This site is dedicated to the family of Peg & Bill Chartres
(Nick, Wayne, Graham, Jason and their families),
so as they have a better understanding of their heritage.
Peg's g-g-grandfather, George Banks, first settled in The Prairie, Cudlee Creek, in the early 1850's.
George purchased "Walnut Grove", Hollands Creek in 1857 when he married Mary Ann Farnham.
(Two of George's brothers, William and Edward, also acquired holdings in the Cudlee Creek District).
Peg's g-grandfather, Cain Thomas Banks (known as Thomas), purchased "Woodlands"
(on what is now known as Banks Road, Cudlee Creek) in 1891.
"Woodlands" is the property that Peg grew up on.
Cudlee Creek is derived from the Aboriginal Kaurna or Peramangk word "Coodla" meaning Wild Dog
(Dingo), hence Cudlee Creek means "Wild Dog" Creek.
The township is located on Gorge Road, in the beautiful Torrens Gorge about 28 kilometres from Adelaide (via Athelstone and the Gorge Road).
The ABS 2016 census records 421 people living in Cudlee Creek. (a decrease of 52 since the 2011 census)
The District of Cudlee Creek is bounded by, Paracombe in the north, Lobethal in the south,
Gumeracha in the east and Castambul to the west;
it includes the local areas of Cudlee Creek, Fox’s Creek, Hollands Creek, Millbrook, The Prairie and Chain of Ponds.
The area was first settled by William Kelly, his wife and baby daughter,
(Kelly is believed to have been
the first white man to have visited the area),
they arrived in Adelaide in December 1838, and settled at Cudlee Creek a few months later (late 1839 early 1840).
The early pioneer families include the Kelly’s, Fox’s, Hannaford’s, Redden’s, Farnham’s,
Bank’s, Wakefield’s, Dennis’, McNamara’s,
Dickson’s, Schlein’s, Tippett’s, Pool’s, Barty’s, Minogue’s, Lambert’s, Crouch’s, Hoad’s,
Curtis’ and Hatchard’s.
"If an unlabelled moving picture of the Gorge road were town on the screen people would ask where it was. The route is an eye-opener in rugged beauty. For most of the 17 miles, from the time the gateway is entered at Athelstone, the track runs between massive, rock-ribbed, tree-spread cliffs which climb hundreds of feet, and seem to meet the blue sky. From the moment you get into contact with the great panorama, it is a wonderland of wild, decorative effects, carried out by Nature to big scale. The road has the appearance of a bold, tiny interloper, twisting in and out among the boulders with flimsy, and almost precarious, audacity. Looking up on one side you see the hills, mottled by shadows on a sunny afternoon, lean their grey bulk against a radiant back ground. On the other the jagged, broken rock offers, at times, a rather uncomfortable proximity, supplying a striking colour contrast with their red and dark blue and brown faces. Running along this 24-ft. thoroughfare, amid some of the most impressive open-air sculpture to be seen in Australia, you involuntarily duck now and then, in expectation of being hit by one of these giant fists. Then, right underneath, flows with placid grace, the little creek, framed in brilliant green rushes or tender fern. When the towering avenues disappear, as it were, into the wings of this magnificent stage, there come tough the scattered gums glimpses of fruit gardens, designed as symmetrically as a draught board, or arranged in marvellous rows of potato and tomato plants, suggesting the faultless elegance of the top lines in a copy book. So you get on this excursion up the Gorge road, the blend of dainty, man-made utilities and the moving grandeur of God-made scenery."
The Register (Adelaide, SA.) 20 January 1922
"PICTURES ON THE GORGE ROAD."
"Several parties have bitterly complained to us of the impassable state of the road between
Adelaide and the Reedy Creek mine, by the Chain of Ponds. A gig was stuck in the centre of
the road last Friday, and the driver, a Mr East, was unable to extricate it without the
assistance of several passing travellers. This is the more felt as there is a mail just
established on that route, and unless something is done for its improvement it will be utterly
impossible for the carriers to accomplish their journeys within the prescribed period. Besides
this consideration there is a largely increased traffic on that road now, and it is high
time for the Government to adopt some measure to facilitate the communication between that
populous part of the country and the metropolis.”
Adelaide Times, 16 October 1848
An early photo showing the track to Cudlee Creek along the bed of the River Torrens. (Photo Circa 1870 - slsa B 1885)
This track could only be used when the Torrens was not flowing!
The early pioneers of the Cudlee Creek District endured much hardship, not only to establish their holdings, but also to get into and out of the district as there were no roads or bridges and the tracks had to cross the river bed.
Prior to the construction of the Gorge Road, Cudlee Creek was initially reached along the bed of the River Torrens (when it was not flowing), and later, after the North East Road was opened in the 1870's, via Tea Tree Gully or Anstey's Hill all of which were extremely difficult journeys.
Many articles appeared in the local newspapers describing the difficulties and
displeasure of the early pioneers.
"Several parties have bitterly complained to us of the impassable state of the road between Adelaide and the Reedy Creek mine, by the Chain of Ponds. A gig was stuck in the centre of the road last Friday, and the driver, a Mr East, was unable to extricate it without the assistance of several passing travellers. This is the more felt as there is a mail just established on that route, and unless something is done for its improvement it will be utterly impossible for the carriers to accomplish their journeys within the prescribed period. Besides this consideration there is a largely increased traffic on that road now, and it is high time for the Government to adopt some measure to facilitate the communication between that populous part of the country and the metropolis.”
Adelaide Times, 16 October 1848
“...In 1853, he [Alfred Hardy, 18 March 1863, Supervising Surveyor for the North-Eastern district] said, there had been only tee miles of metalled road between Adelaide and the O.G. public house. The remainder of the track to Gumeracha was part swamp where drays could be bogged for the whole winter. A horseman, by using “the greatest exertion would take from morning to night to reach Gumeracha, and then he thought himself lucky if he arrived there without accident. With the improvements and a metalled road all the way, the same journey could be comfortably accomplished in four hours. When the road was completed to Blumberg in the following year, he said, there would only be 25 miles left to Mannum...”
(Bill Stacy, 1982, Highway South Australia, October, Highways Department, Adelaide)
“... setting forth the bad state of the above road. It stated that drays sent especially to Gumeracha some time since had been compelled to return empty, and that even horse teams had been unable to get further than Breakneck Hill.”
Adelaide Observer, 1 July 1854
“... If they wished to continue the increase of their exports of wheat and flour, they must devise some improvement in the present system of road-making. ... At nearly every meeting on the subject of roads, held during the last five or six years ... the Central Road Board had been universally held up to opprobrium. And he had only to refer to the vacillation and want of system displayed, by the Board in the management of their own North-Eastern-road to prove their utter incapacity. In the first instance they refused to recognise it as a main road. After they had declared it to be a main line, they resolved that it should go by way of the Teatree Gully. They subsequently agreed to reopen the question, received memorials and counter memorials, deputations, &c., and at last their united wisdom brought them to the conclusion that two main lines of road were required — one leaving Adelaide by Bailey’s Garden, Paradise, and Anstey’s Hill; and the other by the Company’s Mill, tough the Teatree Gully. Both of these roads were then united about 12 or 13 miles from the starting point. Thus the money voted for the North-Eastern-road had been so divided as to make two bad roads, instead of one good one. ...”
SA Register, 5 August 1857
"The triple ceremony of opening the Breakneck Hill cutting, and the two new bridges at Inglewood and Chain of Ponds, was celebrated on Wednesday, 18th March. The occasion was looked forward to with intense interest by the residents along the North-Eastern-road, and it will not be soon forgotten by them, as on it they witnessed the full realization of all the hopes they had cherished for many years past. Breakneck Hill has long been a hill of difficulty to those settlers who were obliged to surmount it on their way to Adelaide. Double teams had to be brought into requisition to take a small load to the summit, but this was not the only inconvenience. The gradients were so steep, and a curve in the road so abrupt, that it was positively dangerous to descend the hill and not a few accidents have ended in making the attempt — hence the character name by which the mount is most generally known. It cannot, therefore, be wondered at that the people interested should watch with great anxiety the progress of a work which was to obviate all the difficulties they had to contend with, and should assemble with glad and grateful hearts to commemorate the accomplishment of that work. The morn dawned gloomily, portending rain, but before noon the threatening appearance had vanished, and although the sun only exhibited his smiling face at intervals, yet the day was pleasantly fine throughout.
South Australian Chronicle March 23rd 1863
In 1851 the government decided that two "main" roads should be constructed, (which would converge at
to service the upper reaches of the Torrens Valley, one via Anstey's Hill (Lower North East Road)
the other via tea Tree Gully (Main North East Road), to the Gumeracha
Bridge, from where it would continue to Stony Creek (Torrens Valley Road).
This route was approved by the Central Road Board in July 1853.
The Gumeracha Bridge was opened on 5th February 1858 by Miss Esther Kelly, (the first resident European female born in the district), after which (Not before!) it was subjected to a load test.
…The members and officers of the Board proceeded then to test the deflection. The bridge was subjected to a pressure of between 30 and 40 tons, being covered with dray-loads of sand, and every vacant space covered up with horsemen or bullock teams. The result was its yielding only one-sixteenth part of an inch. We believe this to be a most unusual instance of strength and solidity. …
The South Australian Register - Monday February 8th 1858)
The people of the Upper Torrens Valley, disheartened by their isolation, began a campaign to enlist the governments support to
provide access to their area.
In 1912 they lobbied for a railway line to be constructed along the banks of the River Torrens.
“The residents are now fully alive to the fact that a railway must come direct from the city to part of the Torrens Valley, and at a not far distant date. The main road to the city is in some places almost impassable for vehicles with heavy loads. Nearly 100,000 cases of export apples will be sent away from the district this season, and many more would be forwarded if only they could be landed at Port Adelaide by a cheaper and more modern means of transit.”
“Torrens Valley Railway”, Mount Barker Courier, 22 March 1912.
The request, however, was unsuccessful, but, at about the same time, the people of Castambul succeeded in their request to have
a road [Gorge Road] built along the banks of the River Torrens from the Torrens Weir at
Athelstone to Castambul, which including a bridge over Sixth Creek, was completed by January 1914.
This led to a campaign to have the Gorge Road extended to connect with the Main North East Road at the Gumeracha Bridge Cudlee Creek. This campaign was helped by the government’s decision to build a reservoir at Millbrook.
The road between Castambul and Gumeracha was begun in 1915, but was suspended in 1916 due to the war effort. Construction was resumed in 1919 and the road opened in November 1921. However the Metalling (The Latin for a mine or quarry is metallum; so the material from a quarry used for road building is called “metal”) was not completed until 1924 .
“The construction of this highway was authorised about eight years ago in order to alleviate the position of producers in the Gumeracha districts en route, who are not served by a railway, and, as far as can be seen at present, must depend upon road carriage. The old Gumeracha-road climbs 1,400 ft. with grades of 1 in 8 and 1 in 10. Produce carried on it must be hauled over tee high hills, of which Anstey’s Hill is perhaps the best known. This must have for many years been a severe handicap to gardeners and others who had to market what their land produced. The new road is such a vastly different proposition, however, that although it is still practically little better than when the track was hewn out of the hillside — for the metalling has only just begun — it is already preferred by the market gardeners to the old road. When it is finished it will be a boon. ...
Chronicle (Adelaide) 28th January 1922
"...Eventually there will be a stretch of 17 miles from Athelstone to the Gumeracha Bridge with a gradient of no more than 1 in 25 — a gentle rise of a thousand feet compared with tee bad hills rising 1,400 ft. … The roadway is 24 ft. wide, and for a long distance the main pipe line from Millbrook Reservoir is laid in a channel at one side. There are five concrete bridges in the total length, for the road crosses the river five times — it follows the course of the stream for 14 miles. These bridges have excited the admiration of engineers all over the Commonwealth and are a triumph for Mr. Fleming. They are all concrete arch structures, on the cantilever principle, the longest span being 102 ft. They are beautiful bridges and practically everlasting. One of the features is the concrete parapet on each side, which is of graceful design. The successive bridges from west to east are named Bachelor’s, Crouch’s, Hoad’s, Union, and Monfries’, four of them being named after old settlers on nearby holdings. In one place, in order to avoid cutting away a cliff, a concrete overhang, 200 ft. long, was constructed. In this way the ingenuity of the engineer saved an expenditure of about £3,000. …”
Conicle (Adelaide), 28 January 1922
The lobbying of the residents of the upper reaches of the Torrens Valley, combined with the government’s decision
to build reservoirs at Millbrook and Mount Crawford, plus the fact that motor vehicles were experiencing
difficulties in negotiating the steep grades of the Main North East Road forced the government to agree to
construct the Gorge Road from Athelstone to the Gumeracha Bridge.
This was the largest undertaking ever attempted in South Australia.
The first section, of about ten miles (16 kilometres), from the weir at Athelstone to Castambul, included a simple bridge across Sixth Creek (The Corkscrew) was completed in December 1913.
“What will certainly become one of the “show” routes in the ranges is the new road tough the Torrens Gorge ... recently completed by the Government ... a pleasing drive of tee miles along the southern bank of the Torrens brings one to the junction of two district roads. Already the gardeners and others in the neighbourhood of Montacute and Castambul, and beyond, have taken advantage of the regular and easy gradients the Gorge-road offers. The Corkscrew leading to the Sixth Creek-road has been abandoned by all who could make use of the new track.
Advertiser, 17 January 1914
The final section, between Castambul and the Gumeracha Bridge, was begun in 1915 to relieve unemployment and was finally completed in 1924.
The Government are anxious to put in hand as quickly as possible work to relieve unemployment. The Commissioner of Crown Lands (Hon. G. Goode), who has control of the Roads Department, stated on Monday that during the next week or two work would be started on the new Torrens Gorge Road, absorbing from 650 to 700 men.
Advertiser, 11 May 1915
The first road bridge built in the district was a timber bridge at Inglewood in 1851; this was replaced with a
masonry arch bridge in 1863.
The first bridge across the upper reaches of the River Torrens was the Gumeracha Bridge in 1858, this was a laminated timber arch bridge which was upgraded to a steel arch on the same abutments in 1887.
In 1861 a laminated timber arch bridge was constructed at Blumberg (Birdwood) which was replaced with a concrete encased steel arch bridge in 1915.
The Sunning Hill Bridge (now submerged below the Millbrook Reservoir) was built across the Chain of Ponds Creek in 1863.
The original Chain of Ponds Bridge, on the North East Road, was a reinforced concrete construction built in 1917 and was replaced by the current bridge when the North East Road was realigned in 1999.
Prior to the construction of bridges the River Torrens could only be crossed by fording the dried up or slow flowing river, which became a very dangerous and difficult exercise as the flow of the river increased. Before road bridges were built some foot bridges had been constructed, but they also were subject to the flow of the river, and were often impassable, and sometimes even washed away by the flooded river.
The wooden construction Union Bridge, built in 1871, was the first bridge built on what is now known as the Gorge Road. This was replaced during the construction of the Gorge Road by a steel arched, concrete encased bridge (also called the Union Bridge) in 1917.
The Prairie Bridge, a timber deck on riveted steel girders, was built across the River Torrens (1909) at the bottom of Prairie Road to provide access to Paracombe via Torrens Hill Road (known locally as “Billy Goat Hill” because of its steep winding nature), this was prior to Torrens Hill Road being realigned to remove some very sharp and dangerous bends which had caused vehicles to plunge into the River Torrens below resulting in injury and even death.
During the construction of the original Gorge Road (1912-1925) six bridges were built across the River Torrens and a concrete deck on concrete piers, called The Cantilever (although it was not actually a cantilever) was cut into the side of the steep wall of the Torrens Gorge.
The first recorded public services of Christian Worship in the wider district were held in 1843 in the
store adjoining the barn at Kenton Park on the banks of the Torrens at Gumeracha.
According to the centenary history of Gumeracha, a Primitive Methodist Church was established in the mid 1840s at Hartley Vale which is situated between Kenton Valley and Cudlee Creek. Those responsible for its establishment included the Kellys and Hannafords who were later associated with the Cudlee Creek church.
Family worship was a feature in many early homes and would have been carried out from the earliest white settlement in the district. This would probably have led, in various localities, to several families gathering together in homes for worship together - the origins of many churches.
When the first meetings for public worship at Cudlee Creek were held is not recorded.
The first known record concerning this church is the deed of trust, dated the 19th October 1857, effecting the transfer from the South Australian Company of a portion of land in section 6096 of the Hundred of Talunga to trustees.
The first chapel, known as "Cudlee Creek Union Chapel" was probably erected soon afterwards. This was situated at the eastern end of the present cemetery approximately where the iron shed now stands. It stood until the early 1950s. The use of the term 'Union' in the name seems to suggest it was used by Christians of various persuasions. However it was apparently identified with the Mount Torrens Bible Christian circuit from an early period.
Before 1900 there were several branches of the Methodist church, operating as separate denominations, which have their origins in the movement of Wesley and others in the 18th Century. The three branches which developed in this district were:
The Gumeracha preaching plan of 1899 lists churches or preaching stations at Gumeracha, Kersbrook, Houghton,
Sunning Hill, Hermitage and North Gumeracha.
The chapel at Hartley Vale was first used in the 1840s. It was later used as a school. The Tungkillo Church was part of the Woodside Primitive Methodist Circuit.
The Mount Torrens Circuit included churches at Mount Torrens, Harrogate, Chain of Ponds and Cudlee Creek.
Early Preaching Plans indicate services were also held at Reedy Creek, Rose Hill, Bloomingdale and Monarto
at different times.
These churches came together early in the year 1900 to form a united Methodist Church.
The combined membership of the new Gumeracha and Mount Torrens Circuit was reported at the time to be 236. In 1913 the circuit was divided into the Gumeracha and the Mount Torrens circuits. in 1955 the Mount Torrens Circuit and part of the Gumeracha Circuit amalgamated to again form the Gumeracha and Mount Torrens Circuit. In 1969 the circuit formed a United Parish with the Woodside Methodist circuit and the Lobethal and Woodside Presbyterian Churches and was named the Eastern Hills United Parish.
Formal union of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational Churches in Australia occurred in 1977.
On May 22nd 1881 the trustees, with the Rev. R. Lang in the chair, decided to approach the South Australian
Company to secure a site for a new edifice.
The land (adjoining the original church allotment) was transferred to new trustees, namely,
The tender by Messers. Kreigier and Schlein for the erection of a new building was accepted in December 1881.
The foundation stone was laid by W. Kelly in January 1882, but owing to many difficulties the opening of the
church did not take place until December 1882. The Bible Christian Magazine of February 1883 describes the
“Our new church at Cudlee Creek was opened for Devine Worship on December 17 and 18. Dr. Haggar preached twice on the Sabbath to large congregations. The tea and public meeting the following day were also well attended. W. Kelly, esq., presided over the latter in his usual happy manner. Addresses were given by Dr. Haggar, Revs. T. Vercoe, N. Howard and the writer (R. Lang, the minister). Mr J.H. Risely read the report, which showed the total cost of the building was £428,towards which had been given, in labour and cash about £328, leaving £100 to be raised by the meeting.
It was not very clear how this was to be done as many in the meeting had already subscribed liberallt. But in a short time the matter was settled seven or eight persons giving £5 each and the congregation responding very heartily to the appeal, assisted by friends who resided in other parts of the circuit. The meeting was quite enthusiastic, having a wholesome dread of debts and an earnest desire that the Lord’s house should not be encumbered.
The church is 40ft by28, 19ft from floor to ceiling……. We trust and pray that the great end of allplaces of worship and all preaching may be realised here - the salvation of souls and the Glory of God.”
A complete list of 54 donors to the new building,along with a balance sheet showing a balance in hand of 16 shillings, and 8 pence was published in the Bible Christian Magazine of 1884 along with the report of the first anniversary of the new church.
Only an occasional glimpse is available to us of church life in the 19th century.
The following notes have been gleaned from various sources.
The earliest record available at present is a Sunday School roll book. The first entries are undated but are almost certainly January 1862. The 33 scholars listed on this roll represent the following families: Baker, Banks, Barty, Botting, Crouch, Daniell(?), French, Hatchard, Hoad, Lambert, Langley, Pool, Redden, Sambell, and others.
The numbers were reduced to about 12-15 within 10 years but in 1899 the Sunday School recorded 7 teachers, 40 scholars, and 500 books in the library.
The first circuit report in November 1867 to the newly established denominational newspaper, the "Bible Christian Magazine" records the following tantalizing glimpse of a time of particular blessing.
“Mr Ridclift (Pastor) writes to say that about 18 were hopefully converted during the special services held at the Chain of Ponds and that at Cudly (spelt as in the report) Creek the Lord had gloriously revealed his power in bringing the dead to life. About 20 in this place profess to have found the pearl of great price. May He who is able to keep them from falling preserve them to the end.
The first burial recorded for the Cemetery, which is located on the original church allotment, is that of
David Farnham on February 20, 1867.
Miss Hannaford is often recorded as having "presided at the harmonium" in the early 1880s. The circuit notes in the November 1889 issue of the "Bible Christian Magazine" mention the "splendid new organ" at Cudlee Creek which cost £38
A Christian Endeavour Society was formed in about 1892. This was finally discontinued at the end of 1964.
Mrs Murray Chambers, wife of the circuit minister started a Ladies Guild on 27th Sept. 1956 at Cudlee Creek.
The celebrations commenced with a special Service at the Church led by the Minister, Rev D.W. Hancock. The
guest speaker was the Reverend Dr Dean Drayton. The Church sanctuary and the adjoining Sunday School room
were filled for the occasion as many former residents and others returned.
A circuit newspaper, The Methodist Recorder was published monthly around the turn of the century. Unfortunately only 16 issues between 1898 and 1902 appear to have survived. This quality paper recorded news of the churches, preaching plans and local business advertisements (which are particularly fascinating).
A similar paper The Salem Messenger was published by the Baptist churches of the district between 1892 and 1913. More than 60% of issues published have survived.
As there was often considerable interchange between the Baptist and Methodist churches and their members this paper is also of considerable value to Methodist history.
The strength of the Methodist church from the beginning has been the involvement of its 'lay' men and women. The church of course is not the building but the people who make up its number. It is unfortunate that in a sketch of this nature very few of these people can be mentioned. The names of many appear in the records of the Sunday School, on the tombstones in the cemetery, in the lists of trustees and in the obituaries of some. A few are recorded in the local church newspapers and in the attractive little booklet which was published for the 1932 Jubilee celebrations. Although the story of most will never be recorded in print everyone who has worshipped, laboured and served here over the 125 years of the church's history - has played a part in the story of not only the local church at Cudlee Creek but of the Church universal.
CUDLEE CREEK CHURCH CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
Sunday, November 14, 1982
The 'Order of Service' handed to folk as they arrived included some brief historical notes on the church prepared by Alan Phillips. Research had drawn attention to the fact (only days before the celebrations) that it was not only 100 years since the erection of the present building, but also 125 years since the formal establishment of the original church in 1857.
The historical notes are reproduced elsewhere in this issue of the journal.
Following the service a luncheon was held in the Cudlee Creek Hall, enabling old acquaintances to be renewed as guests mixed informally.,br> A display of historical photographs, papers and Historical Society Journals created considerable interest.
The celebrations commenced with a special Service at the Church led by the Minister, Rev D.W. Hancock. The
guest speaker was the Reverend Dr Dean Drayton. The Church sanctuary and the adjoining Sunday School room
were filled for the occasion as many former residents and others returned.
Over the years Cudlee Creek has had several important centres for the local community, (and later for tourists)
They include The Old Creamery, The Gorge Kiosk, Cudlee Creek Co-operative Cold Store, and The Cudlee Creek Soldiers Memorial Hall.
In later years the The Gorge Wild Life Park (founded in 1965) also become an attraction of the district.
Built in about 1882 as a branch of the Gumeracha Butter Factory, this historic building has had a variety of uses over the years.
When first built it served as a creamery for the many dairies in the area (hence the name), but after a few years the business declined and the building was vacated.
It was then left unused for some time, until Allen Noble converted it into a cheese factory. However this venture was also unsuccessful as the Cudlee Creek District had become primarily a fruit growing district , and, as the demand for fruit increased, people left the dairy industry in favour of fruit growing.
It again lay idle until Arthur Rhodes converted it to the districts first General Store.
For many years it served as the General Store, Post Office (circa 1911)and Telephone Exchange(circa 1915), it was the centre of the community, and was known as "The Old Creamery" by the locals.
In later years, after the the telephone exchange became automatic, and the Post Office was relocated to the Gorge Kiosk, it became "The Cudlee Cafe".
Today (2017) "The Cudlee Cafe" is a favourite with locals and tourists for meals and coffee, with a breakfast menu until 12pm, and a variety of choices all day.
At a meeting held in the old church at Cudlee Creek on 28th August 1922 it was decided to build a co-operative
cool store for storage of locally grown fruit. On October 12th a committee of management was elected consisting
of Messrs E. Hannaford (Chairman), E. Pool, F. Tippett, G. Newman, and F. Schultz.
A wooden building consisting of three chambers with a capacity of 15,000 cases and equipped with a 16 ton ammonia compressor driven by a 47 hp suction gas engine was completed in time for the 1923 apple crop.
In 1925 a packing and grading shed was added and a 32 volt electric generator was installed for lighting replacing the old kerosene lamps previously used for night work.
In 1938 a mechanical grader, driven by electricity generated by the suction gas engine, was installed. Previously all the apples were hand graded and sized. In 1940 the capacity of the store was increased to 30,000 cases.
Electric power from Osborne was connected to the store in 1946 enabling the old suction gas engine to be replaced with electric motors.
The Cudlee Creek Cold Store was the first Co-operative cold store in South Australia.
The Gorge Kiosk and Picnic Grounds have been popular with tourists and locals since established in 1924.
Lewis Fisher, opened the kiosk in 1924 and the following article appeared in the The News (Adelaide, SA), Friday 28 November 1924, page 11.
"GORGE ROAD ATTRACTION
Recreation Reserve Popular
One of the ambitions of Mr. L. Fisher, owner of the Gorge Road Kiosk and recreation reserve, is to make the place one of the finest picnic grounds in the State. He has already done much toward that end, and his efforts are being recognised by the motoring public.
Mr. Fisher has performed an excellent service to the community by preserving, for the benefit of the people, the whole of the 10 acres of land which he owns at the Gorge road, near the Cudlee Creek bridge, about 16 miles from Adelaide. The task he has set himself will be expensive, but he is determined to see it tough.
The Gorge road, which was recently, completed by the Government, has already achieved fame in all parts of the Commonwealth for its scenic beauty hundreds of interstate visitors have expressed the opinion that the beauty of the drive along that road is equal to any motor drive in any part of the Commonwealth. Varied mountainous scenery, overhanging moss-covered rocks, and wooded slopes provide a glorious picture for the whole of the drive.
The property owned by Mr. Fisher is the only place available for picnics and recreation, and it is the owner's intention to develop it in the best possible manner. Already he has done much. A fine kiosk measuring 42 ft. by 24 ft. with verandah all round has been erected, and is becoming a popular meeting place for motoring parties. Mr. Fisher intends to build other shade tables on the reserve, and to lay down tennis courts and a cricket pitch for the benefit of visitors. Special parking space will be set aside to accommodate more than 500 cars.
The picnic ground is situated in a beautiful spot. On tee sides the Torrens flows with the hills for a back ground and the Gorge Road provides the frontage.
Mr. Fisher says that he has received so many requests from city business people to convert the place into a residential resort that he intends to build small bungalows for people who desire to spend the week-end there."
If anyone can help me with any information here I would appreciate it, (
Email Bill), thanks Bill
(Advertiser, Friday 21 July 1916, page 6)
THE NEW TORRENS GORGE-ROAD.
This morning the Commissioner of Public Works (Hon. H. Jackson) will make an inspection of the route of the new road from the Torrens Gorge to Chain of Ponds, in view of a diversion proposed by Mr. Stevens, the Engineer for Roads and Bridges, to provide for a water conservation scheme being carried out without involving a deviation of the costly road.
Since the road was put in hand, about a year ago, it has been proposed to construct a dam across the Torrens, about four miles above the Gorge Weir, to regulate the flow of water thence to the place where it empties itself on the flat country and finally enters the Port River.
It is claimed by the authorities that if a large weir were built at the spot indicated, known as Kangaroo Creek Junction, it would hold back a great deal of flood waters which could in the summer be released into the watercourse as desired, so that the gardeners and orchardists between the hills and the city would have supplies to pump from the river. At comparatively little expense the work could be carried out, and in addition to acting as a reserve reservoir for drawing on in times of scarcity the engineers say it would have the effect of preventing the flooding of land near the mouth of the river, which is gradually becoming thickly populated.
(Advertiser, Thursday 3 February 1916, page 6)
... Now, however, there is a proposal to construct another weir in the Torrens Gorge, for the benefit of gardeners on the high and low levels of the river. This weir would raise the surface of the water about 100 ft., and if it is built the road will have to be regraded and taken up another 100 ft. in that part. ...
However this weir was never constructed despite the Gorge Road plan being realigned to allow for it. The Gorge
Road construction began in 1912 - 1914 when the section from the Gorge Weir (near Athelstone) to Castambul was
completed, however the section Castambul to the Gumeracha Bridge was not completed until 1924.
In 1962 a submission was made to the Public Works Committee for a much larger dam (Capacity: 24,400 megalitres) to be built at Kangaroo Creek which required a deviation of the Gorge Road to be built and the construction of two new bridges (Playford Bridge near Castambul and the New Prairie Bridge near Torrens Hill).
Construction of the Kangaroo Creek dam began in 1966 and was completed in 1969. The Reservoir is a 24,400 megalitre artificial water storage facility in the Adelaide Hills, South Australia. It was built by damming the River Torrens west of Cudlee Creek, near its junction with Kangaroo Creek (hence its name) .
The dam consists of a 131m long, 65m high concrete clad, rock filled dam wall and the stored water is used to maintain the Hope Valley Reservoir's level by discharging water into the River Torrens, which then flows into Hope Valley Reservoir via a pipeline beginning at the Gorge weir, Athelstone.
The water level of Kangaroo Creek Dam can be topped up by water from the River Murray which is discharged from the Millbrook Reservoir into the River Torrens at Cudlee Creek.
The Kangaroo Creek reservoir was opened by The Hon. R. Steel Hall, M.P., Premier of South Australia, on Friday 5th December 1969.
In 1982, following the River Torrens Flood Mitigation Study (EWS, 1980) report the dam wall and spillway were modified to pass a flood with a return period of 50,000 years. The modifications involved raising the height of the dam and the top of the spillway by 2.75 metres and inserting into the wall of the spillway two outlet ducts each 4 metres wide by 3 metres high.
Although the height of the dam and spillway were raised, the ducts give a lower overflow level, and storage of the reservoir was reduced from 24,400 Ml to 19,160 Ml and the overflow frequency increased.
The purpose of Kangaroo Creek reservoir was to increase the storage capacity for River Torrens from 4,500 million gallons to approx. 10,500 million gallons. The reservoir area controls 112 sq miles of the River Torrens catchment (which also feeds the Millbrook Reservoir) and the area of water spread equals 103 hectares.
The Kangaroo Creek Dam submerged 3 Bridges on the old Gorge Road,:-
Batchelor's Bridge (located just behind the dam wall),
Crouch's Bridge (located further east, between the dam wall and Torrens Hill),
and Prairie Bridge (located still further east, just below Torrens Hill).
The most recent development in the scheme was the construction of Kangaroo Creek Dam. Following a series of floods which resulted in considerable property damage, public demands for remedial action became ever stronger. In 1925 [This proposal was actually made in 1916], the then Engineer-in-Chief proposed flood mitigation works on the River Torrens which included a regulating dam to be located either two miles below Birdwood or at Kangaroo Creekl. The former site proved to be too far upstream to command a large enough catchment and so the Kangaroo Creek site became the final choice, although matters did not proceed at that time.
With a growing demand for water in the mid 1950's, the proposal was again put forward and in 1962 a submission was made to the Public Works Committee to construct the dam. Initially a concrete arch dam was proposed for the site but after further study of the abutment geology, this was abandoned in favour of a rock-fill dam2.
Work on the diversion tunnel was started in August 1966. Work on the dam proper commenced in January 1968 and was completed in October, 1969. The reservoir began to fill in September 1969 and the dam was officially opened on the 5th December, 1969 by the Premier of South Australia, the Honourable R. Steele Hall3. Originally, the dam was designed to withstand floods with a return period of 10,000 years. Further analysis of flood frequency, carried out as part of the River Torrens Flood Mitigation Study (EWS, 1980) revealed that the dam would only withstand a flood with a return period of 500 years. The study recommended that the dam and spillway be modified to pass a flood with a return period of 50,000 years4. The modifications involved raising the crest of the dam and the top of the spillway by 2.75 metres and inserting into the wall of the spillway two outlet ducts, 4 metres wide by 3 metres high. Although the height of the dam and spillway was raised, the ducts give a lower overflow level than previously. Full supply storage of the reservoir will thus be reduced from 24,400 Ml to 19,160 Ml r I overflow frequency will be increased slightly from the previous 2.5 years5.
1 Smith, C.L. and Twidale, C.R., An Historical Account of Flooding and Related Events in the Torrens River System, Vol.3.
2 EWS, Kangaroo Creek Dam—Historical Account of Construction and Operations.
4 EWS 1981, River Torrens Flood Mitigation Study Technical Report No. 4—Probable Maximum Torrens Valley Historical Journal - Number 36 21
5 Department of Environment and Planning 1981, Assessment of the Environmental Impact of the River Torrens Flood Mitigation Study Proposed by the S.A. Engineering and Water Supply Department.
SA Water upgraded Kangaroo Creek Dam further 2015 t0 2019.
This upgrade ensured the dam complied with ANCOLD (Australian National Committee on Large Dams) standards.
Construction began in late 2015, and was completed in November 2019.
The work widened the spillway, raised the wall and strengthened the wall and will help manage major floods and increased the dam's ability to withstand earthquakes however it did not increase the dam’s capacity, as the spillway height remained unchanged.
For more details visit - SA Water Web Site - 2016
Contractor Bardavcol Pty Ltd
Contract Value $78,513,994
Completion Date September 2018
Major safety upgrade to the existing concrete lined rock fill dam to meet ANCOLD requirements
Excavation of 300,000m3 of rock to widen the spillway by up to 40m
Extension of the outlet tunnel and pipe work by approximately 50m
Buttressing of the existing rock fill embankment (200,000m3)
Raising of the embankment crest including extension of the concrete face slab using slip form techniques
Significant concrete works (32,000m3) to line the spillway including temperature sensitive mass pours and ogee crest construction
Construction of post tensioned anchors to the existing ogee crest
Electrical, SCADA and security works
"As part of a major safety upgrade at the Kangaroo Creek Dam in the Adelaide Hills, we've gradually been lowering the dam's water level.
It's currently at around two per cent of capacity and you can just start to see the top of the usually underwater Batchelor's Bridge. The bridge was built in the 1920s before the dam was constructed.
We expect to completely empty the dam by the end of this month, so our contractor can begin work on a 10,500 square metre concrete slab on the upstream face of the embankment.
Work on this overall project began in early 2016 and is expected to be complete in late 2019."
Batchelor's Bridge Partly exposed
(Photo - SA Water - March 2018)
On July 11th 2017 Weekend Notes published an article on the
Gorge Road as it is today (2017)
by Michael Genrich.
View his article Here. Gorge Road article Then click back in your browser to return to this page.