The Diary of Edgar Barwick



By Geoff Barwick


The properties owned and run by Edgar and Gloryna Barwick.


"Yarran". Jacks Creek. Bought by the Barwicks in 1935. Farm 37 of the 1935 subdivision.

"Yarrabah". Jacks Creek. Bought by the Barwicks in 1938. Farm 14 of the 1914 subdivision.




[1957 was a very dry year. Less than 17 inches of rain fell at "Yarrabah". There was another February flood, the third in a row, but the rest of the year was dry.]



Thur. 3rd Jan.

Glor and I caught the 9am bus into Manly. Caught Manly ferry and then per taxi for appointment with Dr Loewenthal. Doctor gave me a good overhaul and said my condition is quite satisfactory but that I should see him again in April. 

Glor and I had look at Phoenix automatic sewing machines and also Singer machines. Inspected carpets at Beard Watsons. Caught bus home to Narrabeen. 

Neil went into the city after lunch. Roger and Timmy had a swim and then caught bus into Narrabeen during the afternoon. 


Sat. 5th Jan.

Glor and I drove to Manly at midday and got good seats at the turf courts. £1 per seat! Saw finals of the Manly Championships. Hoad beat Franks of the USA 6-2, 6-2 in the final. Althena Gibson of the USA beat Shirley Fry of the USA 0-7, 7-5, 6-2. Gibson and Fry beat Beth Jones and Pat Parmenter in two sets. Woodcock and Gibson beat Hoad and Lovett in three sets. Wonderful tennis.


Sun. 6th Jan.

We all drove from here at 11.30am out through city and along George Street to Hume Highway. Drove through Camden and then another 8 miles out to the Rotolactor Modern Dairy. Great experience to see this working. Hundreds of people there to see this machine milking 300 cows.

The Rotolactor was a huge for the time, automatic rotating dairy at Camden. It sounds like it was also a tourist attraction?

Sat. 12th Jan.

Glor and I drove out to Lane Cove and saw Heather and Fred and their two boys Linton and Maxwell. Had afternoon tea there and then drove out Epping road to Epping. Called on Reg and Ruby Goddard and their little girl. Neil had the day at Manly again with some of his mates from Tamworth, Ian Clarke and ??? McKensie.


Mon. 14th Jan.

Everyone went for a surf this morning but I felt quite Ill so I stayed and had a rest in the caravan. 

We all set off at about 5.45pm and drove by wakehurst road to the 'Drive In Theatre' at the top of the hill. Situated near the flashing light. We had tea at the 'Drive In'. Very good show and an enjoyable experience. 

Received letter from Mum and Allen Bridge.


Mon. 21st Jan.

Nice sunny day again. All spent morning on the beach. Glor and the boys went later to the baths. All had a while in the surf again before coming home. 

Afternoon we drove to Manly. Left car at Ampol garage and had it greased and oil changed. Milage 31,680. Glor, Roger, Timmy and I had a while at the fun palour on the wharf. Neil joined us later.


Tues. 22nd Jan.

Up early and packed up caravan with all our belongings. Left Lake Park at 7.45am and drove to Belmont and had dinner there. Drove from there only a little way and struck trouble with bearing in wheel of caravan. Pulled up at Charlestown Motors and got new bearing for wheel and a mechanic fixed it for us. Left Charlestown at 4.30pm. Had tea at Muswellbrook. Arrived home at 10.30pm. Light rain falling as we got home and there was 60 points today.


Thur. 24th Jan.

Allan, Joyce, Adrian and Vivian Bridge packed up all their goods on the Austin truck and left for home. They looked after our place while we were away at Narrabeen. Allan brought the truck back again after unloading. 

Neil mustered up all the cows and calves in "Yarrabah" and brought them up to the sheep yards. We drafted off six more calves and marked them. Makes total of 30 calves now marked since 30th June.


Thur. 31st Jan.

'Nenco' man, Peter Rudd brought a southern buyer to inspect my 225 shorn 1st cross ewe lambs. He bought 200 at 90/- per head. 

I am feeling very sick with aches in the stomach so I drove to Quirindi and saw Dr Cooper. He gave me some medicine.


Sat. 2nd Feb.

Neil took Glors 12 steers to Bill Dalys ramp to be trucked to Willow Tree. Chesworth buyer bought the steers at £35-15-0 per head. Deal made through Nenco. 

We all drove to Quirindi for the day and did a spot of shopping. The boys swam in the baths this arvo. We saw Pop and Nanna and then went to the pictures.


Tues. 5th Feb.

Neil and I mustered "Yarrabah" ewes and lambs and drafted out a few more shorn ewe lambs. Yarded the ewe lambs from front paddock and made up the 200 sold to Roth. Bernie Howard loaded 160 ewe lambs onto his truck and we loaded 40 onto the Austin. We took the 200 young ewes to Quirindi trucking yards. I had lunch up there and called at Willow Tree for the stock sale.

Coombes changed the oil in the Austin and renewed flexible lead and new diaphragm in pump. Neil did more ploughing in the 30 acres. Glor attended CWA meeting in Willow Tree.


Sun. 10th Feb.

Neil drove to Warrah Creek to play cricket match. Heavy rain washed out play. Heavy storm here this afternoon. 120 points in one big fall.


Mon. 11th Feb.

John Coombes came out here this morning and checked the Nuffield tractor. He suggested taking it into his garage fro a general overhaul.

I drove to Quirindi and saw Dr Cowlishaw. He gave me a course of three lots of tablets to take. Amounts to 16 tablets per day. I hope this treatment will clean up my gastric and pains in stomach etc. 

Glor spent all arvo in Willow Tree helping in the mobile X-ray for the TB unit. 


Sat. 16th Feb.

Neil completed the last panel of the 4 rail fence on the side of the race to the sheep dip.

Glor and I attended big party in Willow Tree hall. Mr and Mrs Fred Benham senr celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Very large crowd of people there. 


Mon. 18th Feb.

Neil commenced making a four ft, ten inch batten gate for outlet from behind the forcing race into the spray dip. Neil completed the gate this arvo. 

I am terribly weak again. Have severe burning in chest and a lot of vomiting and aches in stomach. Glor and I drove to Quirindi and saw Dr Cowlishaw. I have to continue taking some of the tablets, but have left off one lot. They do not agree with me. Glor also saw Dr Cooper and had a thorough check up. He confirmed our suspicions regarding the new arrival!


Tues. 19th Feb.

109 points rain registered this morning. Rain started with southerly showers, but then it turned into flood rains! The creek came down this morning but just a small flood. About 1pm heavy rain started, but must have been torrential up the head of the range! Jacks Creek came over banks at about 2pm and developed into one of the biggest floods we've had. Broke bank levi  towards north end and flowed under the shearing shed. Lapped over the bank in a number of places and Neil and I reinforced the low parts with fence posts. 


Wed. 20th Feb.

Neil, Brian Seymour and I commenced job of repairing fences after the big flood. We repaired road boundary fence and tried to fix the break in the levi bank. 


Wed. 27th Feb.

Brian and Maurice Seymour finished crutching the old wethers in "Yarran" plain. Total crutched was 785. Neil and I pressed up bale of crutchings and still have a heap of crutch wool left. Afternoon, Neil, Brian and Maurice started fixing up fence washed down at lower end of lucerne. 

Dick and Doris Ferris came along for afternoon and brought Mum also. I took Dick around "Yarrabah" for inspection of our place. They stayed till nearly dark and they enjoyed their visit.


Thur. 7th March.

[Gloryna writing diary.]

Neil up at 5.30am. Milked cows and finished the 40 acre before breakfast. Ploughed till 7.30pm in 30 acre. 

Norm Greentree came along with his dozer and set to on our levi banks. Made a great job of them. Nearly twice as high. 


Fri. 8th March.

[Gloryna Writing diary]

Neil up at 5.30am and finished the 30 acre before breakfast. Mustered "Yarrabah" ewes and lambs into yards to draft ready for delivery on Monday. He rode the new filly and found her very satisfactory.

Timmy at home with conjuctivitis. I preserved 15 bottles of pinapple. Got a case from Lismore at £2 per case. Neil had a game of tennis in at Willow Tree with Jack Ham, Bill Daly and Kevin Johns. Ron, Sue and Peter came along in the ute and got one border leicester Ram. He bought it off us for £10-10.


Mon. 11th March.

Neil mustered the 470 merino ewes and 60 lambs. We picked out a few strays. We started the ewes and lambs on the road at 2pm. Neil is riding the new cream filly and I went in the Landrover. Landed the 470 ewes and 60 lambs into the Pinnacle reserve at 5pm. 

Neil Rogie and Timmy went this morning in Landrover to Alex Symonds and collected 7 bags of belah oats at 35/- per bag.


Tues. 12th March.

Took Neil into Pinnacle Reserve and he rode from there to Willow tree. He drove the ewes and lambs in and landed them at trucking yards at 3.30pm. Col Logan is trucking them.


Wed. 13th March.

Neil commenced sowing oats in the 30 acre. He got about 13 acres sowed by the afternoon when a heavy storm came on in.

Glor and I drove Mum to Scone this morning to stay a few weeks with Uncle Harold and Amy. We had lunch with them. Had a look through Campbell's store and came home at 5pm. 


Fri. 22nd March.

Neil and I loaded the engine and spray outfit onto the Landrover and cleaned up some burrs and mint weed in "Yarran" plain. Sprayed the burrs in north east corner in the gully and the silted ground. Not many about this year. Neil went on and cleaned up all the gullies in the top timber. 

Working Bee here at "Yarrabah" to finish getting sports ground ready for the sports day.


Mon. 25th March. 

I drove to Quirindi this arvo and consulted Drs Cowlishaw and Cooper. They are sending me to Sydney next week to see speciallist about my bladder trouble.


Wed. 27th March.

Elwyn and Vera had the night with us. Glor and I drove them round "Yarrabah" to have a look at the country. Neil mustered up the new wethers and we inspected them. Drove through "Yarran" and then to the top paddock and inspected our new poll hereford cows. They left for home before lunch.

I finished spraying burrs on fire breaks in "Yarrabah". Neil finished the cultivation for the second time. 


Thur. 28th March.

Vicar Bagnall called on us for a while this arvo. He left me a book for us to read. "The Will To Live". 

Neil did about 8 hours in the 40 acre paddock with the disk cultivator. I repaired the door post and reswung the door at west end on the living room. 


Sat. 30th March.

Big sports day on "Yarrabah" in aid of hall funds. Good program of horse sports. Very large crowd and it was most successful. £160 cleared for the day. Neil rode his new mare 'Goldie' in a few events. Glor helped in the luncheon booth all day.





[Edgar only makes another three diary entries, and that's not for two months away, in June. This is Gloryna's Diary notes now.]


Mon. 1st April.


I brought Pop and Nanna out to help with the shearing. Brian Seymour also helping in the shed and Tony Barwick and Maurice Seymour shearing. The wethers are cutting better than anticipated but Tony and Maurice don't like shearing them. 


Wed. 3rd April.

Shearing again today. Maurice shore 82 and Tony 85. Shearing going well. Finished the wethers today. They cut 18 bales plus 12 fleeces which works out at 12 lbs each. 


Sat. 6th April. 

The boys and I went to Quirindi Show. John drove all over the place in the Landrover for a looksee before he goes to Sydney in the morning. Brian and Lila called to say hello at night.


Sun. 7th April.

Neil and I took John in to catch the 4.45am train to Sydney. Picked up Ron at warrah. John was admitted to Royal North Shore hospital at 3.30pm. Ron is staying down there with him and staying at Crows Nest Hotel.


Wed. 10th April.

John had aneasthetic to enable speciallists to investigate his illness. They found malignancy in swollen glands and recommended a course of deep ray treatment. 


Thur. 11th April.

Ron rang me this morning with the bad news of the Drs findings. I decided to go to Sydney immediately to be with my poor darling. Couldn't get a seat on the flyer so caught North West Mail at night.

Took Roger to Dr Cooper for a check up before he goes to Farrer.


Fri. 12th April.

Arrived at Royal Standard Hotel at 7am. Ron and Dette called on me after breakfast. It was a bitter sweet meeting for John and I but despite the sadness there is nothing but sunshine for me just as long as we are together. 


Sat. 13th April.

Out to the hospital for the day. John is not too bad but has a good deal of pain. Joy and Adrian arrived per flyer at 9pm. Allan and I both met them at Central. Adrian went out to the show ground with his dad. Joy and I had a cuppa and went to bed.


Sun. 14th April. 

Joy and I both had the whole day at the hospital. Auntie Corry called during the afternoon.


Wed. 17th April.

I went out to RNSH in good time. Got a taxi and took John into Dr Hams rooms at B.M.A. House, 135 Macquarie Street for first of deep ray treatment. Only 5 minutes each day but almost too much for John. 

I went to the show for afternoon and night.


Tues. 23rd April.

I went to the hospital and packed John's goods and chattels. We took a taxi to B.M.A. House for ray treatment and then up to the Royal Standard Hotel where we are to live for the rest of our time in Sydney. We have a lovely room on second floor and have every comfort and conveniance.


Fri. 26th April.

All these days the routine is much the same. Some days John is well, others he is doing poorly. The nights likewise.

Meanwhile at home Neil is doing good work. He has sown 40 acres of oats and 10 acres of pasture grasses. Cut and sprayed a lot of burrs and generally kept things going well. Boys are batching and getting along OK. The neighbours are all wonderful.


Sun. 12th May.

No ray treatment today so we sat in the sun in Hyde Park for two and a half hours. The weather is perfect.


Wed. 15th May.

Up at 6.45am and dressed ready to come home. Ron arrived at 7am to look after John while I'm away. We had a cuppa and I caught a taxi to Central. I hated to leave John but it can't be helped. Had a good trip home. Dette and the boys were at the station. Just wonderful to see them again. Country looked grand and everything in apple pie order. Grandma and Auntie Maud here but Neil took them home before tea. We all went to Hectors for a bon-fire. A great crowd there and we didn't get home till midnight. 


Thur. 16th May.

It's nice to be home. Much as I miss John. Days are lovely but the nights bitterly cold. I made two batches of buscuits and cleaned up. Sewed names on Rogers sox, shirts, jumpers etc. Went with the boys around "Yarran". Feed and stock look excellent.

Our wool sold in Newcastle. Tops brought 106. 2nds 104. Wethers averaged 12.6 lbs each.


Fri. 17th May.

Roger, Timmy and I went to Quirindi. Paid cheque of £700 into bank for cattle. Got Roger two pairs of khaki trousers from Reillys. Collected Neils tennis racquet from Rooneys. Called on Dr Cooper. I'm 10 stone 11 lbs. 100% pass. Had lunch with Mum and home. Neil split stove wood, rotary hoed the orchard. Then he went and got the new jersey cow and bally steer calf and put them in the cow paddock. Later in afternoon Neil took the Nuffield over to Jack Sparrow mill, connected up the pump jack and pumped water for a few hours.


Sat. 18th May.

Helped the boys get in the new jersey heifer and milk her. Neil set the tractor going again on the pump jack at Jack Sparrows mill. Turned it off at 2pm, tank full to the brim. Neil went to Quipolly with Milton playing tennis. Then they went to the pictures in Quirindi. The littlies and I went to the picture in Willow Tree. 


Mon. 20th May.

Up in good time. Neil brought the tractor back from "Yarran". We drove to Tamworth. Got Roger a pair of overalls and a Farrer jumper. Had lunch at the Golden Bell. Bought a case of apples at 22/6. Took Roger out to Farrer at 4pm. Met Mr Monty and Mr Gillinan, Dep Head. I paid Rogers fees, £50 per term. £5 school fees and £10 allowance. Roger is in a dormitry with 14 other boys. He packed his clothes away and left him. Home at 7pm. Rang Royal Standard and had a lovely talk to John. Says he is feeling better and expects to be home on Friday. Hurrah!!!


Fri. 24th May.

Maurice Seymour and Neil crutched farm wethers. 297. Jersey heifer died at machinery shed for no apparent reason. 

I went in to meet the flyer. Dette also there. My John is home again and looking very well considering the severe treatment he has undergone the last 7 weeks. The sun shines again for me.


Sat. 25th May.

Neil burnt the jersey heifer that died. Then he went to Colly Blue with Ronnie Seymour playing tennis.


[Edgar writes in diary now the next three days.]


Fri. 31st May.

Neil mustered "Yarrabah" ewes into yards before breakfast, ready for dipping. Started dipping at 9am and all finished at lunch at rate of 350 per hour. Dipped 165 ewes and 13 rams plus about 475 "Rossmore" wethers. A few missed. Transfered 100 wethers and 13 rams to plain. 

In the afternoon Ronnie, over for dipping and Neil carted 2 loads of gravel for front road, and spread them. Made plans for killing wild roan bull calf tomorrow afternoon. 


Sat. 1st June.

Wallace, Milton, Ronnie and Neil all rode into "Rathcown". Got out the bull with little trouble. Then put out 7 steers from 30 acres to lighten load on oats. After dinner, Wallace, Milton, and Neil slaughtered bull, cut him up before dark. Nanna, Dodie, Bert, Nell and kids visited us after dinner. Wallace took half the bull.

Neil received a spotlight from Ronnie.


Sun. 2nd June.

Set tractor pumping water in "Yarran" at 11.30am. No water because of lack of wind. Ronnie came and rode 'Flame' and 'Dandy' home. Neil went to Warrah Creek with Milton after dinner to play tennis. Had extra good game until dark. 


[Thats the last diary entry Edgar makes.]

Mon. 3rd June.


Neil split a heap of wood for the Wonderheat. Put new handle in hammer. Rotary hoed western side of garden and brought tractor back from "Yarran". Afternoon we went to Quirindi. John saw Dr Cowlishaw. John weighed 10 st, 10 lbs. I ordered venetian blindsfrom Rountrees. A westinghouse stove from G Wheeler and fibrock for toilet, shower from F W Williams. Neil collected black and white collie Puppy, 'Ruff' from Mr Tulton at Braifield. £3.


Fri. 7th June.

Callaghans put new piece of pipe in place of broken one. New T-piece and new gate valve. Ron took Neil to Quirindi to get papers to fill in to get special drivers licence for him. The jersey heifer showed a negative to T.B. needle so we will milk her. Neil put 'Buttercup' and steer calf, jersey heifer and red calf, and dry jersey down the bottom of "Yarrabah". 

Vicar Bagnall called for a little while. Auther and Audrey brought their slides and projector over and we had a wonderful view of their trip to Adelaide.


Sat. 8th June.

Joy rang and said they all had colds so could not come down. Neil greased the land rover and then him and Milton and Ronnie went to Colly Blue playing tennis. Timmy and I went to the Far West concert in at Willow Tree and we took Renee.


Fri. 14th June.

Mrs Tourle brought Roger home from Farrer for the long weekend. John hadn't seen Roger for 9 weeks. Neil took 7 jersey heifers and one calf to Dalys ramp. Howard picked them up and took to Kootingal. Maurice Seymour and Neil erected an electric fence in 80 acres to fence off pasture grass plot. Then the started applying a coat of sealer to our bedroom.


Mon. 17th June.

We are having wonderful weather, but need rain bad now. The three boys went per Landrover to Red Cross sports at Warrah Creek. Neil won the tennis with 22 games. Late afternoon I drove over for a while. 

Neil then went with Milton to kitchen tea for Maurice and Val at Warrah Creek hall. 

John had a very bad night with gastric upset. I got to bed at 2.30am. 


Fri. 21st June.

Neil did a lot of painting in our room. Put copal on cupboards. Painted skirting boards. I met Nanna on flyer. She is having a few days with us. N.Z.L. [New Zealand Loan. A two story house in Willow Tree. Where Robyn Marheins art gallery is today] office and house burnt to the ground last night in Willow Tree. Laurie and Beryl Seymour called in to see us during the afternoon.


Sat. 22nd June.

A very wet morning. Maurice Seymour's and Val Avards wedding day. Neil and I set out in the Humber but got properly bogged on Pinnacle hill. Neil got a lift home and got the Landrover. We got to the ceremony at Quirindi just in time. Reception for 120 guests in Willow Tree and Maurice and Val even came out to see John for a little while. I came home in Landrover via Warrah Creek. 


Fri. 28th June.

Boys finished doors and skirting boards in hall. Moved furniture back into spare room. Ronnie put up curtains and mirror in spare room. 

Neil started sowing 23 acre bottom lucerne paddock with belah oats. Timmothy went to kankool to have the weekend with Kevin and Max Johns. Plenty of feed in top lucerne paddock. Ewes are mud fat and lambs gallore. One set of triplets. Rogers ewe has twin lambs again.


Sun. 30th June.

77 points of rain last night. Just what we wanted. Neil went to Tamworth for the day with Ronnie. Ron and Peggy Symonds called in. Ron, Dette, Sue and Pete, Grandma and Aunt Maud called in.


Thur. 4th July.

Neil and I had a looksee at the sheep and fences. Neil renovated two panels at rear of V Yard with 2 strips of air strip. Made a very good job of it. Alma, Florrie Saunders and Addie Winnet called on us during the afternoon. Ron and Grandma and Aunt Maud came along at night. 


Mon. 8th July.

The day when my whole life was changed. My darling was very sick all night. He can't keep any food down and very comatose. Ron called at 6.30. John had a slight blackout and we sent for Dr Cooper who came at 7.15 and said he should go to hospital. The ambulance came at 8.30. Ron drove the Humber, Dette their Plymouth and I went in the ambulance with John. He was very uncomfortable and took a bad turn just on the outskirts of Quirindi. He was still alive when we got to the hospital but died before they got him out. So peacefully. Just we two together, his arm around me, just as we have been since we met in 1938. God grant him peace. A wonderful husband and father. 

The vicar came to the hospital and stayed a long while. We had a cuppa at Nannas and home at 1am to break the news to my poor Neil.


Tues. 9th July.

Ron went to Quirindi today to make arrangements for the funeral. Wallace came after breakfast and brought a basket of cakes etc. Likewise Jim and Ruth during the morning. Rev Gorrie of Tamworth got Roger from Farrer and put him on the flyer and Neil and Timmy met him in the Landrover. Poured rain today. 21 points at 9am and 79 more by 4pm. Ron and Dette called after tea. I spent most of the afternoon taking telegrams from far and wide.


Wed. 10th July.

Wallace came at 10am to drive us to Willow Tree. The funeral at St Oswalds at 11am. Vicar gave a lovely address. The flowers were gorgeous. So many people turned up despite the mud. The biggest funeral ever seen in Willow Tree. Elwin, Vere and Robert were down. Also Uncle Dave and Auntie Mary, Auntie Ivy and Uncle Arn. 

The boys are wonderful to me. I couldn't have got through the last 12 months without them.

Thats it for Edgars diarys. Grandma fills out the diarys meticulously, just like Edgar did, for decades later until Dad takes over. But that's all that I'm going to do. 



Bob and Lillian Ferris. Glorina's parents.
From Ron's diary.
From Ron's diary.

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Latest comments

25.09 | 09:36

Absolutely delighted to come across a part of my direct ancestors history about which I knew very little and shall endeavour to find out more
Thank you Prof. A.

23.09 | 22:23

Very interesting Kelaher family history. Impressive number of trained nursing sisters. Jack lent the Copelands a cream horse, Playboy, in 1950's, ridden by Kate

09.09 | 17:58

Wonderfully informative. Thank goodness for Jane and John Atchison's work

06.09 | 14:33

I am Jack Kelaher and I am proud of my pop, dad and ancestors.

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