Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

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Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby kanangra » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 3:16 pm

I visited Lake Eckersley on Friday and that got me wondering about the origin of the name. I also visited the Old Eckersley Ford across the Woronora River which is upstream of the lake. There is not much of the ford left now just some broken slabs of concrete. The track is quite overgrown but does continue on the other side. Two rather forbidding old army signs discouraged further exploration. So I got the maps out and noticed that the track continues and joins up with the National Park Rd. in Holsworthy firing range. I also noticed Eckersley trig and Eckersley Parish on the map. I did some further research and apparently up until the land was resumed by the military before WW1 there was a small community living up there with some orchards, vineyards, a guest house and post-office. Apparently a road was put in from Campbelltown in the 1880's known as the Old Ford Rd to link the community to Kentlyn. To this day Frere's Crossing is named after one of the early farmers of Eckersley. I understand that there is very little left today, just some dry stone walling. Unfortunately because of the firing range it is not possible to go and take a closer look. Interesting.

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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 5:33 pm

At the bottom of the Old Ford Rd is a plaque showing the farms that use to be on the army side of the Georges River. Haven't been down there in a while so not sure if plaque is still there as others on the road have been stolen or defaced. Plaque approx location: http://goo.gl/maps/2lCsX. Well worth the short walk.

All that is left at Frere's Crossing is the old bridge pylons. Not sure if the army or council put in the concrete ramps leading into and out of the current crossing. You use to be able to drive all the way down to the crossing when I was a kid. About 500m downstream from the crossing is a great spot for a swim, photo here: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/81526811

My memory on this is a bit fuzzy and the following information is not first hand either. Some years ago members of the local historical society got permission to enter the firing range and inspect the ruins. Apparently there was not much to see as the army had used the houses as targets. I think it was in the local history museum in Campbelltown that I have seen photos of the people living and farming on what is now the firing range.

The Old Coach Road forms the southern border of the firing range and this is about as close as you can get to it: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/81579375.

Cheers,
Michael.
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby Pteropus » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 7:51 pm

This is very interesting. The Old Illawarra Road that ran from the punt between the Lugarno and Illawong, ran roughly parallel to what is New Illawarra Road (some parts of the road are still in use of course) and then continued through what is now Holsworthy Army Base from what is now the intersection of where New Illawarra Road and Heathcote Road. I think there was also a connection with Liverpool. Apparently the Old Illawarra road passed by Eckersley and I think the road on the map marked “National Park Road” is part of the Old Illawarra Road system. Actually, I just found this online -> http://www.liverpool.nsw.gov.au/__data/ ... -Sheet.pdf and it confirms my information. Is this the same information you found kanangra?
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 8:48 pm

It's a bit confusing. Best to use the http://maps.six.nsw.gov.au/ site for this as Google Maps doesn't have enough information.

Old Illawarra Rd heads south from the Army camp: http://goo.gl/maps/Lr5gb. National Park Rd comes from the north east and intersects with Old Illawarra Rd at Giles Junction: http://goo.gl/maps/8ZbtN. Eventually Old Illawarra Rd meets the Old Coach Rd becoming Fire Trail No 14 and brings you out at Darkes Forest Rd. From the SIX website it looks like the National Park Rd goes all the way to Heathcote Rd at the intersection of New Illawarra Rd.

Eckersley Rd joins the National Park Rd (not Old Illawarra Rd) at: http://goo.gl/maps/wvvYT.

I read that document from Liverpool Council. I forgot about Frank and Harry Etchells, apparently some of their distilling equipment can still be found. Amazing characters.

Hopes this helps,
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby kanangra » Sun 04 Aug, 2013 9:24 am

Michael, No I wasn't aware of that article. very interesting. I did find another with a lot of information on a web site about Sydney. there is also an article about the Old Ford Rd. I think there is a picture of that plaque in the article?

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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Mon 05 Aug, 2013 11:38 am

kanangra wrote:I did find another with a lot of information on a web site about Sydney. there is also an article about the Old Ford Rd. I think there is a picture of that plaque in the article?

Do you have a link for this? I would be interested to see it and I could confirm for you if it is the Old Ford Rd plaque.

You may be interested in the following as well. Go here and scroll down and read the sections on "Dharawal state conservation area" (now National park) and "Holsworthy Military Area"*. And then go here and look at the photo on the right. Harris Ck runs on the western side of Old Illawarra Rd through the army camp. As mere mortals we shall probably never get the opportunity to investigate this for ourselves. :(

Michael.

* You may also want to scroll down a bit further and read the section on Campbelltown, Wedderburn and the Bull cave (which is about 1km from my home).
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Mon 05 Aug, 2013 4:07 pm

Went for a quick walk this afternoon and got a photo of the plaque.
DSC08490.JPG


Pixie Cap Orchids are flowering.
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby kanangra » Mon 05 Aug, 2013 4:45 pm

Gee they've done some damage to it. Here is the site.

http://www.campbelltown.nsw.gov.au/Asse ... rdRoad.pdf

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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Mon 05 Aug, 2013 5:02 pm

kanangra wrote:Gee they've done some damage to it.

Yeah it is a pity. At least you can still make out the farms on the Eckersley side of the river.

Thanks for the link. The first photo in the pdf from Campbelltown Council is of the first plaque as you walked along from the end of Georges River Rd and it was here. It didn't last long. :( The second photo shows some of the original drainage works. There are several plaques along the road on the way down to the river that explain different aspects of the road. It was a great idea to restore this road but you just can't stop the idiots of the world from wrecking things. I remember walking down here with my dad in the late 70's/early 80's and it was a very worn and rutted old trail back then.
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby nath4n77 » Sun 24 Sep, 2017 8:25 pm

Hi Guys,
You sound like the right people to ask, do you know any history of this old trail south of the Boobera Pool Trail. On Satellite image you just make it out. My friend and I discovered some structures there, and are wondering what they possibly could be, or had anything to do with the Moonshine buisness?

thanks in advance

I have more pictures of the structues we found, some just look like old campsites.
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please see satellite image to see old trail
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Mon 25 Sep, 2017 12:27 pm

Hi Nathan,

Sorry to burst your moonshine theory but Frank and Harry were over the Campbelltown side of Holsworthy not the Heathcote side. There are lots of old camp sites and ruins in Heathcote NP. That area was used for all sorts of things before becoming an NP.

I've never been down that track, might see if I can find it next time I'm in the area. The thing I do find interesting is that the camp site looks to be right above the pipeline tunnel. Maybe it was used as a base during the pipeline construction.

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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby nath4n77 » Tue 26 Sep, 2017 2:27 pm

michael_p wrote:Hi Nathan,

Sorry to burst your moonshine theory but Frank and Harry were over the Campbelltown side of Holsworthy not the Heathcote side. There are lots of old camp sites and ruins in Heathcote NP. That area was used for all sorts of things before becoming an NP.

I've never been down that track, might see if I can find it next time I'm in the area. The thing I do find interesting is that the camp site looks to be right above the pipeline tunnel. Maybe it was used as a base during the pipeline construction.

Michael.


Hi Michael thanks for replying, yes you probably right, its right above the pipeline, so may have something to do with workers. Definitely some old campsites. Just before the fire pit looking structure there is a bare patch of dirt as if like there was something there before. If you go out there let me know, also keep an eye out for a camo glove ;) ImageImage

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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby nath4n77 » Tue 26 Sep, 2017 2:34 pm

michael_p wrote:Hi Nathan,

Sorry to burst your moonshine theory but Frank and Harry were over the Campbelltown side of Holsworthy not the Heathcote side. There are lots of old camp sites and ruins in Heathcote NP. That area was used for all sorts of things before becoming an NP.

I've never been down that track, might see if I can find it next time I'm in the area. The thing I do find interesting is that the camp site looks to be right above the pipeline tunnel. Maybe it was used as a base during the pipeline construction.

Michael.
Some more picturesImageImage

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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Tue 26 Sep, 2017 6:40 pm

Thanks for the photos. Yes, those ruins do look interesting. The concrete looks similar to other ruins I have found in this NP. Good chance they pre-date the NP by many years.

I'll be adding this spot to my list of places to visit in Heathcote NP.

Cheers,
Michael.
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby nath4n77 » Tue 26 Sep, 2017 6:57 pm

No worries, let me know if you desire lat and long or any other information nath4n77@gmail.com
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby petermac1984 » Fri 25 Oct, 2019 11:20 pm

Re Eckersley- I am replying to an older post, but am writing just in case anyone is still interested.

I had not heard of a settlement called Eckersley before I saw the posts on here.
However, I lived along Eckersley “road” (track), from early 1950s, from age 32 hours (approximately), until I was about 2.5yo, when we moved to Lake Macquarie area.

We lived in a dirt-floor shack. Of course I have no memory of that, and I only remember seeing Heathcote for the first time when I was about 12yo. We visited friends who ran the Post Office at Heathcote.

The first time I tried to find Eckersley “Road” was around 1978, and I had no luck, and no Google.

That’s the whole story, not very exciting.
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Sat 26 Oct, 2019 10:36 am

Hi Peter,

Always interesting to get information on these forgotten parts of Sydney. You might be interested in this: http://www.visitsydneyaustralia.com.au/ ... rsley.html, and this: http://campbelltown-library.blogspot.co ... rsley.html. Unfortunately us mere mortals will never be allowed to visit Eckersley for ourselves.

Edit: Some ruins of one of the Eckersley houses: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_mark ... 306046381/ and here is a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2NImVv ... e=youtu.be

On another note. A few months back I tried to get to the ruins in the above photos posted by Nath4n77. Unfortunately Girronba Ridge had been the subject of a hazard reduction burn. I managed to get about 200m along the ridge from the Pipeline Rd and just gave up. Got totally covered in charcoal, you should have seen me. I will have to try again, maybe next year.

Cheers,
Michael.
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby ChrisJH » Wed 10 Feb, 2021 9:50 am

His Michael did you end up trying to get to the ruins again?
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Wed 10 Feb, 2021 11:37 am

No, I haven't been back to try this again. Covid stuffed up my walking plans and I am a long way behind on my very long list of walks to do. I may be able to get back there this year. Hopefully the burnt bush should have thinned out by now so it shouldn't be too bad (I hope).

When I do get back to this spot I will post about it here.

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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby nath4n77 » Wed 10 Feb, 2021 11:54 am

Hi Guys,

I was in this area last weekend. Walked the Boobera trail over to Kingdom Come, to look for Tod's Hut. Was not Burnt in that area, not sure to the south though. I am keen to join anyone that wants some company to do exploring over that way :)
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby michael_p » Wed 10 Feb, 2021 1:10 pm

The hazard reduction burn was along the ridge to the south of the Boobera Pool track. I thought that coming from the south along the ridge would be easy...bad mistake. :lol:

Did you find Tod's Hut? That is another spot I am going to have a look for next time I am at Kingdom Come.
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Re: Eckersley- The forgotten subburb.

Postby nath4n77 » Wed 10 Feb, 2021 1:57 pm

Unfortunately I did not find Tod's hut as i was given a map with the wrong location. I got some other coordinates when I later got home and looks like I may have missed it around 200m further to the south. level 2 fun though!
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