Interview with Mr Lawless
Lily Interviewed Mr Max Lawless.
Looking at old photos together.
Below is some of the information Mr Lawless wrote down for Lily. You can also find audio interviews on the other pages with extra information.
My name is Max Lawless.
My father worked for the Victorian Railways. Dad shifted to Bungaree from Murchison East in June 1941 –this was in the middle of World War II. Dad Died in 1997 aged 96 years.
I had one and a half years at Bungaree Primary School. My first teacher was Miss Michell who was a relieving teacher. We then had Mr Bob Keddie. Older people in Bungaree would know his name. His daughters were Margaret, Pat and Lorraine. Lorraine married John Trigg and lives in Lesters Road.
When we shifted to Bungaree there were three railway houses near the station, but none were available to rent. Dad rented a farm house from Mr Ed Keeble (who wrote a lot about Bungaree's history). Six months later a house in town became available. It was three down from the church - opposite the store and it was owned by Tinneys. In the houses owned by Tinneys lived firstly T. Hishon who loaded the trucks with potatoes, and then G. Adams who stocked the hay and also loaded the hay, and then we moved in. Next to us lived A. Taylor who was the steam boiler driver for the Chaff Mill. We paid 10 shillings (a dollar) for a week's rent. The house sold for $600 in 1970.
The Railway station
The station never closed –there were three shifts; morning, afternoon and night. There were Express trains from Adelaide and Mildura.
Kids went to school in Ballarat on the school train –we called it the Shanghi. It started at Ballan and stopped at all stations. It got to Bungaree at 7.30 and stopped in Ballarat at 8.00am. We left to come home at 4.30 and got here at 5.00pm
Goods trains picked up parcels and also milk and cream which went to the Butter factory in Wallace. The main produce carried was potatoes, chaff, wood, sheep and horses. Opposite the station were sheds where sheep and cattle waited to be loaded using special ramps.
Working at the station was hard work. They had to fill the train signals with kerosene. Men had to walk or ride a bike to each signal and climb up to fill them. The signals were changed using big levers in the station so that trains could stop or go.
The shop had a post office, bank, delivered groceries and ran the Chaff Mill. Opposite the mill was the stack paddock where they stacked the wood for the Boiler. There was also hay stacks of over 500 tonnes thatched to waterproof them. The hay was taken to the mill to be cut into chaff. Later the Mill moved to the other side of the railway line.
Wood was carted from Mollinghip by Angus Quick and Frank Suckling.
Small Potato drays with one horse up to Big wagons with 7 horses lined up waiting to be unloaded. Each horse would have its nose bag on and ate chaff from the mill while it waited. The men would stand and talk.
Dad died in 1997 aged 96 years.
Click here to go to the railway photos