The Publican and the Pig

Sly Grog Shanty

Sly Grog Shanty

Coolgardie 1905

Paddy Murphy ran a ‘Shypoo’ (sly grog) ranch unbeknownst to the authorities. His establishment was always identified by Paddy’s favorite pet pig. Paddy could not read or write, nor could his wife Bridget. Their system of accounting didn’t apply the rules of double entry it answered all practical accounting purposes well enough. It was simplicity itself.

For each customer a large potato was held in the back room and Paddy made a nick in the said vegetable each time a drink was ordered. After a long evening all the old weight chasers had folded up their tents and called in to ‘wash off’ the track. They called to Paddy for their account at the end of their revels.

Rushing out to the back room to count out their indebtedness calamity awaited him!!!!!!  Horrified he returned to the bar woefully and said to his better half “Jesus Bridget the %#?#!! pig has eaten the ledgers.

Arthur Cranbrook Ashwin – prospector and pastoralist

The following biography and photographs have been kindly supplied by Jeffrey Oates, whose wife is the great granddaughter of Arthur Cranbrook Ashwin, a prospector/pastoralist of note in the Lake Darlot area in the late 1800’s until his death in 1930.  This is his story-

Arthur Ashwin and Bill Thompson on Wonganoo Station heading off to Thompson's Well

Arthur Ashwin and Bill Thompson on Wonganoo Station heading off to Thompson’s Well

Arthur Cranbrook Ashwin was born on 12 November 1850 in Adelaide, South Australia.
He attended school in Adelaide and then Melbourne until his family relocated yet again
this time to Ballarat. There he was an apprentice coach builder for short time before he sought
work as a stockman in and around Ballarat. He ran away from home at age 15 to work as a
general hand on Bolwarrah Station, lasting five months before returning to Ballarat where he
worked casually in the cattle sales yards. During this time he also commenced fossicking for
gold along the Ballarat gold fields.

John Dillon's Store Darlot Town

John Dillon’s Store, Darlot Town, Western Australia

[Continue Reading…]

Suicide, Cyanide and Scones –

Murchison Advocate 27 February 1904, page 3 Suicide and Attempted Murder. A SENSATIONAL AFFAIR At Boulder this morning, Alexander Solomon, a notorious character and well known to the police, was arrested on suspicion of the … [Continue reading]

Alick and Nunginna- a love story

Kalgoorlie Miner 5 May 1937, page 1 TRIBAL LAW DRAMA ERRING COUPLE PUNISHED The story of a drama, among the aboriginal people of the Laverton district has been received at Kalgoorlie.  A young woman called Nunginna, had fallen in … [Continue reading]

The Deserted Camp

The Deserted Camp Deserted now- no more you stir’d By those in quest of gold Now your but a memory blurr’d Of what you were of old Yet though the camp of silence sleeps Except for songs of birds There's language in your silent heaps More … [Continue reading]