Tottenham, New South Wales
After seeing nothing but dry countryside for what seemed like a long time, the very wide road suddenly arrived at a crossroads, the colonel parked the beast and out we got. An information board just as we like it, and a park-like area, in we went.
Well, deep joy and thun-de-bolt, colour Bear happy, a reason to trim his trigger finger, this time on a German gun complete with plaque.
In fact three more plaques were around the park noting a mine and not one but two time capsules.
On this side of the crossroads there was a map showing us where we were and the town history.
The History of Tottenham
It lies in a wheat-growing country and is at the end of a railway line from Bogan Gate, completed in 1916 with Tottenham Post Office opening on the 8th of April 1907. The township of Tottenham originated through the discovery of copper in 1903 but went down in history in the 1930’s when two small boys left the Tottenham Primary School on horseback to take a message to Sydney by school relay. This message was written by the headmaster as requested by the organisers who wanted a message from the centre of NSW to be read at the opening of the Harbour Bridge in 1932. This message now hangs in the Mitchell Library.
Today the town services a large and diverse agricultural industry with a population of approximately three hundred and twenty and a district of about a thousand. Situated on the sealed Bogan Way which links the Newell Highway at Forbes or Parkes to the Mitchell Highway at Nyngan, this provides an alternative journey for travellers wanting to get off the highways for a relaxed scenic experience.
The Tottenham community are very special, supporting many local organisations that all help to make the town a great place to live and visit. Organisations include – The Tottenham Welfare Council, Lions Club, C.W.A., Men’s Shed, Towns Committee, Picnic Race Club, Preschool Committee, Gymkhana Committee, Motor Cross, Pony Club, Tennis, Bowls, Cricket Committees as well as management committees for the Community Hall, Cemetery, Horse and Sports Centre, M.PS. and Health Council.
Tottenham has participated in the NSW Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns Competition for fourteen years with outstanding success winning many sponsored awards including Tidiest Town in NSW in Category A – population up to three hundred and fifty. The town’s involvement in the Tidy Towns Programme has created much pride in the town and the town’s facilities.
Visitors consistently remark on the outstanding condition and appearance of the town and its facilities. One hundred and seventy five species of bird have been recorded in the town. Tottenham had a population of 343 in 2006.
Very commendable indeed that so many organisations are manned by such a small community.
Slight difference to the Tottenham we know with a population of some 115,965........... A map from 1619, Windsor Parade and Bruce Castle Tower. There has been a settlement in Tottenham since Roman times and a road was built by them. In the Doomsday Book seventy families lived near the manor house. Henry the VIII was known to have hunted in the woods and stayed at Bruce Castle.
The sign proudly displaying this Tottenham’s honours.
In 2012, the tiny township was selected as the Most Outstanding Community in New South Wales and the ACT (with a population of 15,000 or less) in a competition organised by the Bank of New South Wales. The town sealed its local airstrip, installed kangaroo-proof fences around the perimeter, and put in night lighting, with half of the costs coming from private donations. Locals had been upset that the Royal Flying Doctor Service had not been able to land here for a medical emergency involving one of the leading members of the local population. The town also successfully searched the world to recruit its own doctor, when the Health Department had said that no suitable doctor could be found. And five locals came forward to form a team of local volunteer ambulance officers, in support of the one full-time paramedic that is provided by the NSW Ambulance Service. Finally, the town constructed a spacious sports centre in a dollar for dollar agreement with the local Shire. All of these projects in the one year contributed to Tottenham's selection as Community of the Year for NSW.
The original part of Gander’s store was built around 1912 and is one of the oldest buildings in the main street. The bricks in the building were made from clay from the Brick Kiln Dam and fired in a nearby brick kiln.
In 1939, Emily Gander purchased the store and ran it with the assistance of her children. It was a typical country store selling a large variety of goods including mattresses, food, women’s corsets and bras, linoleum and even men’s alpaca coats. Fuel was sold from three bowsers positioned under the front verandah. A mail run was acquired in conjunction with grocery deliveries supplying many outlying properties.
Ganders had bought Mills’ store across the street in the 1940’s to sell hardware and farm supplies. The store was moved across the road in the early 1950’s and joined onto the original store. In 1971, it was converted into a supermarket and in 1980 Ganders sold the store. The new owners constructed the modern brick extension.
The Rooster Tree which was located in the centre of Umang Street, was an early landmark of Tottenham. Rings were attached to the trunk of the tree where horses were tied in the shade while their owners went about their business. The tree was cut down in the mid 1950’s to prepare for sealing the street.
The Peerless Store, bush nursing rooms and billiards hall were the first buildings on this site. They burnt down in the 1920’s, were rebuilt in timber and burnt down again. In 1930, Edwin Hudson built the block in its present form using patterned cement bricks. Later he added two more shops built of poured concrete.
Edwin Hudson arrived in Tottenham by pushbike in 1906 working first as a miner and then as the manager of the Iron Duke Mine. In 1923, he set up a stock and station agency in this block. His son Allan Hudson, on returning from World War II, reopened his deceased father’s business. Hudson’s Stock and Station Agency flourished on this site for over seventy years.
A variety of businesses have operated from this block including:
Gem of the West Cafe. The cafe was situated on the corner. It was a place to buy a good country meal and watch all that went on in town.
Stan and Fred White’s International Tractors. A tractor show room was situated in the first poured concrete shops in the 1940’s. At the same time the brothers operated a stock and station agency in the back office.
SP Bookies. A succession of bookies operated under the grapevine at the back of the cafe over the years.
RC & MJ Genge’s Electrical Store. This store was located at the end of the block in the 1960’s. Many Tottenham residents had their first glimpses of television in that shop window, watching their favourite shows standing in the street or seated on the back of a truck.
Main street today.
The Tottenham Hotel has been restored to its original 1931 condition, very impressive balconies, but sadly we were the only customers.
Had we have carried on we have see this Cairn, constructed from local mine slag from the Mount Royal and Bogan River Copper Mines it is thirty four kilometres west of town.
The position is 32:09.47 south and 147:01.56 east or the geographical centre of New South Wales.
A few minutes admiring the murals.
Back in the beast and onward.
ALL IN ALL NICE BUT NOT FOR ME, TOO FAR FROM THE SEA
NO CHANDLERY SO IT’S OFF MY LIST