Lambing Flat Folk Museum (Young, NSW)

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History Blog

To the Burrangong Races

Posted on September 22, 2015 at 11:40 PM

Abridged from an article, by Pegasus, in the Australian Town and Country Journal, Saturday 23 March 1878.


Not having spent a day in the town of Young for some thirteen years, it was with no small amount of satisfaction I found myself at the railway station at Redfern about to start away south, with the object of assisting at the annual races of the Burrangong Jockey Club.

It was Monday evening when I was starting on my journey, and the “sleeping carriage” of much renown had its place on the train; but two or three other first class passengers besides myself preferred an ordinary compartment to forming part of a mixed sleeping party. However there was no first class carriage, so Mr. Collins, the Station Master, had some cushions put in a small second class compartment, in which our party travelled comfortably and unmolested to Murrumburrah.

One of our party having purveyed for the journey a piece of nice , cold, Windsor-fed pork, besides a large lump of grand cold plum pudding, we didn’t make an onslaught on the refreshments at Mittagong, and only indulged in a cup of coffee at Gunning; but without any incident we found ourselves at Murrumburrah, where we took the coach to Young. We had one very narrow squeak of a capsize; and I can’t say I liked the look of the off side wheel ; but no harm was done and we arrived at Young at 9.00am Tuesday morning.

Walking down the street to mine hostelry, one and another of my old friends hove in sight. While the stockowner and farmers of the district, were flocking in, to attend the Pastoral and Agricultural show, which was on that day. One friend of nigh on twenty years, Mr. T.R. Watt, was absent; and with sorrow I learnt that he had died the previous day at Forbes due to a buggy accident.

Melting hot was the weather on that show day; the glare on the white dust in the streets being excessively trying on the eyes; and on the showground itself there wasn’t a particle of shade. Meanwhile , the various dispensers of creature comforts, both in the town and at the show, drove a roaring trade.

I don’t know when I have been among such a lot of good friends. There was that right down good fellow, Carlo Marina, of Moppity, who has the best sheep in the district. John Allan, of Wattamondara, another good old friend, and jolly Phil Mylecharane, and A. R. West from Cowra; R.H. Roberts from Currawong; A. Hancock from Burrowa; J. Murphy from Kalangan; Mackinnon from Bumbaldry, and hosts of others.

The Jockey Club has taken great trouble with their course, having built a commodious stand, enclosed a saddling paddock, and cleared the middle of the course to give a good view.

The business folks generally show a really good spirit in seconding the efforts of the Jockey Club in the closing of counting-houses, banks and stores in time to allow employees to be present on the course; and as Mr. W. J. Watson is vice-president of the club, I’ve no doubt the closing system will be more extensively followed in future. The president Mr. O’Malley Clarke, was here, there, and everywhere and not able to do enough for anyone.

The racing was good, but a great deal of dissatisfaction was caused by the scratching of Macaroni from the Jockey Club Handicap. Mr. Ivory explained to me that the horse had been backed to win a big stake for the Sydney Cup, and he feared knocking him about by the walk to and from the course, and running on pretty rough ground.

The hotel accommodation is very good, the Great Eastern, the Empire, and the Albion being the most popular houses—the first two relics of the past, while the Albion is a splendid two story brick building, at the corner of Burrowa and Main Streets, and contains some of the most comfortably and handsomely furnished private suites I know anywhere.

I now take my leave of Young, for a period, not as long, I hope, as my last absence. All that we want is more first class carriages and a more extended tariff at the refreshment rooms. At Mittagong on our return the roast beef was something to remark about. The cabbage half boiled and altogether as bad as one could conceive.

Young Historical Society – Brian James.


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