told it to me 60+ years ago! Shellharbour Council has more, taken from the 1959 book Green Meadows by W A Bayley. I used to have a copy bought in 1959 when I accompanied my parents and Grandfather Roy Christison to the centenary of Shellharbour Public School, of which my grandfather was then the oldest living headmaster.

George Laurence Fuller arrived in Australia aged 7 years. He had sailed from Ireland in 1839 with his father William, mother Ann, and six brothers and sisters. During the voyage typhus fever broke out among the passengers and Mr William Fuller died just thirteen days before reaching Sydney. Ann gave birth to a son who also died on the voyage. Two-year-old Charlotte died in quarantine in Sydney.

Ann Fuller opened a store in Corrimal Street, Wollongong, placing her young children in Liverpool and Parramatta Orphanage until she could afford to bring them home.

On leaving school, George assisted his mother in her shop keeping business. In 1852 he left for the goldfields on a small sailing vessel with a cargo of goods via Port Fairy Victoria, then by bullock team to Ballarat, a venture that established him financially.

In 1859 George Laurence Fuller married Sarah Miller of Gerringong. George purchased the “Victoria Stores” at Kiama that his brother Thomas and brother-in-law George Waldron had established.

In 1865, the southern division of the Peterborough Estate of Shellharbour was advertised for sale – 2,560 acres on the Minnamurra River adjoining the Terry’s Meadows Estate. George Fuller bought the property and named his new estate Dunmore after his old family home in Ireland. He built ‘Dunmore House’ of rubble blue metal, locally obtained.

By 1880 George owned some 9,000 acres of the Peterborough Estate extending from Lake Illawarra to the Minnamurra River and west to Croome Albion Park. By the 1880s he had established a blue metal trade at Bass Point.

George and Sarah had thirteen children, George Warburton, Robert Miller, Frederick William, Ada Annie, Florence Elizabeth, Alfred Ernest, Sarah Emily, Edith Mary, Charles Laurence, Minnie Cunningham, Colin Dunmore, Archie Douglas, and Bryan Cecil.

George Warburton Fuller, born 1861 was to become the Hon Sir George Warburton Fuller Premier of New South Wales. Lieutenant Colonel Colin Dunmore Fuller DSO had a distinguished military career.

George Laurence Fuller is noted for his generosity to Shellharbour’s development. He gave 2 acres for a new school in 1883 called Minnamurra School built of local basalt at Swamp Road Dunmore. He contributed largely to the Municipality, providing tenant farmers to work the land, expanded the blue metal trade in 1885 providing cottages and work for the quarrymen. He gave land for the Shellharbour General Cemetery in 1894 to replace the old sand cemetery that was washing away at the foreshore and in 1896 gave land and a cash donation to build the Shellharbour School of Arts in Mary Street Shellharbour. He also established a racecourse on cleared land at Albion Park Rail between the railway line and Macquarie Rivulet.

George Laurence Fuller died in 1917, and is buried in the Presbyterian section of Bombo Cemetery, Kiama, leaving an influential and famous family.

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Lieutenant Colonel Colin Dunmore Fuller DSO

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Near Oak Flats

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Albion Park Rail

Train to Kiama and back – 14 – on the waterfront

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The geology of the area is of interest. See Volcanic rock formations north of Kiama and Volcanic eruption in Australia ’3000 years overdue’! The area in the photos above is known as Black Beach.

It derives its name from the large proportion of black basalt sand and cobbles that compose the curving 130 m long beach, which is located at the base of Kiama Harbour and faces east out the harbour entrance. The beach is backed by continuous seawall and walkway, then tall Norfolk Island pines and Black Reserve and picnic area, with all the amenities of Kiama behind, while Blow Hole Point with its famous blowhole extends out past the harbour.

Train to Kiama and back – 11 — main street

How pretty is this!

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And there are some fascinating details…

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Apparently the plaque went missing at one stage. But what a story it commemorates.

On the evening of 8 June between 50 and 300 stockingers, ironworkers and labourers from the villages of Ripley, Pentrich, Alfreton, and South Wingfield gathered and set out to march the fourteen miles to Nottingham, collecting more men and arms on the way. Brandreth assured his followers that Nottingham would already be secured, that 100,000 men from other towns would meet them, and that London would be the next objective. Roast beef, rum and a hundred guineas a man were promised to those who were reluctant. The prospect of ending the National Debt and all taxes and releasing some ‘great men’ from the Tower were also offered. The men called at farms and houses on the route, demanding arms and support. At one of these farms , Brandreth demanded entrance to a house where it was believed there was a gun, fired through the window and killed a farm servant.

Brandreth led his wet, despondent and dwindling party with determination, repeating rhymes:

Every man his skill must try
He must turn out and not deny;
No bloody soldier must he dread,
He must turn out and fight for bread.
The time is come you plainly see
The government opposed must be.

According to one of Brandreth’s commanders, Brandreth “believed the day and hour were fixed when the whole nation was expected to rise; and before the middle of the week, he believed there would be hundreds of thousands in arms … there were men appointed all over the nation.” When they arrived at Nottingham they found none of the support that had been promised, apart from a group of about a hundred who gathered briefly in Nottingham Forest with pikes and poles and who dispersed quietly of their own accord. The Pentrich men fled at the first contact with soldiers and were rounded up during the next few days.

The Pentrich rising had involved only a few hundred men at most, many of them effectively forced into taking part during the night march to Nottingham. Armed with a few guns, home-made pikes, scythes, and pitchforks they killed only one man during the whole episode. The Government, however, decided to make an example of them and forty five were tried for High Treason by Special Commission in Derby in July. Three were hanged, including Brandreth; thirty more were sentenced to transportation, including Bacon.

On what happened with Weightman