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Chidlow, Western Australia

HistoryEdit

The Chidlow townsite was originally known variously as Chidlow's Flat, Chidlow's Springs or Chidlow's Well after a well and stockyard on the old Mahogany Creek to Northam road. The well was sunk by William Chidlow, a pioneer of the Northam district, who originally established the Northam road. Chidlow arrived in the colony in 1831. Settlement began in 1883 when it became known that Chidlow's Well was to be the terminus of the second section of the Eastern Railway, which was opened in March 1884. Chidlow's Well railway station and townsite were renamed Chidlow in 1920.[2][3]

The railway station and yard were of significance in the operation of the Eastern Railway from the 1880s to the 1960s. Lake Leschenaultia was originally constructed to provide water for the steam trains. Various proposals have been put forward to rebuild the railway to Midland especially due to the restricted nature of public transport to the Chidlow area. Nowadays, the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail retraces the 70 kilometres of the old Eastern Railway which was constructed from Fremantle to York in the 1880s.

Military HistoryEdit

During World War II Chidlow was the location of a significant Army Camp on the Old Northam Road near Haigh and Forge Roads. Erection of Camp buildings at Chidlows was completed in March 1943.

Designated a Brigade camp with three Battalions, Chidlows Army Camp was constructed to accommodate up to 1000 troops in some 15 camp areas.[4]

AttractionsEdit

Since the closure of the railway the Chidlow community has adjusted from being an important transport location to more of a rural retreat location. The Railway Reserve Heritage Trail has become one of the major recreational facilities in the Shire of Mundaring, and is suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding.

The Chidlow Tavern sits opposite the park where the Chidlow's Wells Station once stood.

Lake Leschenaultia is popular with both locals and visitors and provides safe swimming, canoe hire, walking trails and camping.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Chidlow (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2008-10-05.
  2. ^ Macadam (21 Nov 1849). "Roads". The Inquirer (Perth). p. 4. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  3. ^ Page, Charles (2008). Wings of Destiny: Wing Commander Charles Learmonth DFC and Bar, and the Air War in New Guinea. Sydney: Rosenberg Publishing. p. 392. ISBN 978-1877058646.
  4. ^ McKenzie-Smith, G (1994), The ebb and flow of the Australian Army in Western Australia, 1941 to 1945, Grimwade Publications, ISBN 978-0-646-17768-7

Further readingEdit

  • Elliot, Ian (1983). Mundaring - A History of the Shire (2nd ed.). Mundaring: Mundaring Shire. ISBN 0-9592776-0-9.
  • Spillman, Ken (2003). Life was meant to be here: community and local government in the Shire of Mundaring. Mundaring: Mundaring Shire. ISBN 0-9592776-3-3.
  • Watson, Lindsay (1995). The railway history of Midland Junction : commemorating the centenary of Midland Junction, 1895-1995. Swan View, W.A: L & S Drafting, Shire of Swan & Western Australian Light Railway Preservation Association. ISBN 0-646-24461-2.

External linksEdit