Eric Barwick

Eric was interviewed by Neil Barwick in his lovely Unit in "The Gables" at Quirindi Retirement Homes

Eric's father George Barwick

 

Eric Barwick was born in Murrurundi on 8th April 1924 to parents George and Matilda. His parents were married in the Anglican Church at Thornthwaite, Sparkes Creek out of Scone, in 1908.

 

His father George Barwick and uncle Ivan Barwick were shearers. They would walk over the Cedar Brush with their bikes, pedal to Willow Tree rail station, catch the train to Burren Junction then pedal to Walgett to shear in sheds in that area.

 

George was a very talented carpenter and in between shearing jobs, he built a home in Scone. After getting married they lived in Scone for 4 years.

 

By 1910, the White family of “Belltrees” owned land all the way to Blandford. In 1912, 4 blocks had been cut off and balloted for. George Barwick drew a block of 630 acres at Green Creek at Timor which he named “Duxsford”. It was very poor country, overrun by rabbits, lots of prickly pear and heavily timbered. At the end of World War 1, the 4 families of the new blocks decided to build a school. Tom Murphy and the others asked George Barwick if he would build a school for £100. This was done and built on “Duxsford”, opened in 1920 with Miss Gogarty from Murrurundi as the first teacher. The school closed in 1926, reopened in 1933 but to close again in 1939 with 14 children still in attendance.

Eliza Barwick (nee Newling)-Eric's grandmother

George Barwick’s brother Ivan had drawn Farm 35 in the 1912 Warrah subdivision.  While riding back and forth over the Cedar Brush to his parents farm on Sparkes Creek, Ivan dug up red cedar tree seedlings and planted them along the bank of Warrah Creek in 1912.  From 20 planted trees only 1 has permanently survived to this day.  In 1933 Ivan asked his brother Len to help run the Farm he named “Cedarvale”.  Ivan’s nephew Victor Barwick also helped on the farm having bought a motorbike and riding between “Duxsford” at Timor and “Cedarvale” at Warrah Creek.  Unfortunately Len developed a brain tumour and died in 1940.

Eric Barwick, at the top of the range on "Ashcroft".

George Barwick leased “Cedarvale” in 1940; Ivan died in 1941 and as he was a bachelor, George inherited the Farm 35.

 

Sons Eric and Victor Barwick helped keep the Farm going while brothers Jack and Cyril were away for over 5 years fighting in the World War 2.

 

Eric did a lot of work also with Max Saunders cutting wood and carting livestock.

 

During a very dry period in the mid 40’s, George took a large mob of bullocks from “Cedarvale” to Ernest Barwick & Sons’ property “Yarran” at Big Jacks Creek on agistment.  “Yarran” had been purchased by the family in the 1935 Warrah subdivision sale.  These bullocks were subsequently fattened and then sold to Tom McCluand who owned a butchers shop at Old Warrah village.

 

In 1952, Eric and Cyril Barwick bought Farms 3, 4 and 5 from Mrs Reid.  A few years earlier, Mr Reid had been killed by a low flying aeroplane while working on another farm owned by the family.  Mrs Reid tried to carry on farming without success.  At time of purchase the Farms were very rundown, virtually no fences remaining but the soil was rich and fertile.  After considerable negotiation with Mrs Reid over the price, Eric and Cyril agreed to buy the Farms when she included a near new Field Marshall 40 HP tractor in the deal.  This tractor is still going, having been purchased and restored by Robert Clark.

 

The brothers farmed the 1200 acres with mainly fodder crops being grown to fatten stock, and small areas of grain crops produced.

 

The partnership was dissolved in 1964 with Eric retaining Farm 5 called “Braeburn” and part of Farm 4.  In 1998 Eric and wife Marjorie sold the Farms and retired to Quirindi.

 

 

Eric has a copy of a map produced in the late 1800’s showing a proposed route deviation of the northern railway line from Willow Tree to Murrurundi. It would turn west after crossing Chilcotts Creek and go up the Borambil Creek valley.  This deviation would have taken the new line through some of the south-eastern lands owned by the Australian Agricultural Company, including Eric’s Farms.  When the English based A.A. Company directors heard of and saw the proposed new route, they were immediately enraged and insisted the then state government not change the route and leave it to where it is today!  This was done so the Directors obviously had a great deal of influence then over the bureaucrats!  Compared to the proposed new deviation route, the present rail line is much steeper in grade, has much sharper bends and the tunnel is higher up in elevation.

Over many years Eric and Marjerie had collected and displayed on “Braeburn”, a huge amount of antique and heritage equipment and artefacts, most of which originated in the subdivision area.  After their retirement to Quirindi, this display was moved to the Heritage Village Museum on the Gunnedah Road, a few kms west of Quirindi.  Eric and Marjorie spent countless hours setting up their wonderful collection in specially prepared display rooms at the Museum, readily available for future generations to see forever.

 

Sadly Marjorie passed away in 2011, and Eric is now residing in a lovely unit in “The Gables” Retirement Home in Quirindi.

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sandra saunders | Reply 03.11.2019 17:08

Absolutely wonderful family history.

Helen Copeland | Reply 11.01.2017 10:45

Another interesting interview along with old photos. Cheers to Eric and thank you Neil.

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27.12 | 18:19

Just a quick point re Mary Gallagher (Pearson). While Mary did die in Armidale the date was 26 September 1886 (NSW BDM 12817/1886)

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27.12 | 18:13

Just a quick point re Mary Gallagher (Pearson). While Mary did die in Armidale the date was 26 September 1886 (NSW BDM 12817/1886)

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18.12 | 17:53

Thank you so much Geoff, love the photos our 4 sons will have a great time going through all of them. Wonderful memories.

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18.12 | 15:00

That was quick Heather. Well done. I've tagged you in a few things. Hope you enjoy it.

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