Bathurst



When James Appleby, his family and his half brother Samuel Lewins, decided to migrate to Australia from County Durham, Samuel started his new life in Australia in Ballarat, but unlike his friends who accompanied him on his journey, he didn't stay there too long. James, who had moved to Bathurst with his family, and started work as a fitter's labourer with the Department of Railways on 23rd February 1885, contacted Samuel and suggested he join him in Bathurst. Samuel jumped at the opportunity to get together again with his half-brother and moved to Bathurst where he joined James as a fitter's labourer in the railway workshops. Samuel married Elizabeth Jane Catley, a year or so after his arrival in Bathurst. Together they had six daughters and four sons.


Bathurst District Band, winners of Besson and Boosey Cup, 1905

As there was no brass band in Bathurst at the time, and seeing the potential for one, he formed the Bathurst Railway Band, which would later become the Bathurst District Band. James was also a founding member. The band would play in the Bathurst courthouse gardens, and Samuel would ensure that the programme of music often included pieces composed by his old childhood friends Thomas Bulch and George Allan, who was a member of the first band Samuel had played in back in New Shildon.



Bulch, who wrote the tune to Waltzing Matilda, even composed a march for Sam's band, entitled Bathurst. It was created for the Bathurst Contest in 1891, at which Thomas officiated as judge. When Machattie Park in Bathurst was created in 1890, a rotunda was built for the band to perform upon. Samuel led the band - with James playing - to win the Australian Championship three times before he retired from the band in 1935 after 53 years at the helm.

The gates of Machattie Park commemorate Samuel Lewins, and were erected during the jubilee year of the band. The gates were fully restored and re-sited near the Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre in 2003.


Bathurst District Band Reunion, 2nd March 1924. Sadly James Appleby had died two years previous.

About Bathurst, NSW

Bathurst is a regional city in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales. It is about 200 kilometres west-northwest of Sydney and is the seat of the Bathurst Regional Council. Bathurst is the oldest inland settlement in Australia and had a population of approximately 35,000 as at the 2016 Census.

Bathurst is often referred to as ]Gold Country as it was the site of the first gold discovery and where the first gold rush occurred in Australia. Today education, tourism and manufacturing drive the economy. The internationally known racetrack Mount Panorama is a landmark of the city. Bathurst has an historic city centre with many ornate buildings remaining from the gold rush period of the mid to late 19th century.

Bathurst has a strong connection with Cobb & Co, a horse-drawn coaching transport business originally established in Victoria but relocated to Bathurst in 1862 to follow the gold rush. The business provided gold escorts, mail services and passenger services to the towns and rural settlements. Cobb & Co. coaches were constructed in the coaching workshops located in Bathurst and the Bathurst Information Centre contains a restored Cobb & Co. coach.

Bathurst later became the centre of an important coal-mining and manufacturing region. The Main Western railway line from Sydney reached Bathurst in 1876. From that time, the town became an important railway centre with workshops, crew base with locomotive depot and track and signal engineering offices. It remains today as the railway regional engineering headquarters with a large rail component manufacturing facility.



Above: St Barnabas Church, Bathurst, before being damaged by fire in 2014. Percy Appleby married Emily Eliza Appleby, nee Colley there, 30.9.1908; Mabel Annie Appleby married Jack Briggs, 30.10.1912; Gladys Mary Appleby married Leslie Whatley 7.10.1915.

TeesBank
Text courtesy Western Advocate.

The land around Lewins Street in Bathurst was originally granted to Sir John Jamieson, who accompanied Governor Lachlan Macquarie on his visit to Bathurst in 1815.

However, it would seem Jamieson did not take up this grant and on 1st January 1840 a further Crown grant was issued -"in order to promote settlement and in fulfilment of a promise made on or before 15th October 1831 and in consideration of Quit Rent, Her Majesty Queen Victoria did grant unto George Busby his heirs and assigns 100 acres commencing at Queen Charlotte's Vale Creek".

The reservations placed on the land were that it could be resumed, if needed, for public ways, and for stone required for construction, and any land within 100 foot of the creek could also be resumed.

Dr George Busby was appointed colonial surgeon of the colony in 1828. He lived in Howick Street but his eldest son, John, built his home on his father's grant and called it Logan Brae. Built in 1878, the building  known as St Joseph s Mount  is still in excellent condition and is the home of the Sisters of Mercy and Rahamin Ecology Centre.

Busby sold part of his land to William Spencer and Theophilus McCarthy who subsequently sold on June 29, 1888 to Bathurst Investment Land & Building Co Limited. This company further subdivided the land which was known as the South Bathurst subdivision.


Sam Lewins' home (left) and TeesBank, James Appley's home (right) in Lewins Street, Bathurst

Many of the cottages built in this subdivision in Busby, Logan and Brilliant streets were built as cottages for railway workers. Brilliant Street was changed to Lewins Street in the 1950s, named after Samuel Lewins, a railway employee who started the Bathurst Railway Brass Band in November 1885 and which later became the Bathurst District Band. Lewins lived at 2 Lewins Street.

Samuel had a half-brother named James Appleby. His mother, Mary Ann, had been previously married to Christopher Appleby and their child, James, was born in Country Durham on 13th August 1853. Mary Ann subsequently married William Lewins.

James Appleby married Jane Ann Goldsborough on 25th September 1880 and they came to Australia with their son Percy William in 1884 and to Bathurst in 1886.

James and Jane had five more children - Mabel Annie (1884), Lewis James (1888), Clarence Frederick (1890), Gladys Mary (1892) and Lance Frederick (1900). James worked as a coppersmith for the railways and was a leading tenor in the St Barnabas  choir and a founder of the Bathurst District Band.

On 29th April 1898, James Appleby purchased part of Lot 19 in the South Bathurst subdivision for £52/10/-. In September 1897 John Baines had also purchased part of Lot 19 for £45 and in April 1898 Baines sold half of his block to James, making James's block now 36ft x 120ft, which is still the area of the current house. The house is called TeesBank, named after the River Tees in James's home town in Durham.

In 1910 James took a mortgage from George McKenzie, the father-in-law of Prime Minister Ben Chifley.

On 30th October 1912, Mabel Appleby married John Briggs at St Barnabas' Church with a reception at TeesBank. Mabel was attired in "a pretty frock of white silk muslin, over mousseline de soi, trimmed with Irish crotchet, French Valenciennes insertion and lace, and white satin ribbon, ash and pale tulle veil with orange blossoms".

Bridesmaids Gladys Appleby and Leila Lewins, wore "frocks of apricot striped ninon, trimmed with cream guipure and fancy brush (oriental) trimmings, with splashes of parma violet velvet and pearl buckles, hats of cream tagel with lace and pink bebe roses ".

Following James Appleby's death in August 1922, he left TeesBank to his wife, Jane, and following Jane's death in January 1925 the property was left to her two sons, Percy William and Lewis James. Lewis renounced probate and purchased the property from Percy for £500 on 25th April 1925. He also took a mortgage from George McKenzie for £300, a document witnessed by Phyllis Donnelly, Ben Chifley's confidante and friend.

When this mortgage was repaid in 1930, Lewis took a further mortgage from Jack Tremain who owned Tremain's Mill in South Bathurst. At this time, a rear extension was added.

Lewis Appleby sold TeesBank to lecturer Jack McDonogh and his wife Colleen on 10th August 1953 for 5500 and they added a new bathroom. The next buyers were Robert Vincent Stephens, a cannery assistant, and his wife Patricia for £3600.


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