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NATIONAL PARK

Walpole-Nornalup National Park time line 1
Monastery Landing Frankland River
Monastery Landing, Frankland River, c1920
Frankland River Bridge after 1937 fires
Frankland River Bridge c1939: replaced the original bridge built in 1920, destroyed in 1937 fire.
John Rate cutting sleepers
Jack Rate: Forestry Officer and Ranger. Cutting sleepers.

   Tap here to down load from DBCA website library: Walpole-Nornalup National Park: Celebrating 100 Years (DBCA: Landscope, 2010, Christie Mahony and Bron Anderson).

SETTLEMENT

The Tingledale Group Settlement scheme: Group 116 started in 1924: deep in the karri forests adjacent to the Valley of the Giants.

Settlement at Hazelvale (originally called Hazelwood: Groups 138 and 139) commenced in 1927. These settlements were north-east of the Valley of the Giants.
Many of the settlers here arrived from England as part of the British Empire Group Settlement Scheme. ABC Local Radio has (2014)  published a story by Gwendoline Williams who was 12 in 1924 when her family took up the Group Settlement Scheme and made the boat trip out from England.
Group 116 in front of shacks
Group 116 (Tingledale) settlers in front of shacks
about 1924-25.
Group 116 School
Group 116 (Tingledale) School opened 1925.
The building, on the Valley of the Giants road,
at the Hazelvale Road intersection
remains as a community centre.
Single teacher's quarters are at right of the photo.

Children, schooling and supplies

Group 116 School and Harry North's Store (just 40-50 metres down the road from the school); opened in 1924.
This helped meet the settlers needs for supplies and schooling of their children.
By 1930 there were 3 schools in the area: Group 116 (Tingledale) School: 1925-1968; Group 138 (Surreydale Farm) School: 1928-1934 (near intersection Hazelvale Road and Settlers' Boundary Road); and, Group 139 (Hazelvale) School 1928-1940 (corner Hazelvale and Hazelvale North Roads).
Map of Mark's Siding
Primarily a place of learning for the children, the school was also a social hub for meetings, dances and church services that brought people together and helped to allay the isoloation.
Tap here  to go to another page with more information about the Hazelvale-Tingledale Group Settlement.

Group Settlement Scheme

Difficulties faced by the settlers and those administering the scheme were enormous and there was social and financial distress: especially with the Depression in the 1930's. But much was achieved including productive farms, roads and bridges, a railway and schools.

Transport

Transport of supplies for the early settlers was difficult. Before roads and rail many supplies came by ship to the mouth of the Walpole-Nornalup inlet where they were transferred to a smaller boat that could mange the inlet opening and on to the Frankland or Deep Rivers.
The 1920's and the Group Settlement Scheme saw a massive increase in road and bridge building including bridges over the Frankland (1920 and Hazelvale (now Bridge Road): 1933; Deep and Walpole Rivers.
Marks siding
Mark's Siding after closure of the railway in 1957.
 Rest Point Remembered:  In 1920 Tom Swarbrick Snr ... worked for a firm contracted to build bridges over the Frankland, Walpole and Deep Rivers. The contract was given Tom Moir on 5 May 1920 for £2680 ... Frankland River Bridge: £1721; Walpole River Bridge: £414; and Deep River bridge: £545. Timber for the Frankland and Deep River bridges was milled on location, for the Walpole River it was milled at Nornalup and floated to the construction site with drum floats.[1]
  Tap here to download a newspaper cutting regarding the Hazelvale bridge across the Frankland River: first built in 1933 and replaced  in 1985.

Marks Siding, Valley of the Giants

The Denmark-Walpole railway was officially opened on 7 December 1929. The first train to Nornalup came through on 11 June 1929. Mark's Siding was built to supply settlers in the Hazelvale-Tingledale (Valley of the Giants)Group Settlement Scheme.
Even so, for many it was an all-day event: getting horse and cart ready and plodding down to the siding; meeting the train; loading supplies; then slogging back to the settlement: with a heavy load.

Sgt Alexander MARK

The siding was named in respect of Police Sergeant Alexander Mark, owner of property near Mark's Siding. Sgt Mark was murdered whilst on police duty on 9 March 1928 ( pdf document and photo).

Photo Gallery

 Tap image thumbnail for enlargement and to scroll through each slide.
Group settlers arriving in Albany
Group settlers from England arriving in Albany.
North's Store c1940
North's Store, Hazelvale-Tingledale Group Settlement, c 1940
Mark's siding 1
Mark's Siding loop under construction, 1929.
mark's siding 2
Cutting near Mark's Siding, 1929.
mark's siding 3
Realigning the road just before Mark's Siding.
Mark's siding 4
Sam, Norman, Pam and Denys, Mark's Siding 1931-2.

NATURE BASED RECREATION

It seems that one of the things that motivated development of Walpole was its unique wildernes appeal and the desire to share it. The Bellanger family that had settled in the area in 1910 opened Nornalup Park Guest House for guests and paying visitors in 1917.
Tinglewood established by the Thompson family on the Deep River has paying guests (tents and a barn) in 1922.
Tom Swarbrick built the guest house at Rendezvous (Rest Point) in 1927. First guests arrived Easter that year.

Walpole Wilderness guest accommodation in the 1930s

 Tap image thumbnail for enlargement and to scroll through each slide.
Nornalup Park c1930
Frankland River with Nornalup Park Bellanger property c1930. The family opened Nornalup Park Guest House for guests and paying visitors in 1917.
Tinglewood Guesthouse c1930
Tinglewood Guest House (Deep River); verandah and gardeen with guests c1930.
Rendezvous Guest House c1930
Rendezvous (Rest Point) Guest House with flag pole. Walpole Inlet in the background (1930s).

The South West Highway Manjimup-Walpole was upgraded in 1956 and the West Australian Government Railway (WAGR) operated a bus service Perth to Albany via Walpole.
With better roads and increasingly accessible motor cars and public transport, and places to stay a lived experience of the Walpole Wilderness and the Valley of the Giants became within the reach of more people.


  1. [1]: Rest Point Remembered, Derek Hands, The story of Rest Point at Walpole, the Swarbrick family and those that followed, 2005, p26
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  •   Last revision: 11 July 2022