NEWS Of The Area this week set about finding out the answer to the long discussed question of whether there were houses in the low lying tablelands where Grahamstown Dam was built.
News Of The Area met with Gwen Tinsley Faulkner, who grew up in Medowie, to set the record straight.
Gwen confirmed that, yes, there most certainly were houses under where the Dam is now, but that most of the properties were moved from the site during the Dam’s construction.
Gwen grew up in the family home at Medowie, which was eventually reclaimed by Hunter Water Board to build the Dam.
Gwen’s parents Violet and Jack Tinsley and Maternal grandparents Ada and Arthur Williams, also resided in Medowie within the area that in now the Dam, in family homes.
Her father was a timber cutter and a cattleman, and her mother was a keen gardener.
Her grandfather was a drover.
Gwen fondly remembers her old home, and shared with News Of The Area, “It was a really lovely old house, one of the nicest there, and we had everything we needed.”
“We had a house cow to milk, and Mum used to sell eggs from the chook shed to the locals.”
Gwen recalled you needed to have a licence back then to sell eggs, and that her mother didn’t obtain such a licence.
“Someone dobbed her in, and I remember her being so cross when the Police turned up and gave her a warning and she realised someone had told on her,” she said.
Gwen has strong memories of a ‘funny little lane’ called Goodwood Road, at the end of which was a little house made of tin with a lady called Mrs Cook, who always looked out for the local children.
Gwen told News Of The Area, “I attended Medowie Public School when it was just three small buildings, and I used to go with my family across what is now the Dam in our horse and sulky to do shopping at Raymond Terrace.”
“We were one of the few residents to have the phone on, and I remember our exchange number was Medowie 34.”
Gwen’s grandparents’ home was purchased around 1958 and moved to Campvale when the water board announced their plans, and Gwen’s home with her parents was sold and moved to its current location on Fairlands Road, Medowie.
Grahamstown Lake was constructed on the former Grahamstown Moors, low lying farm land, beginning in 1957.
Water from Grahamstown was first used in 1960, though it took some years before the whole scheme was completed.
By Rachael VAUGHAN